Property problems? Our expert is on the case

District Real Estate’s director of business development, Alan Kaye, helps you understand your property rights.


Q – I have just lost my job and am really concerned that I will not be able to meet the post-dated cheque for six months’ rent, which is due next month. What do you suggest?

This is clearly a stressful time for you but my first suggestion is that you arrange a meeting with your landlord and explain your situation.

Can you get him to agree to monthly payments until your situation stabilises itself or can he give you a payment holiday until you find a new job?

Being open and honest is always the best solution in these situations and hopefully he will work with you until your position improves.

Do not just let him bank your cheque, which you know will bounce.

Besides giving you a bad reputation at your bank you will also lose credibility with your landlord.


Q – The swimming pool and surrounding area in our compound has just been closed for what is described as ‘routine maintenance’. However, nobody can tell me how long this will be. Will I be entitled to a rent rebate for the period the pool area is closed?

Clearly a pool will need maintenance from time to time and if it is for, say, a couple of weeks, I think that is reasonable.

However, if the weeks turn into months, while it is unlikely that you will receive a rebate, you may be able to negotiate a reduction in your rent next year.

Keep a note of the dates of the closure and take photos to clearly show that the pool was closed. You should also notify the management company in writing of the closure and send them the relevant photos.


Q – We live in a new building that is almost empty. However, we have noticed an apartment on our floor that seems to be the sleeping quarters for various workmen who come and go at all hours. We are reluctant to report it but feel very uneasy with what is going on. What do you suggest?

This is clearly not satisfactory and I suggest that you report the matter to the property management company at the earliest opportunity.

I would assume that your reluctance is because you do not want to cause a problem for the workmen, but in reality if they are legal they would have been allocated sleeping accommodation elsewhere.


Q – It is over two months since we left our villa but we have still not had our security deposit returned. We left the villa in a good condition and expected it back within a couple of weeks maximum. The landlord continually avoids our calls and we are not sure what to do. Any suggestions?

This is always a difficult scenario particularly as generally it is not worth going to a lawyer since this may cost more than the amount involved.

I suggest that you write to him clearly setting out your case, the date that you vacated the property and if it was agreed that you returned the property in the same condition as you received it.

Try if at all possible to set up a meeting and come to an agreement as to how he will repay
the deposit. If all else fails you may be able to open a case at the commercial court. This is conducted in Arabic, but it can often bring a result.

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