Most landlords are good in Abu Dhabi and will return your security deposit in a timely manner, but there are a few rogue ones out there who simply refuse. If that happens to you there is now an easy way to get help.
Probably the most effective way to ensure the return of your deposit after the end of your tenancy agreement is the use of Article 17 of Abu Dhabi Judicial Department Resolution No. 25 of 2018.
How can you get your rental deposit back?
First send an email to the landlord asking how he intends to return the security deposit. You need to give him at least five days before making the application unless the tenancy agreement stipulates that the security deposit will be returned after X number of days (in which case you will need to wait until this period is over). Of course five days may not be long enough even for a reasonable landlord to organize your deposit so don’t be too quick to pull the trigger
Fill out the form: https://www.adjd.gov.ae/AR/Pages/courts/07%20Rental%20Claim.pdf – make sure to tick “Deposit Return”.
Make the application here: https://www.adjd.gov.ae/EN/Pages/EServiceDirectory.aspx# Select “Courts”, “Application to File a Statement of Claim First Instance Rental Case”, “First Instance Courts – “Rent Disputes Committee”. Then click on “Services” which directs you through to the “Smart Pass” login.
The Case Type will be “Landlord Casetype”
The form isn’t straight forward but there is a helpline and chatbox.
Landlord Requestor Relationship is in Arabic, if you can’t read Arabic then:
- المستأجر – Tenant
- المؤجر – Landlord
The Pleading Type shall be “Financial Claim”
Include with your application the following documents:
- The Form you Filled Out Above
- Emirates ID copy, or any other proof of identity in exceptional cases;
- Copy of Tawtheeq Agreement;
- Proof of security deposit payment (receipt, or tenancy contract if there is no receipt)
- The letter/email you sent the landlord asking for the return of the deposit
Also add as additional evidence everything you can to show there is no outstanding amounts you owe to the Landlord, such as:
- ADDC clearance of up-to-date bill
- Gas and chilled water clearance or up-to-date bills
- Any evidence you have as regards the status of the villa, such as a move-out inspection report
As regards the application you should note:
- Online is best – using the SmartPass to access.
- There will be a small court fee to pay. 3% of the claim value for cases of specified value, with a minimum of AED 100, for small claims.
- In the section “What do you want from the Court” – you want the deposit amount and the court fee.
You can make this application online and even from abroad if you have left the country.
There will be no hearing. If the judge is satisfied with the evidence he will issue a payment order within three days. Let the landlord know this has happened and send it to him. If he still refuses to refund you the amount you can then submit this online to the ADJD execution/enforcement division. Follow this link https://www.adjd.gov.ae/EN/Pages/EServiceDirectory.aspx# and file under “Application for the registration of a payment order.
They will usually give the landlord 14 days to comply before acting.
The landlord has 15 days to lodge a grievance, or may appeal the judgement. If they appeal the case will be listed for a hearing. There will be no fee to you but you will be asked to attend.