I rented a new apartment 3 months ago and signed a rental agreement. I stay in the apartment with my family. When I asked the building caretaker about the notice period, he indicated to me that a person has to give a one month notice… verbally. I signed the one page Arabic agreement which looked like a standard one and did not bother to read it. But now to my surprise I have found the following two clauses in the contract.
1. The period of the contract is one year
2. The owner has the right to request the tenant to leave the flat at the end of contract and the same action can be taken by the tenant.
Now I want to leave the apartment by giving a one month notice (by that time I will have completed 5 months stay in the building), but the caretaker tells me that I can’t leave before the completion of one year in the building. Please advise me what options I have. Is there any special department where the rental issues are handled.
Answer: This is the problem faced by most of the tenants … because they do not read the contract nor have the required clauses included and then when they face a problem, such as yours, they try to find solutions where there are none to be seen. Yes, yours is a standard contract and normally all that is required is a one month notice.
In most cases, this is not even mentioned in the contract and this aspect is normally communicated verbally, with even the onemonth notice given verbally. Everything is OK until the landlord tries to enforce the contract… ignoring all the verbal discussion. In such a case the tenant faces problems, in situations as yours, as the contract is loaded against him. In such an event the landlord will try to use the contract terms as leverage in any negotiation. Having said that, all is not lost. You should immediately approach the rents court in your area and file a case against the landlord. Please also deposit the rent with the court by the 20th of each month until the case is resolved.
Please also remember that you will have to prove in court the landlord committed to the tenants that they could vacate the flats with a one month notice. We are sure that the same commitment must have been made to the other tenants who can testify on your behalf. There must also be precedents in which other tenants must have allowed to vacate their flats on a onemonth notice. All this evidence will boost your case. While things seem difficult, all is not lost and you can easily win the case. Moreover, it is likely that the landlord, on hearing that you are filing a case, could accede to your wish.
Source - Arab Times
Note - All the answers were provided by Arab Times Legal Clinic.
18 Apr, 2016, 12:56 PM
18 Apr, 2016, 12:56 PM