The Rent Committee

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The Rent Committee


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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 2nd July 2013, 04:18 AM
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Default The Rent Committee

Hi all,

I've been trying to get hold of the Rent Committee for a couple of days now to clarify what documents I need to take when I go there on Thursday, but no-one ever seems to answer and I'm getting the 'the number you have dialled is currently busy' auto message whenever I try lately. I've tried calling the Municipality for them to put me through to the Rent Committee, but no joy there, either. It just rings and rings.

My landlady is trying to increase my rent despite no entitlement (I've already checked this with the Rent Calculator and with the Rent Committee when I first brought it up with her in June, three months before the contract was due for renewal; the Rent Committee recommended I open a case with them). Despite me clearly pointing her to the Rent Calculator to show that there's no entitlement for an increase, she gave me three months' notice to leave when the contract expires on August 10, then stopped replying when I said that if we couldn't resolve the matter amicably, I'd go to the Rent Committee. It's all done by email, and it'll all be going with me to the Rent Committee on Thursday.

But what else do I need to take?

I have:
- Original tenancy contract (how do I know if this has been registered with RERA?)
- My passport/ID copies
- My landlady's passport/ID copies, plus her POA's details
- Copies of the cheques I gave them, plus the bank statements that show that I transferred the rent to them instead, as Citibank didn't like the signature on one cheque and kept returning it (statements also prove that the money was in the account, so it wasn't a bounced cheque due to lack of funds)
- Arabic-written letter of intent
- Copies of the email correspondence (this is in English; does it have to be translated?)

The DEWA bill is under the landlady's name still, but I also have my bank transfer receipts to show that I've been paying it.

I'll be taking 3.5% of my rent along with me; are there any other fees that I don't know about?

Is there anything I'm missing? Anything I need to know?

Thanks!

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Old 2nd July 2013, 04:27 AM
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I don't think you'll need to formally open a case.

The landlady can't evict you in three months notice. You get a full 12 months after the conclusion of the current contract. Then she's not allowed to rent out the property for a subsequent two years.

Take all the documents you have plus the landlady's phone number. Odds are the people you speak to at RERA will simply call the landlady and tell her she's in the wrong.

As it is if the landlady isn't returning your calls your contract will automatically roll over and be renewed on the same terms. That's how the RERA people will put it.

Still, go down in person. But speak to RERA first before formally opening a case with the Rent Committee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverClover View Post
Hi all,

I've been trying to get hold of the Rent Committee for a couple of days now to clarify what documents I need to take when I go there on Thursday, but no-one ever seems to answer and I'm getting the 'the number you have dialled is currently busy' auto message whenever I try lately. I've tried calling the Municipality for them to put me through to the Rent Committee, but no joy there, either. It just rings and rings.

My landlady is trying to increase my rent despite no entitlement (I've already checked this with the Rent Calculator and with the Rent Committee when I first brought it up with her in June, three months before the contract was due for renewal; the Rent Committee recommended I open a case with them). Despite me clearly pointing her to the Rent Calculator to show that there's no entitlement for an increase, she gave me three months' notice to leave when the contract expires on August 10, then stopped replying when I said that if we couldn't resolve the matter amicably, I'd go to the Rent Committee. It's all done by email, and it'll all be going with me to the Rent Committee on Thursday.

But what else do I need to take?

I have:
- Original tenancy contract (how do I know if this has been registered with RERA?)
- My passport/ID copies
- My landlady's passport/ID copies, plus her POA's details
- Copies of the cheques I gave them, plus the bank statements that show that I transferred the rent to them instead, as Citibank didn't like the signature on one cheque and kept returning it (statements also prove that the money was in the account, so it wasn't a bounced cheque due to lack of funds)
- Arabic-written letter of intent
- Copies of the email correspondence (this is in English; does it have to be translated?)

The DEWA bill is under the landlady's name still, but I also have my bank transfer receipts to show that I've been paying it.

I'll be taking 3.5% of my rent along with me; are there any other fees that I don't know about?

Is there anything I'm missing? Anything I need to know?

Thanks!
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Old 2nd July 2013, 05:29 AM
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Thanks, TallyHo! That's really helpful.

I didn't think she could do it either, but, according to the tenancy contract I have, either she or I can decide not to renew three months prior to the contract ending date, which is August 10. I spoke to the agent to state my interest in renewing, then her, in May - three months before. She gave me my marching orders because I refused the rent increase she's demanding.

I'll give RERA and call and see what they recommend, then pop down there myself on Thursday. I've taken the day off work to try and get it all sorted, so hopefully I'll manage to see both RERA and the RC, if needed!

Thanks again. ^^

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Old 2nd July 2013, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverClover View Post
Thanks, TallyHo! That's really helpful.

I didn't think she could do it either, but, according to the tenancy contract I have, either she or I can decide not to renew three months prior to the contract ending date, which is August 10. I spoke to the agent to state my interest in renewing, then her, in May - three months before. She gave me my marching orders because I refused the rent increase she's demanding.

I'll give RERA and call and see what they recommend, then pop down there myself on Thursday. I've taken the day off work to try and get it all sorted, so hopefully I'll manage to see both RERA and the RC, if needed!

Thanks again. ^^
Please keep us posted so we know what the process is. Some of the threads on this subject are older so it would be nice to know what the RC and RERA say/do about this.

Thanks and good luck.

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Old 2nd July 2013, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverClover View Post
I have:
- Original tenancy contract (how do I know if this has been registered with RERA?)
This is the most important question. If this has not been registered with Ejari, I dont think the rent committee will entertain you. If you haven't done it yourself, there is very little chance that the landlord/agent would have done it for you.

