Dubai: Can landlords tell tenants not to drill holes in apartment walls? – New

A KT reader plans to put up curtains and hang a clock

Published: Sun 11 Sep 2022, 11:09

Last update: Sun Sep 11, 2022 5:07 PM

Question: I saw an apartment in Dubai that I really like. However, the realtor says I can’t drill holes in his walls. I tried to say that I would need to drill holes to install the curtain or hang clocks and other items. However, he doesn’t budge and says I will have to pay the damages if I do. Can the company stipulate such a condition?

Answer: According to your questions, it is assumed that you have not yet signed the rental agreement. It is further assumed that the real estate agent is the authorized representative of the landlord in all matters relating to the rent of said building. Accordingly, the provisions of Law No. 26 of 2007 regulating relations between landlords and tenants in the Emirate of Dubai (the “Dubai Tenancy Law”) apply.

In Dubai, a tenant must maintain the rented apartment in good condition. This is in line with Section 19 of the Dubai Tenancy Act, which states: “A tenant shall pay rent on its due dates and shall maintain the property in good condition as a reasonable person would maintain his own property. Without prejudice to the Tenant’s obligation to carry out any agreed or customary restoration that the Tenants undertake, the Tenant may not make any alterations or carry out any restoration or maintenance work in the Property without obtaining the authorization of the Lessor and the necessary licenses from the competent official entities.”

In addition, when leaving an apartment, the tenant must return it to the real estate agent in the same condition as he received it, except for reasonable wear. This is in line with Section 21 of the Dubai Tenancy Act, which states: “On the expiry of the term of a tenancy agreement, the tenant shall surrender possession of the immovable property to the landlord in the same condition in which the tenant received it at the time of the conclusion of the rental contract, with the exception of normal wear and tear or any damage suffered for reasons beyond the control of the tenant. arises in this regard, it is submitted to the court to decide on it.”

In your case, as a tenant, it may be necessary to drill holes in the walls to hang decorations or curtains and you can consider this as reasonable wear and tear. However, the real estate agent may consider drilling on the walls for structural damage to the building. Therefore, as the real estate agent has already informed you that he does not allow the drilling of holes, you may have to comply with this condition. It is at the real estate agent’s discretion to rent the apartment on their own terms relating to its structural changes or use, provided that such terms do not contradict applicable Dubai laws.

As a general rule, if the tenancy agreement does not impose any restrictions on drilling holes in the walls, the tenant can do so. He can then repair the holes when he leaves the apartment.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and managing partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practice law in Dubai, UK and India. All the contact details of his office on: Readers can email their questions to: [email protected] or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.


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