Can a tenant sublet a flat without the landlord’s consent?

Can a tenant sublet a flat without the landlord’s consent?

If a tenant is subletting without the landlord’s consent, the latter can file a case against them for not abiding by terms of the contract.

The tenancy is valid until February 2023. However, the current owner has given 12 months’ notice (for the reason of selling), effective from May 2022 to May 2023. Therefore, the tenant must move out by May 2023.

However, the tenant has been breaching the terms of the contract by renting out the apartment on Airbnb. Although he claims to have a Dubai Tourism licence to do so, the tenancy contract contains a clause that does not permit subletting.
Do I need to make a new contract with the tenant or will the existing contract (with the old owner) be sufficient?

Also, do I inherit the notice period served by the previous owner or do I need to give a new notice period? If I need to give notice from my end, do I hand out the notice together with the new tenancy contract?

If the tenant continues to breach the contract, how do I open a case against him? I want to ensure I take the right steps from the beginning to mitigate legal issues and achieve my goal of terminating the tenancy. MP, Dubai

Given you have bought a property with a tenant in situ, the existing tenancy agreement has to be respected, including the current terms and conditions.

You can, however, draw up a replacement contract, including your details as the landlord. You can also make changes to an existing contract provided they are communicated to all parties (in writing), giving 90 days’ notice from the date of renewal.

Rental increase changes have to abide by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency’s rental calculator and be agreed on by all parties.

With reference to the original notice given by your seller to his tenant, you can use this as leverage against the tenant. However, if he contests this at the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee (RDSC), the presiding judge will decide either to uphold it or request that you send your own 12 months’ notice.

Some judges at the RDSC allow 12-month eviction notices to be served at any time, even though the law (33 of 2008) states that it should be served upon expiry of the existing tenancy agreement.

In all rental contracts, subleasing is only allowed if the landlord is aware of it and has expressly agreed to the tenant doing so.

If the current tenant is subletting without your consent, you can file a case against him, which should fulfil your wish to terminate the contract.

Please visit the RDSC, which is at the Dubai Land Department building on Sir Baniyas street in Deira, for more information.



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