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  • New To Dubai
  • Aug 15, 2019

Be aware of the hidden cost of living in Dubai

Whether you are looking for an apartment or villa for rent in Dubai, here is a list of everything you will need to do. This guide will ensure you have a smooth process when renting in Dubai.

Rental services & maintenance fees:

Get your landlord to explain exactly what ‘rental services’ mean, how much they cost and how often they’re likely to increase. Rental services may come in the form of a parking space or utilities. If your landlord is charging you an inordinate amount for such services, it is possible that he/she is breaking the law, in which case you should seek legal advice.

Maintenance fees, as a rule, are the landlord’s responsibility and cover aspects such as repairing major damage or general wear and tear in communal areas. Quite often, landlords pass these fees on to their tenants in the form of obscure clauses that are easily missed in the small print. So, read your contract thoroughly before signing.

Municipality Tax/Housing Fee:

This is a charge levied on top of rent and paid to Dubai Municipality. It is five percent of your annual rent and paid in monthly installments along with your Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) bills.

Ejari Fee:

Tenancy contracts are required by law to be registered by Dubai Land Department to protect the landlord and the renter. This is done through the Ejari system. No contract is legal until it has been validated by Ejari, the cost of which is a fixed AED 195 for all types of properties. Know more about Ejari

Agency Fees:

If you rent through an estate agent, he/she will typically charge you two percent of your first annual rent, though sometimes it can go up to five percent.

Property deposit:

The standard is five percent for unfurnished properties and 10 percent for furnished ones. Deposits are usually refunded upon vacancy, as long as there are no damages or outstanding bills.

DEWA deposit:

On top of your utility charges, there’s also a deposit paid to DEWA for renting a property. The amount depends on the type and size of your place and a proportion of it (around 10 percent) is non-refundable.

Domestic help:

If you wish to employ a maid, you’ll need to sponsor her, which can potentially run into many thousands of dirhams.

For more information about buying and renting properties in the UAE, visit

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