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Soaring rents in a buoyant economy have led to a common practice of subletting in various parts of Dubai and in other emirates. While it does make sense economically, it is important for the landlord, tenant and subtenant to be absolutely clear about what the law stipulates in case of a subleasing arrangement.
Law No. 26, Article 8 of 2007 clearly states that subletting is not allowed without the approval of the landlord. The owner must be aware of who is staying in his property, and the names of the subtenants must be published in the tenancy agreement.
The contract between the landlord and the tenant is called the head lease, whereas that between the tenant and the subtenant is called the sublease.
A landlord can evict a tenant if he has sublet illegally, and the remaining rent can be forfeited. From a tenant’s perspective, it is important to check if the person you are renting from is the landlord, and to check if the agent you are going through is a RERA-certified agent.
Subtenants do not have to vacate the property necessarily even if the head lease has been terminated. As per the Dubai Municipality Rent Committee, if a sub-lease was approved by the landlord, the subtenant is entitled to remain in the property for the remaining term of the sub-lease, on the terms of the sub-lease even if the head lease is terminated.
However, if the tenant has granted sublease without the knowledge and agreement of the landlord, the landlord can evict both the tenant and the subtenant(s). In such an event, the subtenant may claim compensation from the tenant based on the subtenant’s arguments of eviction.
The age-old saying of “Better safe than sorry” holds supreme importance, so it is better to clarify all doubts before you take the keys to view your prospective home.
Source: Dipshikha Mitra, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer