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Dubai moves towards new rental law

Dubai’s Land Department is working on a new rental law that will give separate weightage to commercial real estate such as offices, malls, health and educational property, apart from residential. The law, which is in front of the legislative committee, will replace the current one-size-fits-all rental regulation, top officials said.

That could pave the way for each property asset class to have its own rental index and contractual obligations between negotiating parties. If the law passes, it would signal another major step up for Dubai’s property market in terms of having a more equitable relationship between tenant and landlord. Currently, the Dubai Rental Index, dominated by residential property, is updated annually.

It was just last month that the Land Department announced a “unified lease form” on all rental contracts in the emirate. And if subsequently there are omissions on the part of any one involved in the deal, then penalties come into effect.

“We wanted a new rental law that covers all types of property assets and not just draw on the provisions within a single, unified law,” said Marwan Bin Ghalita, who heads the Real Estate Regulatory Agency, which comes under the Land Department’s aegis.

There will also be changes to another existing regulatory regime currently in place. The laws governing homeowners associations will be “clarified” to bring in more transparency, officials said. With more freehold projects getting greenlighted, the Land Department wants to clearly define the rights of developers and property owners.



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