Finding the right rental property at the right price can be a challenge. So be sure where you stand before you sign a contract with this short FAQ on tenant’s rights in Dubai.
Between one and four cheques are the most common. You can often negotiate a slightly lower lease by paying with fewer cheques.
A security deposit just to view a property is not good practice, nor our practice at Betterhomes.
Yes, the landlord has the right to hold a security deposit which is usually around 5% of the total rental.
It depends on the cause. For general wear and tear, there will a clause in your contract whereby the landlord is responsible for maintenance over AED 500. However, in the case of damage, this would be your responsibility
Some contracts have a break clause. Usually, you’re expected to give notice within a pre-determined time frame. You’ll also face a penalty of a number of months’ rent, which will be pre-agreed in your contract.
The landlord can only increase your rent according to the RERA calculator – and they must give you 90 days’ advance notice of any increase. The RERA calculator establishes a baseline rental cap per area. If your rent amount falls under this baseline, the landlord is permitted to increase it to the RERA rate.
The landlord must give you 12 months’ notice.
In the first instance, you’ll need to contact your Landlord directly. Should they refuse to pay you may have legal recourse. You can begin by calling the Dubai Rental Disputes Settlement Centre on 600 555 556.
Once you’ve paid your deposit the property should be reserved for you and taken off the market. However, to be absolutely sure it’s best to sign a contract as soon as possible.
I Am a tenant in Dubai, and my landlord wants me out
Price increases can result in tensions between landlords and tenants
For tenants who have lived in Dubai since before 2008, the current residential property situation will probably feel worryingly familiar. Prices are increasing, and landlords want to evict tenants who do not want to or cannot pay large increases.
If you are a landlord who has owned property in Dubai since before the worldwide economic crisis, you may be feeling frustrated that your tenant is currently paying well below market rate and keen to start making a much better return on your investment.
Who is in the right in this scenario? While both sides will be unable to admit it, they both are, and with prices continuing to increase, the conflict between tenants and landlords will continue to rear its head, therefore both sides need to be able to compromise.
As a tenant, it is worth remembering, that the fact that your landlord wants to evict you to is usually not personal. Many property owners in Dubai are investors keen to get the best possible return. You have to ask yourself if you would do something similar if you were in their position.
That said, it is the case that there are relatively few circumstances under which a landlord is legally allowed to evict a tenant. Better Homes recently updated its website information on this as there was a change in the law at the end of 2013.
Landlords should make sure they are aware of the relevant laws so they do not run into problems if they want to evict a tenant from a property.
There are some simple steps that both tenants and landlords can take to avoid conflict –
1. At the start of your tenancy, read your contract carefully so you are fully aware of the length of your tenancy, your rights in terms of renewal and, other issues including what maintenance is your responsibility and what is your landlord’s. This will prevent misunderstandings or disagreements during your tenancy.
2. Always be courteous. If you feel your landlord is not fulfilling the terms of your contract, for example, by not carrying out maintenance stipulated in the contract, be firm but polite.
3. Be aware of your rights under Dubai law, click here to read the current laws affecting tenants.
4. Try to negotiate. When you meet your landlord to discuss issues, politely state your position under Dubai law.
5. If all else fails, you can consider opening a case against the landlord at RERA.
1. Before you let your property, consider using Betterhomes Property Management division. That way the hard work will be done by us.
2. If you decide to go for it alone, try to maintain good relations with your tenant. If there is mutual respect, your tenant is more likely to take better care of your property which is good for your investment in the long-term.
3. Landlords do have a responsibility to be aware of their rights under Dubai law, and that it currently states that the only reason landlords may evict tenants is if they wish to sell or if they wish to move into the property themselves.
4. Make sure the tenancy contract is clear, explaining exactly what maintenance the tenant is responsible for and what you are responsible for. If you feel the tenant is asking you to carry out maintenance that is outside what is stipulated in your contract, explain this politely and promptly so that the tenant can take his or her own steps to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
5. If you firmly believe your tenant is being unreasonable, consider opening a case at RERA.
Landlords need to be wise in their quest for tenants
Betterhomes recently put a guide together to help renters avoid being duped. However, we receive a high volume of calls from landlords dealing with tenants who don’t pay, sublet or abscond. For that reason we have put a guide – or checklist – for landlords in Dubai, to help them avoid being scammed.
The single most important piece of advice for landlords is to spend the time and effort to vet the tenant before signing the contract. This is because once a tenant is occupying the property, it becomes a difficult matter should that tenant not meet their obligations.
The landlord should meet the renter, and vet him or her personally. All identification and affordability documentation should be received from the renter or their employer or third party. A solid contract should be in place, outlining all agreed terms, and include a ‘no subletting’ clause. The contract should then be registered with the Ejari.
In regards to cheques, if the contract is in the name of the tenant, then the cheques have to be issued by the tenant. If a third party or the employing company is providing the cheques to the renter, then the landlord should have the company’s details on file and a letter confirming the rent cheques were handed to the tenant for renting the property. Upon the tenant occupying the property, the landlord should inspect it to ensure it is not sublet.
As per law 33 of 2008, the landlord can only demand eviction of the tenant after the contract ends, and in three circumstances. Firstly, if they want to demolish the property for renovation or redevelopment, with Government approvals. Secondly, if they wish to use the property personally, for immediate family provided the landlord does not own a suitable alternative property for that purpose. The landlord is then not able to lease the property for two years, for residential properties. Thirdly, the landlord can if they wish to sell the property. The landlord must give twelve months’ notice and reasons for eviction to the tenant, with notice to be sent through the Notary Public.
Moving Out of Rented Property? Top Tips for Tenants
Moving out of your home for rent? Here are our top tips for tenants to remember in order to avoid last-minute difficulties and disputes.
Have you cleared all outstanding dues? Consider cleaning costs, DEWA bills, cooling charges, internet bills, repair fees and other outstanding payments that you may owe your landlord at the time of moving out.
Conduct a thorough inspection of the property so that you are not held liable for repairs and damages, and get your security deposit back without deductions. If you have been living in a property that is fully or partly furnished, then make sure that you inspect and check the furniture for any damage and get it fixed by a professional.
Get the rented property spruced up thoroughly before you leave, so that its ‘ready to move in’ for the next tenant. Better still; ask your removals company to arrange for the cleaning and garden tidying service for you.
Do you need to fix anything around the property as part of your contractual obligations? Get it done and approved in advance.
Inform local suppliers of your phone, internet, or TV connections that you are moving out of the property and give them sufficient notice so that they can organize the final bills. Also, notify them about your new address.
Take all your belongings: If you leave anything behind at the property, please arrange with the landlord to collect your things as soon as possible. Landlords are not obligated to store your things forever and may end up disposing perishable goods and other items immediately, so it’s always best to take all your belongings with you.
Ensure that you collect your DEWA and other utility deposits before you leave the property.
Check out our guide on the Tenancy contract renewal rules in Dubai.