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Can Abu Dhabi tenant move out halfway through contract and be refunded Dh85,000?

2015-09-02 07:32:45

I am a few months into my yearly rental agreement for an apartment in Abu Dhabi. I have been offered a new opportunity which means moving to Dubai. I plan to give about two months’ notice to the landlord but can I legally quit my apartment and ask for a refund of any monthly rent for the months after I move out? Or have I lost that rent (it will be six months’ rent – so about Dh85,000)? Can I make an arrangement with the landlords to find someone to take over my contract for the six months or is that illegal here in Abu Dhabi even with the landlord’s consent?i

You can only give two months notice prior to the expiry of your tenancy when you are moving out and do not plan to renew the contract. You cannot just break the contract mid way through without consequences. It is normal for a tenant to try to find a replacement tenant to take over the remaining length of lease as they are still liable to pay the rent until the end of the term. If you can come to some sort of an arrangement with your landlord for the return of any rental reimbursement should you be successful in finding a replacement tenant, then this is perfectly acceptable.

Mario Volpi advises an Abu Dhabi tenant who wants to break a contract. 

We are tenants in Ras Al Khaimah and recently received our renewal contract for the second year. One of the clauses in the contract said: “The tenant agrees to repaint the premises prior to the expiry of the contract or pay the landlord for the cost of such repainting.” Is that sentence legal? In my understanding, normal “wear and tear” is acceptable and tenants do not have to repaint the walls after two years in a property. Secondly, the agency hired by the landlord is asking us to pay Dh500 to draw up the renewal contract, is that legal?

The tenant is responsible to return the property in the exact state that it was first handed to him. If the property was freshly painted and cleaned when you first moved in, you will have to do the same when you leave. Fair wear and tear is an emotive subject because what you think is fair wear and tear, someone else will not - so this clause can be ambiguous in any tenancy contract. The estate agent also has the right to charge for the renewal fee as there is a certain amount of work and time that they will need to put in. The agent will obviously not work for free and charging Dh500 is a reasonable sum.