For many UAE residents, renting an apartment or villa is the default option. When a new resident arrives in the UAE, one of the first things they do is look for a place to live, which for many means renting a property. But how many of us are truly knowledgeable about Dubai’s tenancy laws and regulations?
Here are nine things to bear in mind if you’re looking to rent a property in Dubai:
1. Is your rent about to go up? You should have been notified three months ahead of time.
Is your contract about to expire? If this is the case, your landlord is required by law to notify you of any rent increases 90 days in advance. Articles 6 and 14 of the ‘Dubai Law No. 26 of 2007 Regulating Relations between the Landlord and Tenant in the Emirate of Dubai,’ often known as the Dubai Rent Law, state as much.
2. The rent rise must not exceed a specified limit.
Even if your landlord decides to raise the rent, he or she cannot do so beyond the Dubai Land Department’s specified limit (DLD). The rate of rising is determined by how cheap your rent is in comparison to the area’s average rent for your unit. This is the maximum increase a landlord can make, according to DLD.
- If a unit’s current rent is between 21 and 30% less than the average rental value of similar units, the rent can be increased by up to 10% at the time of renewal.
- If the real property unit’s rent is 31 to 40% less than the average rental value of similar units, the landlord may raise the rent by a maximum of 15% of the real property unit’s rent.
- If the real property unit’s rent is less than the average rental value of similar units by more than 40%, the landlord may raise the rate by no more than 20% of the real property unit’s rent.
The DLD online Rental Index is a useful tool for renters to determine whether the landlord’s increase in the rent of their apartment or villa is within these limits.
3. Your landlord cannot turn off your electricity or water because you haven’t paid your rent
Failure to pay your rent might result in serious penalties, including eviction. It is, however, illegal for your landlord to turn off the electricity and water to your apartment. This is explicitly mentioned in Dubai rent legislation, and if the landlord breaks the law, the tenant has the right to submit a “petition order” with the Rental Dispute Centre, requesting that the landlord restore the utility service. A judge will make a ruling within 24 hours after receiving a petition order.
Also Read: All about the Dubai Municipality housing fee
4. In these circumstances, eviction notices must be served 12 months in advance
For these two forms of evictions – eviction due to restoration or comprehensive maintenance and eviction due to destruction – a landlord is legally required to give a 12-month notice.
5. Subletting without approval can get you evicted
The Dubai Rent Law allows a landlord to legitimately remove a tenant in certain circumstances. When a tenant fails to pay rent within 30 days of receiving a warning, when a renter uses the property for any illegal reasons or for a purpose that violates public order or morals, or when a tenant sublets the property without the landlord’s permission, these are all examples.
6. Are you relocating? You can look at the neighborhood’s average rental prices
If you are moving into an apartment or villa and want to know if the deal you got was fair, you can use a new portal called DXBinteract.com, which gives data on property transactions from the Dubai Land Department, to check prior rents charged for the same property.
7. Your tenancy agreement differs from your Ejari agreement
The tenancy contract is merely your signed agreement with your landlord, whereas Ejari is in the process of registering this agreement with the Dubai Land Department. To register with Ejari, you’ll need the following information: the name of the rental company or the landlord’s details, such as a copy of his or her passport, and the terms of the agreement. The tenant is also responsible for the registration fee.
8. Have a disagreement with your landlord? Submit a formal complaint to the Rental Dispute Settlement Centre
You can submit an official case with the Rental Dispute Settlement Centre (RDSC), which regulates all rent-related cases in the Emirate if there is a dispute between the tenant and the landlord. The matter is resolved by RDSC by an amicable solution between both parties, which takes 15 days.
9. Being asked to give ‘key money’? Say no.
When you’re preparing to sign a lease for a new property, your real estate agent may ask you to submit a security deposit to demonstrate your sincerity as a buyer. This is also known as “key money.” However, there is no law that governs this practice. As a result, asking for key money from landlords, developers, or brokers is illegal.