DIFC gets clear law governing rentals in the zone

By Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 12 January 2020: Law No. 1 of 2020 pertaining to leasing in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has been issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai.

The law will enhance the DIFC’s property market and reflects the centre’s commitment to maintaining a legal and regulatory framework aligned with international best practices. It introduces areas of protection and assurance to lessors and lessees entering into leases at properties based in the dynamic financial ecosystem of the DIFC.

The law will address specific factors relating to real property within the DIFC, including the requirement to provide an appropriate regulatory environment aligned with common law jurisdictions and onshore Dubai practices due to the DIFC’s status as an offshore jurisdiction within the UAE by:

1. Introducing general requirements for leases and general obligations for lessees and lessors;

2. Introducing a tenancy deposit scheme for residential leases to be administered by the Registrar of Real Property;

3. Requiring the production of condition reports in the format required by the Leasing Law by residential lessors;

4. Imposing a maximum limit on security deposits collected by residential lessors and further specific provisions for residential leases; and

5. Introducing clearer provisions relating to the termination of leases and the disposal of goods and chattels at the property following the termination or liquidation of the lessee.

Regarding the new law, Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, said, “Enacting the new DIFC Leasing Law will not only provide clearer guidance for thousands of landlords and tenants at the DIFC, but advancing our legislation also represents a key step for delivering on our landmark expansion plan that will transform the future of finance.”

Dubai Gazette