The Dubai government plans to enact a new law to regulate the rental of different types of property for the first time, from residential to commercial to retail.
Dubai’s real estate rental laws at present fail to differentiate between different sectors, despite, for example, varying levels of demand and average lease lengths.
However, the director-general of Dubai Land Department (DLD), Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, told Arabian Business in an interview that his department is drafting a new law that segments property types for the first time.
He said: “[Rental] is a very important sector. We have the [Real Estate Regulatory Agency’s (RERA)] rental index, we have laws [capping] the increases and we have a dispute tribunal. But our current rental law is quite old and does not distinguish between the three main sectors of real estate.
“So, there is a new regulation coming in regarding retail and shopping malls and how units are rented [in those sorts of properties], and another for commercial and another for residential.
“There will not be three different laws, one law, but it will distinguish between these three different sectors.”
At present, tenants can file a case with the DLD’s Rental Dispute Centre if they are not satisfied with the indicative rental cost according to the index.
The judicial body was set up in 2013 and has settled around 12,678 rental disputes to date, according to the DLD.
“Having a special court for rental disputes has been a huge success,” said Bin Mejren. However, he added that although the centre is very effective, rental laws in general needed updating.
The new law is one of 12 pieces of legislation that the DLD has on the statute books at present and intends to finalise this year, the director-general revealed.
One such draft law is intended to better regulate the auctions market. “We already have an auctions law, a small bylaw, but it is old and we need a new one,” said Bin Mejren.
Another law seeks to regulate the management of public spaces in development schemes. Bin Mejren declined to provide further details, saying only: “Some of the laws amend older versions while others are completely new.
“We know we have to keep our laws fresh to match the development of the property sector and keep people coming here.”