A guide to renting property in Dubai
Published on 2018
Big, bold, exciting, safe and full of opportunities, Dubai is fast becoming one of the most desirable locations in the world. It offers a glamorous and envious lifestyle and there’s a vast selection of beautiful properties to choose from. For those who are new to the area and don’t necessarily have long term plans to settle, renting is a good option.
Before you start looking for a home to rent it’s important to understand the process and what to expect. This this short guide covers all the main points about renting a property in Dubai.
Where to look
Rental properties in Dubai are advertised in different ways; on agency websites, in the press and in direct ads from landlords. However, be warned that there are some scammers out there so you should always ask to see confirmation that your agent or broker is registered with the Real Estate Regulatory before you get close to parting with any money. Always do your research and if something doesn’t feel quite right, keep looking.
The market is growing fast, and this has its down sides for house hunters because there are often multiple people wanting the same property. Talking to an agent can help you narrow down your search and improve your chances of snapping up the perfect rental home.
Apartments and houses come in all shapes and sizes. Some are completely furnished whereas with others you’ll need to buy all your own stuff. Be sure you understand what’s included in the rental price before you sign up or you could find yourself with a lot more to pay for than you thought.
You also need to be clear on what bills you’re responsible for. This varies from place to place, but serviced apartments usually come with utilities and maintenance costs included in the rental price. Always check first.
In order to ensure that your tenant’s rights are protected, you’ll need to get your contract has properly registered with the local authorities. This protects you from any issues with the landlord and prevents them trying to raise rent at short notice (you must be notified at least 90 days in advance). The majority of rental contracts will be binding for at least a year. An example of the rental contract forms and further details can be found here http://www.ejari.gov.ae//
Deposits and payments
Landlords in Dubai often ask for a large chunk of the annual payments upfront and it’s not uncommon for tenants to be asked to provide as much as one year’s rent before they move in. This often comes as a huge shock to expats, so again it’s important that you ask questions before signing any contract. If it’s difficult for you to find that amount up front, your agent may be able to negotiate on your behalf or you can write post-dated cheques to be cashed at agreed stages throughout the year.
If you travel home a lot you can pay your rent or bills by an international money transfer, but your normal bank might not offer you the best deal. It’s sensible to open a Dubai bank account if you can, and always shop around.
If you’re an unmarried couple, you might find it tricky to rent a home together or move one of you in after the rental contract is signed. Living together out of wedlock is still frowned upon in Dubai and although the local police are more lenient with foreigners, it’s still important that you consider and respect the local culture.
Unlike many other parts of the world, it’s ok to negotiate the rent with a landlord. You might be able to agree on a lower price if you pay a year in advance, and others will accept instalments spread out across the year. Other landlords even offer incentives like vouchers and gift cards, so don’t be afraid to ask.
To finalise your agreement you’ll need to prove your identity and residency status, so have your passport and employment documents ready. If you’re not paying for your year’s rent in one go you will also need to be able to prove that you can afford the monthly payments – so expect to be asked for your wage slips and bank statements.
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