Unpacking the Rental Law: Can a Tenant Refuse Viewings in Dubai?


In Dubai, the relationship between landlords and tenants is primarily governed by the Law No. 26 of 2007 as amended by Law No. 33 of 2008 (known as the "Rental Law"), and regulations set forth by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA). According to these laws and standard practices in Dubai, a tenant cannot outright refuse a viewing, but there are conditions and considerations in place:

Reasonable Notice

The landlord should provide the tenant with a reasonable notice before the viewing. Typically, this is 24 hours, but the exact period can be specified in the tenancy contract.

Reasonable Timing

The timing of the viewing should be at a mutually convenient time for both parties. This means viewings shouldn’t disrupt the tenant's use and enjoyment of the property. For instance, it wouldn't be appropriate to insist on a viewing late at night.

Frequency of Viewings

While a landlord may want to show the property to prospective buyers or tenants, this should not be overly frequent to the point of harassing the current tenant.

Tenant’s Consent

Although a tenant cannot unreasonably deny access for viewings, their concerns should be addressed, and their consent should be sought. If there are specific times when they're not comfortable with viewings, they can communicate this to the landlord.

Contractual Agreements

The tenancy contract may have specific clauses related to viewings, which both the landlord and the tenant have agreed upon at the start of the tenancy. It's essential to refer to the contract to see what has been agreed upon.

Safety and Privacy

Tenants have the right to ensure their safety and privacy. This includes being present during the viewing or requesting that the landlord or their agent be present throughout.

The Bottom Line

If there's a dispute between the landlord and the tenant regarding viewings or any other matter, either party can approach the Rental Dispute Settlement Centre in Dubai.

It's worth noting that laws and practices can evolve. To get the most accurate and up-to-date information, consider consulting with a legal professional in Dubai or checking any recent amendments or guidelines provided by RERA.

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