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Old 2nd July 2013, 06:53 AM
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Not necessarily true.

I know people who went to the rental committee without a registered contract and it wasn't an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsinner View Post
This is the most important question. If this has not been registered with Ejari, I dont think the rent committee will entertain you. If you haven't done it yourself, there is very little chance that the landlord/agent would have done it for you.

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Old 4th July 2013, 06:43 AM
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Default An update...

Here's a little update:

I went to the Rent Committee this morning. Totally hassle-free process getting there (save for one security guard pointing me in the wrong direction...), hardly had any waiting time, very pleasant people to deal with.

The downside was that I was missing two documents, so nothing could be processed.

Despite all the calling, no-one told me that I needed to have my letter in Arabic in a specific format that's only available from the Rent Committee (I'll see if I can upload a version here, to save people the hassle). They also didn't tell me that I needed an Arabic version of my tenancy contract; mine's only in English, so now I have to pay to have it legally translated.

Otherwise though, I was very impressed. I got there by taxi at around 8am, and by 9.20am I was on the metro all the way back at Internet City. If you're going by metro, it's very easy; just get off at Union Square, and Dubai Municipality is 250m or so away, over a bridge that crosses the road.

So, I'm now looking for a legal translator who can do a quick turnaround for me. Hopefully it won't be too expensive!
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Old 4th July 2013, 02:20 PM
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This is the form that the Rent Committee needs to have filled out, as the letter stating your issue and what you're expecting: http://i44.tinypic.com/2ntjqjs.jpg I don't read Arabic, so I can't clarify the content any more than that.

I got my contract translated by Kamil Bashir Legal Translation. They received the document at around 11am/noon today, and the translation was ready by 4pm. For three pages, it cost me AED250... and they're going to deliver it to me on Saturday! (Big bonus for me as I don't drive, I live in JLT, and they're located in Hor Al Anz.

For clarification, here are the documents that I took with me today, and that I was told were fine save for the letter and the English contract:

- Tenancy contract (should be in Arabic, legally translated)
- Letter in Arabic (should be in the format as linked in the image above; format is avaialble from the Rent Committee)
- My passport copy, back page and visa page
- The copy of the property sale and purchase agreement under my landlady's name (this has all of her details on it: Nationality, passport number, phone number and email address)
- A copy of the landlady's passport
- A copy of the DEWA application in the landlady's name (it's still registered to her)
- A copy of the landlady's local power of attorney's passport
- Print-outs of my email correspondence with the agent, and then the landlady, with her stating that I had to leave if I didn't pay the increased rent
- A copy of my bank statements to show the transfer of rent money*
- A copy of my last DEWA receipt, to show that I'm paying the bill

I don't think all of those papers were absolutely necessary, but I took them along anyway. You also need to pay 3.5% of your annual rent. I asked the girl I was dealing with whether I would get that back, and she said that the judge would decide during the hearing whether I would be reimbursed, whether it would come out of my rent or whatever.

I also learnt that you need three copies of all documents. I'd only gone along with two copies and the originals.

*I did provide the landlady with cheques originally, but Citibank decided they didn't like my signature on the first rent payment and declined to accept it twice. So, I paid by bank transfer; the statement is also proof that the cheque didn't bounce due to lack of funds, but rather an error with the bank.


Hopefully this is helpful! I'll provide another update when I go back.
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Old 9th July 2013, 10:15 AM
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Default Great info

Thanks SilverClover, for keeping us updated on your situation and for providing all that useful info. It's helping me deal with my situation too.

One quick question. I am in a similar boat. My contract expires in a couple weeks and I want to renew it. I've already visited RERA and Rent Committee, and have also registered my contract with Ejari. Everyone has informed me that I have the legal right to renew this contract with no rent increase (confirmed by RERA calculator).

My question is, if I have emailed my landlord (and copied to the agent) my intention for renewal on the same terms, and if he doesn't respond (I told I am giving him two working days), what should be my next plan of action? Should I go through the hassle of lodging a complaint with Rent Committee with all the documentation you mentioned? Or should I first send a letter of renewal intention to both my landlord and agent via courier?

Ejari people have told me I can even stay sitting in my apartment till expiry and the agent will have to autorenew it anyway. But I just want to be SURE that I have fulfilled all my obligations.

Cheers for your help. And please update us on your situation; hope it goes smoothly.
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Old 11th July 2013, 05:12 AM
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I have been meaning to update my post, but work's been running me ragged and I've just not had the time or energy to do so.

I went back on Tuesday, and opened the case successfully. The date is next Tuesday! Far quicker than I expected, but I'm glad I'll know the result sooner, rather than later.

I'd recommend getting there as early as possible; I arrived around 8-8.30am, and ended up leaving by around 12pm. The people who came in around 11am ended up having to wait much longer for appointments than me.

fudzzz, further to my PM, my landlady didn't respond to the last email I sent to her, either. That was in May; I gave her plenty of time to answer. From what I've come to understand, if the landlord makes no move to renew your contract then it rolls over on the current terms and conditions, and you can stay in your apartment without having him/her remove you. So long as you stated your desire to renew, I think you're covered - but don't quote me on that! It might be worth going to the Rent Committee and having a chat with them about it, even if you don't lodge a complaint. The other thing I've come to learn is that the people who answer at the Rent Committee call centre don't necessarily know everything that the guys sitting in Dubai Municipality do. A bit of inside advice will never go amiss!

I've got fingers crossed that it'll all work out smoothly for you.
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