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Everything you need to know when renting your first house in Dubai

Everything you need to know when renting your first house in Dubai

New tenants should be aware about the documents required to rent a property in Dubai

Most expatriate residents who move to Dubai tend to live in rented homes soon after moving to the emirate.

When starting the process, potential tenants need to be aware of certain aspects specifically related to the local market.

Lewis Allsopp, the CEO of local real estate broker Allsopp & Allsopp, provides a guide for those looking to rent a villa or an apartment in Dubai for the first time.

• What documents are needed?

Before you start the renting process in Dubai, you must ensure you have all the documents in place to go ahead.

A passport copy with the signature page is required, along with a residence visa and Emirates ID.

If the Emirates ID and residence visa are in process, then you must request a letter from the Labour Department. Once these documents are in place, you can begin your search for a property and a registered real estate broker.

• Must I have a bank account in Dubai?

Once you have found your first property to rent, you must be in possession of a cheque book and UAE bank account to seal the deal.

All deposits and rental payments in Dubai are paid by cheque – something a lot of new residents to the city are unaware of.

• What is Ejari?

Ejari, which means ‘my rent’ in Arabic, is an electronic registration system which is exclusively designed to regulate all tenancy contracts in Dubai. Ejari is mandatory and ensures the documents are legally binding and outlined by Dubai government standards and approved formats.

It is the evidence of a valid tenancy contract and is required in dispute cases.

It officially records the rental prices agreed by the tenant and landlord so that landlords are refrained from indiscriminately increasing the rent. Once you have set up Ejari and it has been approved you will get an Ejari number. This number will be essential in order for you to set up electricity, water, internet and phone connections.

• What maintenance am I eligible to pay?

The tenancy contract outlines your obligations towards maintenance. It is essential that you know what maintenance you are eligible to receive and what issues are your responsibility. A tenant is responsible for the good condition of all fixtures and fittings. Any major maintenance required such as electrical, mechanical, significant air conditioning is generally the responsibility of the landlord.

As a general rule of thumb, any maintenance costing Dhs500 and under will be payable by you and anything from Dhs500 will be the responsibility of the landlord.

• What is RERA?

The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) is an agency you should be aware of if any dispute arises during your tenancy. RERA regulates the real estate market in Dubai. The rental dispute centre of Dubai Land Department will be hugely beneficial to you as a tenant in need of advice about your rental agreement and will provide you with information on the rights you have and the steps you can take to protect yourself or remedy any issues.

• What deposit will I pay?

Tenants will typically pay 5 per cent of the rental amount of the property as a deposit. This will be increased to 10 per cent if the property is furnished. Deposits will be returned to you if the property has been well maintained and has been returned to the landlord in good condition. The agency fee would also equate to 5 per cent of the rental amount and is often subject to a minimum of Dhs5,000.

A useful question to ask is whether a property is managed. If a property is managed, then there should be a photographic check in and check out report of the property to ensure deposit protection for both yourself and the landlord.

• What is chiller?

Something to be aware of is the chiller costs (if any). Chiller is the cold-water provisions for the air conditioning and is available in most apartment buildings. In the communities that chiller is available, the chiller will be included in the landlord’s service fees. What this means to you, as a tenant, is that utility bills will be lower. When out to view the property, it is a very good question for you to ask your real estate broker.

• Do I need a move-in permit?

For most towers and communities, a tenant will need a move-in permit to show security in order to get the permission to move in all furniture and belongings. The security, tenant and removal company should all be aware of the move in date and times and have all documentation ready to aid a smooth move. You should ask the broker what is needed in the community you are going to rent in and make sure you have enough time to get it in place before the removal company is booked.

• When should I avoid moving?

With move-in permits in mind, many communities consider Friday as a non-moving day. The same could be said for private and public holidays. It is essential that you check that your tenancy agreement does not commence on these days as moving into the property may be delayed.

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