Book an appointment with us, or search the directory to find the right lawyer for you directly through the app.Find out more
We are excited to share the latest edition of the Law Update, beautifully and appropriately titled “Sustainable Horizons: The Saudi Arabian Vision.” Giving special honor to the Kingdom’s 2030 vision, this update focuses on a collection of both informative and inspiring articles.
For those in construction, you can learn about how the tendering environment impacts risk-pricing for contractors, the updates on the legal framework of the construction industry and how contractors can protect themselves against financial difficulties.
There is good news too from the kingdom’s banking sector, from which the practice of “Open Banking” is being pushed for! But what is open banking? We’re answering that too.
Also . . . Are there any women trail blazers in Saudi Arabia you can name? We’ll help you with that. We cover how the Middle East has been making strides in empowering women in the entrepreneurial space,most notably in STEM fields.Read the full edition
David Bowman - Senior Counsel - Real Estate
Maha Dahoui - Associate - Real Estate
Abu Dhabi Executive Council Resolution on the Rules and Procedures of Registration of Tenancy Contracts in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (Chairman of the Executive Council Resolution No. 4 of 2011) created an obligation on landlords and tenants with tenancy contracts with terms of less than 4 years to register their tenancy contracts with the Tawtheeq department at the relevant Municipality in the Emirate (Abu Dhabi Municipality, Al Ain Municipality or the Western Region Municipality, as applicable). Tawtheeq carries out cross-checks with the land registration records held by the Municipalities to ensure that landlords leasing properties are the legal owners of those properties and therefore registration of tenancy contracts should ensure that there are fewer rental fraud cases.
The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department have reported that they continue to see many cases where tenants are defrauded by bogus landlords who lease properties to numerous parties, collect advance rent and then disappear before the scam is uncovered.
The primary responsibility for checking a landlord’s title to a property and its capacity to lease the property remains with tenants. It is recommended that all tenants request a copy of the landlord’s title deed or sale and purchase agreement (SPA) to the property and the landlord’s passport copy or Emirates ID before signing any tenancy contract or handing over a rent cheque. Since the introduction of the law on the Regulation of the Real Estate Sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (Law No. 3 of 2015) earlier this year, tenants should also check that the real estate broker they are dealing with has been correctly licensed and registered with Abu Dhabi Municipality (“ADM”) and the Department of Economic Development (“DED”). The tenant should ask the broker for a copy of the real estate brokerage licence issued by ADM, trade licence for the real estate brokerage company issued by DED and a copy of his or her individual licence to operate as a real estate broker in Abu Dhabi issued by ADM. If a broker is unable to produce these licences then that should be a red flag to a potential tenant that the broker is operating illegally and is not a reputable business.
Tawtheeq registration also protects a tenant from the possibility that the property they wish to lease is an illegally sub-divided unit. Apartments created from the illegal sub-division of villas will not be accepted for registration by Tawtheeq. Without a correctly registered Tawtheeq tenancy contract a tenant will face many difficulties when dealing with government departments or utility providers. A Tawtheeq tenancy contract is required for water, electricity, telephone and internet connections, Mawaqif parking permits and for the sponsorship of family members.
It is primarily the responsibility of the landlord to register with Tawtheeq however if the landlord refuses to register then the tenant can complain to the Abu Dhabi Rent Dispute Committee which can order that the tenancy contract must be registered.
To learn more about our services and get the latest legal insights from across the Middle East and North Africa region, click on the link below.