First of all, what is a security deposit and when it has to be refunded? It is the amount of money received by the landlord or property management company when beginning to rent a property. It is paid by the tenant at the start of the tenancy to secure the use of property or services. It is a common practice that 5% of the annual rent for the unfurnished property is paid by the tenant as a security deposit and 10% in the case of furnished properties in the Emirate of Dubai.
Remedy available to the tenant: Dubai Land Department and Dubai Rental Dispute Centre (RDC)
When the tenant vacates or decided to vacate the premises/flat, the amount of the security deposit must be refunded by the landlord to the tenant in full or after making deductions as per the contract. It is to be noted that the security rent deposit is paid for securing end-of-lease repair expenses for damaged property, therefore, deductions cannot be made on account of repairs done during the period of tenancy. In case the deterioration of the leased property is insignificant, the landlord should return the security deposit in full upon the expiry of the lease contract/Tawtheeq.
The tenant can initiate a formal complaint against the landlord for non-refund of the security deposit with the RDC. The tenant is required to pay a fee of 3.5% of the annual rent. Documents like the Rent Contract and Security Deposit Receipt have to be submitted along with the complaint. Dubai has a robust mechanism for the redressal of rent disputes so you can hope for a favourable decision in a month or so.
The tenant can also choose to fill out the ‘Rental Claim Form’ available on the website of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department. This way, the tenant need not present the complaint physically before the authorities, but relevant documents need to be attached for making a strong case. This online process is quick and hassle-free.
Arbitration is another way of resolving rental disputes but if this alternative mechanism bears no fruit in 15 days, then, a formal suit has to be instituted.
It is always suggested to take the assistance of Property Lawyers in Dubai for drafting and reviewing the lease agreements because Legal remedies will be more productive if the duties and rights of the parties are clearly mentioned in the contract.
BSB Legal Consultants is one of the Property Lawyers in Dubai . We are committed to fighting for the rights of our clients in legal matters, including rent and property disputes. Book your free consultation with our advocates in Dubai via firstname.lastname@example.org or +971 508014003.