Claim No. SCT 171/2023
THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE COURTS
In the name of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai
IN THE SMALL CLAIMS LEASING TRIBUNAL OF DIFC COURTS
BEFORE H.E. JUSTICE MAHA AL MHEIRI
|Hearing :||7 June 2023|
|Judgment :||23 June 2023|
JUDGMENT OF H.E. JUSTICE MAHA AL MHEIRI
UPON the Claim Form being filed on 4 May 2023
AND UPON a hearing having been held before H.E. Justice Maha Al Mheiri on 7 June 2023, with the Claimant and the Defendant attending
AND UPON reading the submissions and evidence filed and recorded on the Court file
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
1. The Defendant shall pay the Claimant the amount of AED 25,197.04.
2. The Defendant shall vacate the Apartment on 29 June 2023.
3. The Defendant shall pay the Claimant the Court filing fee in the amount of AED 1,259.85.
SCT Judge and Assistant Registrar
Date: 23 June 2023
1. The Claimant is Marub (the “Claimant”), the owner of Unit 000 in DIFC, Dubai, UAE (the “Apartment”).
2. The Defendant is Muqat (the “Defendant”), a tenant leasing the Apartment.
Background and the Preceding History
3. The underlying dispute arises over a tenancy contract dated 6 October 2022 (the “Lease Agreement”). As per the Lease Agreement, the period of tenancy is set out to be for one year from 20 October 2022 to 19 October 2023. The Lease Agreement provides that the rent for the Apartment is AED 85,000 per year, to be paid by way of six advance cheques.
4. During the tenancy period, the Apartment was sold from its previous owner to the Claimant some time in February 2023. Thereafter, the Claimant provided Marek (the managing agent of the Apartment) 4 cheques, 2 of the cheques bounced due to insufficient funds; the first cheque dated 20 February 2023 in the amount of AED 14,167, and the second cheque dated 20 April 2023 in the amount of AED 14,167.
5. There was numerous communication between the Defendant and Marek in relation to the pending payments, however the issue remained unresolved.
6. On 4 May 2023, the Claimant filed a claim in the DIFC Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal (the “SCT”) seeking payment from the Defendant for the 2 bounced cheques in the amount of AED 28,334 and evacuation of the Apartment.
7. The matter was listed for a Consultation before SCT Judge Delvin Sumo on 26 May 2023, however, the parties failed to reach a settlement.
8. Thereafter, the matter was listed for a hearing before me on 7 June 2023, with the Claimant and Defendant in attendance (the “Hearing”).
9. The relationship between the parties is governed by the Lease Agreement along with the DIFC Leasing Law No. 1 of 2020 (the “DIFC Leasing Law”), as the Apartment is located within the DIFC jurisdiction, the Lease Agreement shall be governed and constructed in accordance with the laws of the DIFC, and the Lessor and Lessee shall submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Small Claims Leasing Tribunal if there is any dispute that arises in connection with the Apartment.
10. The Defendant submits that she has been living in the Apartment since October 2022 and due to her business suffering, she has been struggling to make rental payments to the Claimant. At the Hearing, the Defendant confirmed that she had transferred the amount of AED 5,000 towards the pending rent which reduces the pending rent amount to be AED 23,334.
11. The Lease Agreement is defined with a start date and an end date which both parties are aware of and agreed upon, as such, the Lease Agreement shall expire on 19 October 2023. It is the Defendant’s right to occupy the Apartment until this date, as long as she does not miss or delay any of the payments of the rent due for the Apartment as per the signed Lease Agreement.
12. The Defendant wishes to live in the Apartment until the end of the lease period. However, I shall deny this request as the Defendant failed to meet her obligations to pay rent on time, as such, and pursuant to the terms of the Lease Agreement she is required to vacate the Apartment.
13. The Defendant failed to establish any legal basis or right to remain within the Apartment due to her failure to pay rent.
14. The Claimant has sought to claim for the sum of AED 28,334 which reflects unpaid rent until 21 June 2023. I shall deduct the sum of AED 5,000 from the claimed sum as the Defendant has made a payment of AED 5,000 towards the pending rent. Therefore, the claimed sum will be reduced to AED 23,334.
15. I shall order that the Defendant vacate the Apartment on 29 June 2023. As the Claimant’s daily rent is AED 232.88, she is ordered to pay the additional 8 days’ rent (i.e., from 22 June 2023 to 29 June 2023) in the amount of AED 1,863.04.
16. The Defendant shall pay the Claimant the amount of AED 25,197.04.
17. The Defendant shall vacate the Apartment on 29 June 2023.
18. The Defendant shall pay the Claimant the Court filing fee in the amount of AED 1,259.85.