How to Rent an Apartment in Dubai

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One of the biggest problems faced by expats once they land in Dubai for residence ship is a place to stay. While some may attain free accommodation from the company they work for, the other section of people face plenty of problems when they have to  rent an apartment. Many people are still not aware of their rights as tenants in Dubai, regardless of the information that are formed by the authorities and Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) with regards to the rental laws of Dubai.

Costs Incurred Renting Property

If you are renting your property in Dubai, it is extremely important to be conscious of the extra costs that you may invite. Here rent is paid with post dated cheques in Dubai or paid in advance for the rest of the year.  Now another fact is about paying the agent’s fees. This is not controlled by law as such but is generally 5% of the total lease amount or 5000 AED. The agent has to collect a fee from both the tenant and the landlord.Again, the tenant will have to give a maintenance deposit which is refundable and which the landlord will use in order to re-instate the property to what it was like before he rented it out to the tenant.

Additional cost is incurred while setting up your DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) account. This will require a refundable deposit of  approximately Dh1,000 to Dh2,000 for apartments and from Dh2,000 to Dh4,000 for villas. You will also  have to register with Ejari. This is the authority responsible for regulating the relationship between the landlord and the tenant and also al the  rental contracts should also be registered with Ejari.  Please be sure to read your contract thoroughly before signing it. Make sure that maintenance is included in the contract agreement.

Real Estate Agencies

All real estate agents and agencies must be registered with RERA and listed on their Broker’s List. If this is not the case then the real estate agency or agent could be an impostor. Most importantly do check if your broker is listed before any money changes hands. Real estate agents are not at liberty to charge a fee to show you around properties in Dubai.

Please note: Please note that rent cannot be increased by more than 20%, no matter how far below the market value you’re currently renting. Remember that if your broker insists rashly on increasing the rent then the law is on your side and the rental increase calculator stipulates the exact amount that your rent can be increased by. If the landlord wants to increase your rent, he must let you know three months before the expiry of the contract and vice versa.

Laws for Eviction

Article 25 (a)Landlord may demand eviction of tenant prior to expiry of tenancy period in the following cases:

  • The rent should be paid within 30 days of notification of payment.
  • Without the landlord’s approval about subleasing the property then in that  case eviction will be and the subtenant’s right to refer to tenant for compensation shall be booked.
  • If there is any change by the tenant then that endangers safety of the property that it cannot be re-established to its original condition or by intentional damage to the property or due negligence.
  • When the property that is leased is a commercial shop and the tenant leaves without occupation and also without legal reason for 30 continuous days or 90 non-continual days within a year
  • When the property is being used for  purposes other than the purpose it was leased for or if it is being used in a way that goes against building, planning and land using regulations.

Article 25 (b): Landlord may demand eviction of tenant upon expiry of tenancy contract limited to the following cases:

  • If the landlord wishes to destroy the property for the purpose of reconstruction  or to add new, constructions that prevent tenant from benefiting from the leased property provided that necessary licenses are obtained.
  • When the owner wants to recover the property for use by him personally or by his next of kin of first degree provided that he proves that he does not own a suitable alternative property for that purpose.
  • If the property needs reconstruction or maintenance which cannot be executed while tenant is occupying the property, provided that a technical report issued by Dubai Municipality .
  • If the owner of the property wishes to sell the leased property.

Article 26:
If the Committee decided for the landlord to recover the property for his own use, or by his first degree next of kin then landlord should not rent the property to somebody else  for two years in the case of residential properties and three years for non-residential properties from date of recovery of the property.

Article 28:
Protects the tenant from early eviction should the landlord decide to sell the property. It states that: The transfer of title to a new landlord shall not affect tenant’s right to continue occupation of the premises in accordance with tenancy contract signed with the previous owner, provided that tenancy contract has fixed date. Keep these important factors in mind and make an attempt to at least skim through all the laws that might likely come in accordance with tenancy and steer clear away from agencies and agents that might potentially bring nothing but trouble.

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