Sunday, November 17, 2013

Rental Dispute Settlement Centre operational today in Dubai

Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General, DLD
The Rental Dispute Settlement Centre, the judicial arm of the Dubai Land Department (DLD), begins operations today.

Established by Decree No 26, 2013, issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the settlement centre will be based at the department’s head office.Working hours will be 7:30am to 2:30pm and then from 4:30pm, according to the DLD.
Promising speedier resolutions to property disagreements, Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General, DLD, said, in a statement, "The opening of the new rental disputes settlement centre is a move aimed at delivering an improved level of services to DLD’s clients.“It will allow us to address disputes occurring from real estate issues in a timely and professional manner consistent with the department’s highest standards.”

“We have already recruited 48 legal experts for the centre,” he had said.The settlement centre has to resolve most of disputes in a maximum of 30 days.

According to the Article 16 of the decree, all committees will have to judge all rental lawsuits within a period not exceeding 30 days from the date of referral of the case to them.The deadline may, however, be extended in accordance with the rules and procedures adopted by the chairman of the Centre in this regard.

Free zones included
The settlement centre will handle all disputes arising between leaseholders and tenants located in the emirate, including its free zones.

Either party is able to file a claim with the centre and can request temporary judgments or interim relief.

They can also appeal decisions made by the centre, which implements its judgments on disputes. Judge Abdul Qader Mousa has been appointed as head of the centre.

"The Rental Disputes Settlement Centre will provide transparent resolution services that have been designed to help all parties to work and live in Dubai in an environment governed by clear rules,” said Mejren.

10 committees

In September, Mejren had said that the centre will have 10 committees, out of which eight will be committees for cases of first instances, and two for appeal.
Earlier judgments passed by Dubai Municipality Rent Committee were final and could not be appealed. The settlement centre allows an appeal only in cases where the value is over Dh100,000.In other cases, all judgments are considered final and not subject to appeal.

Fees

No fee details were given, but Mejren had said earlier the centre will charge 3.5 per cent of the annual rent as fees, similar to the fee charged by Dubai Municipality Rent Committee.

“The fee will remain the same as charged earlier by the Rent Committee for a few months until the centre revises it, if need may be.”
The settlement centre’s scope of practice does not cover rental disputes arising within Dubai’s free zones, which have their own judicial committees, or special courts, to adjudicate in such matters.

Moreover, its authority does not extend to disputes arising from contract leasing, as well as those arising from long-term leases covered by the provisions of Decree No 7 for the year 2006, which pertains to real estate registration in Dubai.