THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE COURTS
In the name of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai
IN THE SMALL CLAIMS TRIBUNAL OF DIFC COURTS
BEFORE SCT JUDGE SHAMLAN AL SAWALEHI
Hearing: 6 August 2013
Judgment: 11 August 2013
JUDGMENT OF SCT JUDGE SHAMLAN AL SAWALEHI
UPON hearing the Claimant and the Defendant
AND UPON reading the submissions and evidence filed and recorded on the Court file
IT IS ORDERED THAT:
1. The Defendant shall pay the Claimant the sum of AED 7,500.
2. The Defendant shall pay the Claimant the court fees in relation to this claim.
1. The Claimant is Dalmatia
2. The Defendant is Daiki
Background and the preceding history
1. The Claimant alleged that she had rented her two bedroom apartment in Daiki to the Defendant for one year, but that he was refusing to pay her the deposit amount of AED 7,500.00, the DEWA bills for the initial months in the amount of AED 155.00 and the cost of DIFC registration in the amount of AED 360.00, as had been agreed in the Tenancy Contract.
2. No settlement was reached by the parties at the end of the consultation and, consequently, the case was sent for adjudication. On 6 August 2013 I heard the Claimant’s representative’s submissions only as the Defendant did not attend the hearing.
Particulars and Defence
3. In her Particulars of Claim, the Claimant argued that it was stated in the Tenancy Contract that the tenant had to pay a security deposit to the landlord. The Claimant further argued that the tenant was required to pay the cost of registering the Tenancy Contract with the DIFC Authority and to pay the DEWA bills on time.
4. In his defence, the Defendant argued that there was no clear express term or obligation in the Tenancy Contract to pay any sum above the rental amount. The Defendant further argued that the security deposit was to cover any damage or loss caused by the tenant which had not occurred yet.
5. In addition to his defence, the Defendant added to his original submissions allegations and counterclaims, but failed to submit any written evidence in support, neither did he attend the final hearing to assert his counterclaims orally.
6. I have reviewed the “Tenancy Contract”, which reads at the paragraph titled Observation as follows:
“Security Deposit of Seven Thousand Five Hundred dirhams (AED 7,500) will be refundable upon compilation of contract if dues are paid, no damage on the property and should be mutually agreed by both parties addendum is part of the contract.”
7. I am of the view that the word “refundable”, as cited above, means that the agreed amount should be refunded by the landlord to the tenant at the end of the tenancy period, which means that the tenant had agreed to pay that amount in the first place to the landlord to cover any damage or loss that might be found at the end of the Tenancy Contract which is by implied terms of custom what is the general practice in the DIFC and the Dubai Real Estate business. Therefore the Defendant was obliged to pay the security amount to the Claimant before he entered the unit, namely the sum of AED 7,500.00 in addition to the Court fees in relation to this claim.
8. Furthermore, I have not found in the Tenancy Contract any indication that the tenant is required to produce any DEWA bills during the tenancy period. In fact the addendum to the Tenancy Contract states at item (11) that at the time of vacating the apartment, the tenant shall produce such documents.
9. I should add that I do not accept all of the Defendant’s allegations and counterclaims made in his original defence submissions, as he has failed to submit any supporting evidence.
10. Finally, I find that the evidence submitted by the Claimant regarding the alleged unit registration fee is neither sufficient nor reasonable to establish that the Defendant is contractually or legally liable to pay any extra amount beyond that which has been decided in this Order at paragraph 7 above. Therefore this part of the Claimant’s claim is rejected.
Date of Issue: 11 August 2013