Subleasing Within Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority’s Regulations

Dubai has taken significant steps to regulate the relationship between landlords and tenants and create a legal framework that safeguards the interests of both parties whilst averting detrimental practices. Law No. 26 of 2007, as amended by Law No. 33 of 2008 came into force and defined respective rights and obligations between landlords, tenants, and sub-tenants.

Tenant’s right to sublease

Within this framework, tenants are granted the option to sublease the property to another individual. In such an event, the tenant becomes the sub-lessor, while the recipient of the sublease is referred to as the sub-tenant. The law permits tenants to lease the property to sub-tenants for profit or other legitimate purposes, provided this does not harm the original landlord or property owner. However, one key condition must be met: the written consent of the original landlord is mandatory for the tenant to proceed with subleasing. This condition is clearly outlined in Article 24 of the law: “Unless otherwise agreed by the parties to the Lease Contract, the Tenant may not assign the use of or sub-lease the Real Property to third parties unless written consent of the Landlord is obtained.”


Consequences of failing to seek consent

Failure to comply with this condition, regarding subleasing the property without securing the original landlord’s consent, carries significant consequences. The original landlord holds the right to demand eviction of the tenants even before the lease term officially expires. This provision is highlighted in paragraph (b) of Article 25, which states:

“The landlord may seek eviction of the Tenant from the Real Property before the expiry of the Lease Contract term in any of the following cases:
Where the Tenant sub-lets the Real Property or any part thereof without obtaining the Landlord’s written approval. In this case, the eviction will apply to the Sub-tenant, who will have the right to claim compensation from the Tenant.”

Landlords in Dubai have legal recourse through the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) if a tenant subleases their property without the required written consent. This allows the landlord to pursue eviction not only of the tenant but also of the sub-tenant. The sub-tenant also has the legal right to seek compensation from the tenant for the consequences arising from this breach of the lease agreement.

Understanding the legal aspects is key for both landlords and tenants in Dubai to navigate the challenges associated with subleasing while respecting the rights and obligations establishing by RERA. Compliance with these regulations is key to avoiding undesirable legal consequences that could result from subleasing without the required consent.

The authors of this Galadari Insight are Abdulmajeed Al Sweedy and Abdel Rahman Shalaby.

Abdulmajeed is a Senior Associate based in our Dubai office. His practice focuses on litigation and civil law. He is well-versed in all stages of court litigation and has an in-depth understanding of the practical commercial pressures and implications clients often face. Abdel Rahman Shalaby is a paralegal based in our Dubai office. He holds a LLB from Tanta University English Language Department and is a member of the Egyptian Bar Association and the Arab Lawyers Union.

For more information on Galadari’s Rental Disputes practice, please contact Abdulmajeed or Abdel Rahman.

Abdulmajeed Al Sweedy
Senior Associate
Abdel Rahman Shalaby