People who want to rent homes in Dubai will now have to provide a statement of income from their employer to landlords before leasing a property. This new condition was revealed recently by a regional news website, but details were not provided about specific tenants’ situations such as for example divorcees with an income from alimony or students with scholarships, and other similar non-working renters.
After November 27th when it was announced that Dubai won the rights to host World Expo 2020, rents in the city continue to rise significantly purely on the back of the optimistic news. Now, renting a home is so expensive that many residents are moving to nearby emirates such as Sharjah and Ajman.
From tenants in Dubai is not only expected to pay the rent for their temporary homes, but also to pay a 5% annual housing fees, 5% security deposit and 5% commission to the real estate broker. Altogether, prospective tenants should add extra 15% of the amount of the rent to the first year payment. For example, if the rent is 100,000 Dirhams, with the additional fees it will become 115,000 Dirhams. It is true that the security deposit is refundable, but the cases in which landlords return a full amount of it are very rare.
Renting a home in Dubai is not only expensive nowadays, but also a complicated process. Apart from finding a house or an apartment, which is easy with tens of thousands properties remaining unoccupied across the city, one has to arrange a number of documents such as: passport copy with UAE residency visa; signed application for tenancy with all information provided and three or four cheques. In the past, some real estate agents were asking tenants for salary certificates in order to protect property investors’ interests, but it is not sure if this is a legal practice as personal status documents are confidential and usually obtained by third parties only with court orders. In many countries asking a client for his financial status is considered not only extremely rude, but also unlawful.
Newcomers to Dubai are usually advised to study the city’s area maps, have a good look at the differing rents and the additional fees, factor traffic and commuting to work, consider the surrounding amenities and the state of development of the infrastructure, take a drive around the areas before contacting an agent. Until today, one may find living in a hotel or furnished apartment cheaper than renting a home.
Real estate agents are required to have an agreement with their tenant as the latter pays five per cent fee to the former. The fee is paid at the time of signing a lease contract. Usually real estate agents do a little work for the 5% they charge as commission and they are not responsible for the further relationship between tenants and landlords.
After renting a home, tenants have no right to alter, damage, change the interior or exterior of the property without express written permission from the owner. Most tenants do not initiate any additional improvements of the property as such involve additional expenses. A real problem is the property’s regular maintenance, as new expat landlords in particular are not keen on spending to fix and maintain their properties and usually try to pass all the bills to the tenants.
In general, tenants in Dubai may find renting a home unpleasant and complicated. In addition to the huge amounts they have to pay for the rent and for various additional fees, they have to provide a number of documents and spend further to maintain the property of someone else. For expats who are able to secure employment contracts with reasonable accommodation allowance, living in the city is easier as someone else takes care for the endless formalities aimed at securing property investors’ rights. However, for foreigners who are self-employed or have a non-work-related source of income, living in a rented home in Dubai may be expensive and complicated.