Question: I reside in a two-bedroom apartment in Dubai. As per prevailing laws, who is responsible for apartment maintenance in Dubai? For instance, can I ask my real estate company to repaint my apartment every year?

Answer: Pursuant to your queries, as you are residing in a two-bedroom rented apartment in Dubai, the provisions of Law No. 26 of 2007 Regulating the Relationship Between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai, amended by Law No. 33 of 2008 Regulating the Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai (the ‘Dubai Tenancy Law’) are applicable.

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It should be noted that the provisions of Article 15 to Article 18 of the Dubai Tenancy Law mentions the obligations of a landlord towards a tenant. The landlord is obligated to maintain the rented apartment. This is in accordance with Article 16 of the Dubai Tenancy Law, which states: “Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the Landlord will, during the term of the Lease Contract, be responsible for the Real Property’ maintenance works and for repairing any defect or damage that may affect the Tenant’s intended use of the Real Property.”

However, if the tenancy contract mentions that tenant is obligated to bear the expenses or undertake the maintenance/repair works of the rented apartment, then he/she is obligated to do so.

Further, it is the responsibility of the landlord to bear the repair works related to damages, and reasonable wear and tear of the rented apartments if such damages are not caused by a tenant.

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This is in accordance with Article 17 of the Dubai Tenancy Law, which states: “The Landlord may not make to the Real Property or any of its amenities or annexes any changes that would preclude the Tenant from full use of the Real Property as intended. The Landlord will be responsible for such changes whether made by him or any other person authorised by the Landlord. Further, the Landlord will be responsible for any defect, damage, deficiency, and wear and tear occurring to the Real Property for reasons not attributable to the fault of the Tenant.”

Based on the aforementioned provisions of law, it is the obligation of a landlord to undertake maintenance work, repair works related to reasonable wear and tear of a rented apartment.

However, the Dubai Tenancy Law is silent on the time frame related to landlord’s obligations towards conducting the maintenance or repair works.

Therefore, you may request the real estate company that manages your rented apartment on behalf of your landlord to repaint your rented apartment if such painting is required due to damage or reasonable wear and tear of your rented apartment.

However, if such damages are beyond normal wear and tear then you may be not able to call upon the real estate company to repaint your rented apartment. In the event the landlord refused for the maintenance of the apartment (if it is contractually his responsibility to maintain), you may approach the Rental Dispute Centre of Dubai and file a complaint.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.




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