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Here's what to do in case of toilet problems in your Dubai flat.

Summary: This is in accordance with Article 16 of the Dubai Tenancy Law.

It is the responsibility of the landlord to provide basic amenities and maintenance for the rented premises.- Alamy Image

Q-I have been renting a studio flat in Dubai Silicon Oasis since late last year. Two weeks after moving in, I found certain defects. The toilet flush wasn't working properly, and there's a problem with the bath tub. Paint and plaster were also peeling off the walls. I informed the property agent as they are the representatives of landlord. I have followed up twice or thrice in the last eight months, but nothing got repaired yet. Can I ask for a refund of the rent for not providing proper service? I will not renew the agreement for sure, but can I demand some kind of penalty from the agent for turning over a property with defects?

A- Since your rented flat is situated in Dubai, the provisions of the Dubai Tenancy Law and the Amended Dubai Tenancy Law are applicable.

It is the responsibility of the landlord to provide basic amenities and maintenance for the rented premises. This is in accordance with Article 16 of the Dubai Tenancy Law which states: "Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the landlord will, during the term of the lease contract, be responsible for the 'real property' maintenance works and for repairing any defect or damage that may affect the tenant's intended use of the property."

Further, Article 17 of the same law states that "the landlord may not make ... any changes that would preclude the tenant from full use of the real property. The landlord will be responsible for such changes whether made by him or any other person authorised by the landlord. Further, the landlord will be responsible for any defect, damage, deficiency, and wear and tear occurring to the real property for reasons not attributable to the fault of the tenant."

Based on these provisions of the law, it may be noted that the landlord is responsible for the defect, damage, deficiency and wear and tear in a rented flat, provided that such damages were not due to the actions of the tenant.

It may also be noted that real estate agents in Dubai are regulated by By-Law No. (85) of 2006 regulating the Real Estate Brokers Register in Dubai (Real Estate Agent Law).

According to the Real Estate Agent Law, an agent is under an obligation to inform his prospective client or client of all negotiation details, brokerage process, and other information that would allow the person to make the right decision.

Further, a real estate agent must disclose the transaction details and conditions he might be aware of. This is in accordance with Article 19 of the Real Estate Agent Law which states: "Despite the fact that a real estate broker represents only one of the parties to the transaction, he must faithfully disclose the transaction details and conditions he is aware of. The real estate broker will be held responsible for any fraud or mistake he may commit."

Therefore, since the real estate agent did not inform you of the defects existing in your rented flat prior to you signing the tenancy contract, the real estate agent may have breached his obligations stated under Article 17 and Article 19 of the Real Estate Agent Law.

You may approach the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) and Dubai Land Department to file a complaint against the real estate agent.

If the decision of the authorities is pronounced in your favour, the agent would have to bear the consequences as mentioned in Article 39 of the Real Estate Agent Law.

"Without prejudice to any penalty prescribed by applicable laws, the committee may impose any of the following penalties on any real estate broker who violates this bylaw or the resolutions or instructions issued: notice, warning, suspension of activities for up to six months, or blacklisting."

Finally, you may request your landlord to get the damages repaired. In the event that your landlord does not address your concerns, you may lodge a complaint with the Rental Dispute Centre of Dubai.

KNOW THE LAW

A real estate agent is under an obligation to inform his prospective client or client of all negotiation details, brokerage process, and other information that would allow the person to make the right decision.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom, Singapore and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: news@khaleejtimes.com or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Aug 25, 2019
Words:798
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