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October 27, 2019
Question: I live in a rented flat that is in constant need of repairs. I am repeatedly having to chase my landlord to carry out routine repairs related to the plumbing, air conditioning and such other related issues. He is often travelling and avoids talking to me. Recently, he sent a copy of the amended tenancy contract to me which has a clause that he is not liable to handle any repairs in the apartment. He did not give me any notice about this amendment and I did not consent to the renewal. What are my legal options?
Answer: As per Article 16 of the Dubai Law No. 26 of 2007 as amended by Dubai Law No. 33 of 2008, the landlord should notify you about his intentions to amend the terms of the tenancy contract 90 days prior to the expiry date of your contract. The landlord cannot unilaterally amend the tenancy contract. Article 16 of the aforesaid law provides that the landlord is under obligation to maintain the property during the tenancy contract for the benefit of the tenant. It is advisable to register a case with the Rental Dispute Centre against the landlord for failure to handle repair works.
Question: I took out a personal loan from a bank in Dubai. I ended up losing my job and having to default on some of the instalments. The bank filed a criminal case against me and prosecutors ordered me to pay a fine in the criminal case. However, I am still worried as the bank continues to chase me with the threat of a civil case against me. What options do I have?
Answer: Since the loan amount is your outstanding liability, the bank can file a civil case against you to claim this amount. If you want to contest the calculation of the amount demanded by the bank, you may request that the court refer the matter to an expert to determine your correct liability. The advantage that you have in civil court is that you have the right to request that the court off-set the payments made by you to the bank against the loan amount. If the charged interest is illegal or above the agreed rate or even if it was agreed that it should be above the acceptable rates by the UAE Central Bank, you may request that the court appoint an expert to re-evaluate the outstanding liability.