The Ultimate Guide for Dubai Renters: What to look out for when renting a property in Dubai

Living in Dubai, the city of opportunity and employment. People stay in Dubai for various reasons – to find a new job, to improve their standard of living, to secure a better future or to just visit the city. Given the roaring rates of hotel rooms, people who are staying in Dubai for a long period of time will prefer to rent a place. With the upcoming Dubai Expo of 2020, over 25 million people are expected to visit Dubai, and it is safe to say that a lot of these people will be looking for rent. Before you sign the dotted line on the rental agreement, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind when you look for a property to rent in Dubai.

What condition is the property in?

Make sure you actually walk into the property to inspect it thoroughly, not just take a glance or two. Are there enough light switches and electrical points in the property? Is the flooring broken or damaged? Is there any permanent damage to the property that you might have to fix? In Dubai, the electrical connection and water supply is only given once the lease has been signed so you won’t really be able to check if the lights work properly or if the air conditioner cools well, but you can always add a clause in your contract so that your landlord will be obliged to fix any faults within a certain number of days after signing the lease.

Is the property clean?

Are there any stains on the wall? Do the bathrooms need a thorough cleaning? Is there a burn mark on the floor? Does the ceiling have any water damage? You need to check all these things before you rent a property. If there are any damages or certain things need to be repaired, who is going to do that? Will you be making the repairs and then give your landlord the bill? Will the landlord make these repairs before hanging over the house keys? Such things need to be decided in advance. And, you need to add the final decision as a clause in the contract so neither you nor your landlord can waiver from the decision.

What is the neighborhood like?

Is the neighborhood child-friendly? Are there any supermarkets or grocery stores that are walking distance from the property? How far is the further convenience store? Is it easy to access public transport from this neighborhood? How far is this property from your place of work or your kid’s school? Is there free parking in the neighborhood? Before you fall in love with any property, you need to fall in love with the neighborhood.

Have the final bills been cleared by the previous tenants?

As mentioned earlier, the tenant has to pay for basic amenities like water supply, electricity, internet connections, etc. Make sure that the payment for all these amenities has been cleared before you sign the lease. Don’t just take your landlords word for it; ask for a final bill – the water bill, electricity bill, and the wifi bill. Make sure that any remaining amount is either paid by your landlord, or the landlord can ask the previous tenant to pay the outstanding amount. If you sign the lease without checking the bills, you might be stuck paying someone else’s bills.

Whose name is on the property deed?

In Dubai, only the legal owner of the property can sublet a house or apartment. If the legal owner is not around, he or she has to give power of attorney to someone else, only then can the property be given out on rent – without the power of attorney, it is illegal to sublet the place. Check whose name is on the contract deed – is it the same name as on the landlord’s passport? If not, ask the landlord to provide the power of attorney documents stating that he or she has the right to sublet this property on behalf of the owner.

Keep all the costs in mind

The cost of renting a property in Dubai is not limited to paying monthly rent to the landlord; there are a few other costs involved. The agency or estate broker that you go through will charge anywhere between 2 to 5 percent of the annual rent price. You also need to pay one month’s rent as a security deposit which will be refunded to you by the landlord once the contract is over. You also have to pay a mandatory deposit to Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. You will also need to pay one-time Ejari fees as well as a housing fee.

Read the contract thoroughly

Before you sign the contract, you need to read the contract and understand it properly. Make sure to add any clauses that have been previously discussed but are not a part of the contract. Go over the terms and conditions carefully and change anything that does is not suitable – your estate agent will be able to help you with this process. What are the conditions to leave the place early? Who is going to pay for the minor repairs? Who is responsible to maintain the property? All this needs to be clearly stated in the contract.

Ask lots of questions

Is the property pet-friendly? Are you allowed to smoke inside the property? Can you stick anything on the walls? What all appliances will be included in the monthly rent – is what you see what you get? Will the landlord get the place cleaned properly before you move in? Whatever question you might have, no matter how big or small, it is better that you ask the landlord directly. It is better to have clear and honest communication, and in some cases, it is best to have documented proof of this conversation. Also, before you move in, make an inventory checklist of everything in the property and ask your landlord to sign it too.

As long as you follow these guidelines, hire a good local real estate agent who has some experience and allow free communication with your landlord, renting a property in Dubai should be pretty easy.