One of the most crucial points of being an expat starts when you start hunting a house or flat to rent in Dubai. Since a large chunk of your income is spent for housing, be careful as to what you are going to select since your decision may affect other areas such as commutation, marketing etc.
First and foremost you have to be aware of at least three of the laws, rights and responsibilities of covering renting property in Dubai is. Make sure to read Law No (33) of 2008 that amended Law No (26) of 2007. Both regulate the relationship between landlords and tenants. Landlords can’t increase your rent on a whim according to Decree No (43) of 2013. If he does so, you can file a case on this or any other dispute with the Rent Committee based on Decree No (26) of 2013.
All real estate agents and agencies must be registered with RERA and listed on their Broker’s List if this is not the case than the real estate agency or agent could be a fraudster out to get your money. Always check if your broker is listed before any money changes hands. Furthermore, real estate agents are not entitled to charge a fee to show you around properties in Dubai. Their fee is paid once they have successfully rented the property to a tenant. That’s what the agent’s fees are for
While paying for rent,three things have to be remembered:
- Rent is paid with post dated cheques in Dubai. This means that the rent is paid in advance for the whole year. Some landlords will require the entire rental amount to be paid in one cheque, while others will allow for 2, 3, 4, 6 or 12 cheques. It is very rare to find a landlord who will allow for a monthly rent amount to be paid. You can also negotiate the number of cheques you will pay, however the rental price may increase with the number of cheques.
- You will have to pay the agent’s fee. This is not regulated by law as such but is usually 5% of the total lease amount or AED5000, whichever amount is higher. The agent will collect a fee from both the tenant and the landlord.
- The tenant will have to, on top to the rent and fees, give a maintenance deposit. This is a refundable deposit, which the landlord will use in order to restore the property to what it was like before he rented it out to the tenant. This is usually 5% of the total rent amount.
Brokers or agents you are dealing with must be registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) within the Dubai Land Department. If your broker cannot show you his Broker ID card before the transaction, find someone else. An ‘under-process ID’ is no excuse, according to Rera.
Contracts of lease must be registered with Ejari (Arabic for ‘my rent’). Do not rely on the tenancy contract (blue sheet) issued by brokers. Registering with Ejari gives you a legalised tenancy contract, the ability to safeguard your rights and to fully audit transactions when disputes arise. To register, go to any typing centre with your documentary requirements and pay Dh 195.
Do remember that families cannot share a villa in Dubai. Overcrowding is also prohibited in flats. Home or contents insurance is an important investment that you need to make right after moving in. In emergency cases such as fire or floods that could damage your property, the landlord is not responsible for the damages unless stated in the contract, which isn’t usually the case. The main structure of residential buildings in Dubai is commonly insured, not its contents.
Tenants need to have a valid residence visa before signing a lease contract. If it is still being processed, they must obtain a letter from their company saying this. The tenant also has to accomplish an application for tenancy, provide copies of his passport and Emirates ID, plus the cheque’s for the rent payment.