Abu Dhabi Tenancy Law
In 2006, Law No (20) came about to regulate the relationship between landlords and tenants on matters such as rent increases and eviction. Before the updated Law (4) of 2010, Abu Dhabi landlords could not request tenants to leave upon expiration of their tenancy contract. What Law No. (4) Introduced was that a landlord now had legal rights to ask a tenant to vacate a property upon expiry of the tenancy contract and could reject renewal. A rent cap of 5% applied at that time, however tenants could be subject to that 5% increase upon renewal without warning. In 2012, the Abu Dhabi Executive Council Decision Law No (32) stated that the 5% rent cap was lifted, giving landlords the freedom to increase prices as they saw best, this clearly was not in the favor of tenants. However, it also introduced rules on required notice periods; if a landlord wants to ask the tenant to leave or increase the price (or make any other amendment to the tenancy contract,) they have to give the tenant a 2 months heads up, by sending through a NOE (Notice of Eviction) or Notice stating the suggested amendment, defining the change they wanted to enforce. For commercial properties a 3 months’ notice period was required. It’s important to note that if the landlord does not provide any notice for eviction or price increase within the time period mentioned above, the contract would automatically be renewed for the same rate and terms.
In regard to registration of tenancy contracts, resolution (4) of 2011 introduced rules and procedures for landlords to register their tenancy contracts with the Municipality, known as the Abu Dhabi Municipality’s TAWTHEEQ system, in order to maintain a register of tenancy contracts that did not previously exist.
The Abu Dhabi Landlord and Tenancy relationships are governed mainly by Law No (20) of 2006 Concerning the Rent of Places and Regulating the Rental Relation Between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi “Tenancy Law”.