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 subletted.
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.
To avoid all these hassles, a landlord should really use a professional Property Management company.