Abu Dhabi brings changes in property law

Shaikh-Khalifa-Bin-Zayed-Al-NahyanPresident His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi, has signed a new property legislation maintaining existing 5 per cent rent cap and some relaxations for the tenants. Some changes are made in article no. 20 while there is no change announced in article 23.

The new law, deemed to be effective from February 10, will make it difficult for the land lords to ask tenants for eviction without any tangible cause such as non-payment of rent, approved demolition, unfair use of property and infringement of public norms.

Tenants must be provided a grace period of around six months in case of demolition. In case of violations, tenant can approach the Rent Disputes Resolution Committee for seeking justice.

Osama Abdul Aziz, a lawyer with the law firm Tarik Al Serkal added, "The new law removes a five year moratorium on the eviction of tenants, but it does not give a free hand to landlords to evict tenants."

Meanwhile, a judge will act as a Chairman of the rent, appeal and cassation panels instead of the officer appointed by the Executive Council.

Rulings by the rent committee on leases of up to Dh100,000 are final. Rulings on leases above Dh100,000 can be appealed within 15 days from the date of the ruling and cases related to leases worth more than Dh500,000 may be looked into by the cassation committee. Tenants have 30 days from the date of the ruling of the appeals committee to file with the cassation committee.