Cancelling your tenancy contract before the expiry date?


A tenancy contract is a legally binding agreement. There are certain situations such as a family emergency, job offers abroad, company relocation and other factors that can force the tenant to terminate the rental agreement before the expiration date. In these cases, breaking a tenancy contract is usually a dilemma that tenants try to avoid. So, what happens when you abruptly decide to move or leave the country before the expiration date of your tenancy contract? The following steps will help you simplify things for a smoother exit in Dubai:

Read and understand the fine print:

According to Law 26. of 2007 by RERA, regulating the relationship between landlords and tenants in Dubai governs the relationship between the two parties as long as the contract is valid. It doesn’t provide any article for early contract termination. Rather, it requires a 90-day notice for non-renewal of the tenancy contract in Dubai.

For example, according to the law, “that party must notify the other party of the same no less than 90 days prior to the date on which the contract expires."

So if you’re looking at terminating your contract early and you don’t have a specific clause in the contract, don’t rely on filing a case with Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA).

Make sure to check your contract

After reading and understanding the law, go back to the tenancy contract and check for any exit clauses or penalties mentioned in regards to breaking the contract. If you’ve included an exit clause in the tenancy contract, by law the landlord is not forced or obligated to let you off that easy. To break the contract, the next step would be approaching the landlord and reaching an agreement.

Additionally, you have an Ejari contract so that means you will be unable to register a new tenancy as the previous contract is still in force.

Negotiate with the landlord

It’s highly advised to approach your landlord and negotiate to reach a mutual understanding. Explain the situation and try to negotiate an exit deal. They possibly may come up with a better contract termination deal, but of course, it depends on your agreed terms. In this case, there are two options that you can choose from: either pay the penalty or offer to find a substitute before your departure.

Search for replacement

Some landlords might pardon early contract termination if a new tenant is replaced before your departure. After coming with a mutual agreement and if your landlord is willing to negotiate, offer a replacement. If you’re unable to search for one before you leave, then you will have to pay two months’ penalty rent.

Be responsible

Make sure the apartment is in good condition as it was handed over before leaving to avoid any problems. According to Article 21 of Law No. 26 of 2006, “Upon the expiry of the term of the Lease Contract, the tenant must surrender possession of the real property to the landlord in the same condition in which the tenant received it at the time of entering into the lease contract except for ordinary wear and tear or for damage due to reasons beyond the tenant’s control. In the event of a dispute between the two parties, the matter must be referred to the Tribunal to issue an award in this regard.”

So act smartly and avoid getting in difficult situations and causing problems to arise.

Any disputes that can’t be resolved through negotiations is advised to file a rental dispute case.


This page provides all the properties in Dubai to make your search easier and faster. Aside from the above tips, we encourage all readers to seek legal consultation when in need.

Leave a Comment

Leave a comment

Subscribe to fäm Properties

Subscribe to fäm Properties

Subscribe to stay up to date with the latest market news.

Featured Posts

  • Tenant’s Rights: Can a Landlord Increase Your Rent in Dubai?

  • The Hidden Cost of Buying a Property in Dubai

  • Title Deed Verification in Dubai: Ensuring Property Ownership Authenticity

  • Top 10 Best Places to Live in Dubai

  • Mega-Projects: These 11 Man-made Islands In Dubai Will Surely Blow Your Mind