Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, EXPAT FRIENDS! I am putting together a guide for friends who are looking to rent in Dubai to answer some of the things I wish that we had known when we started! Here it is (below). Would love your thoughts on things that I have left off, anything that I might have gotten wrong -that sort of thing. Any and all recommendations are welcome!

RENTING IN DUBAI BASICS:
• The primary websites for rentals are www.propertyfinder.ae; www.bayout.com; and www.dubizzle.com. Propertyfinder is the most widely used, and the one I recommend. You can save properties, set up automatic alerts, and forward properties to me that you are interested in.

• In Dubai, more than one real estate agent can have the same property listed. Therefore, while it may appear that there are five listings in a given building, the reality is that those five listings may all be the SAME apartment listed by different agents. It can be difficult to ferret this out because agents are NOT required, nor do they, include the unit number in the listing, and many of the photographs are very bad or the listing may have no pictures at all of the interior of the apartment.

• As a tenant in Dubai, you are expected to pay five percent agent commissions at lease signing. If you have contacted a listing agent directly, the entire five percent is paid to the listing agent’s brokerage office. If you have your own real estate agent, typically you will pay two and a half percent to your agent and two and half percent to the listing agent. This should not be paid until a lease is agreed upon and signed by both you as tenant and the landlord.

• The above “split” is why many listing agents will not call your real estate agent back in order to show the property. The listing agent does not want to share the commission, and wants to force you to call them directly.

• You deserve representation. So even if you call the listing agent directly to set up the showing, you can bring your agent along and insist that the commission be split.

• There has been a lot of fraud in Dubai real estate leasing. How it typically works is this: you contact an agent. They show you the property. They insist that you pay them rent directly. They abscond with the rent and you have no lease.

• Therefore, you must be sure your agent is an agent registered with RERA (Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency) and that the listing agent is also registered with RERA. Never pay an agent cash. Always insist on the following:
o You must see the landlord’s title deed, passport copy, and Emirates I.D. (if local).
o The checks should be made out directly to the landlord (or approved management company – be sure to see the management agreement and the RERA registration for the management company).
o If the landlord is local, insist on meeting the landlord in person. If not, at least speak with the landlord by phone.
o Any agent’s commission checks should be made out to the BROKERAGE, not to the individual agent, and the commission must never be paid in cash.
o Read your lease carefully. There is a prescribed form used, but there are stipulations that can be added along with additional terms. Make sure that you agree with al provisions.
o It is typical here for the tenant to agree to pay for repairs up to a given cost, and frankly you’d rather negotiate a decent lease amount and pay for small repairs yourself anyway. But the amount you are responsible for should never be more than 1,000 AED in repairs.

• Here are the upfront costs associated with renting an apartment in Dubai:
o The yearly rent. Here landlords will ask you to give them all checks (predated) in advance, and will often ask that you PAY FOR THE ENTIRE year upfront (although that is becoming less common). Rarely is a landlord willing to take 12 checks for a yearly rental – usually they will insist on one check (the entire amount upfront), two checks (one predated six months after lease signing), or four checks. The fewer checks you give the landlord, the more of a discount you can expect to get.
o 5% of yearly rent in Agents’ commissions. As discussed above, five percent to the listing agent – or if you have an agent, five percent split between agents.
o Refundable security deposit (5% unfurn; 10% if furn). Five percent if the unit is unfurnished; ten percent if the unit is furnished. This is refundable to you at the end of the lease period if the unit is left clean and in good repair (normal wear and tear excepted).
• Once the lease is signed and the above amounts distributed, here are your later costs:
o EJARI REGISTRATION. Every lease is registered with the Dubai Land Department (called EJARI registration). It is the responsibility of the landlord and paid for by the tenant. As a practical matter, the tenant and/or tenant’s agent will typically register the lease. It can be done online or in person. You will need the lease, your passport, visa, and Emirates ID, the landlord’s title deed, and the NINE DIGIT DEWA PREMISES number found at the front door of your unit (typically up and to the left in the door jamb).
 170 AED EJARI fee
o DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority). When you register with EJARI, a DEWA account is automatically opened now. You are emailed a link to pay the following (if you do not receive a link, you can also register online with the DEWA premises number:
 2,000 AED DEWA refundable deposit
 130 AED account establishment fee
 500 AED (high approximate)(varies according to usage) monthly bill
o DU – cable and internet service. There is a DU representative at the EJARI centers if you go in person to register your lease. If not, you can sign up online.
 200 AED DU activation
 380 AED/monthly for a basic package (the most popular, includes English channels). There are more expensive plans as well. We have this plan, but supplement with our U.S. Netflix subscription. DU here does not have most channels that you are familiar with (no CBS, NBC, or ABC) but they do have CNN, BBC, National Geographic and various movie channels.
 Note: the above charges are for a 24 month contract. I am not sure how much more they charge for a yearly contract.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Only a couple of things to add/note.

Not sure why you would want to involve "your broker" in any such transaction... they work for themselves, not for you. It is just another layer of irritation to deal with. Like any broker, they also have a vested interest in charging you more... as they are paid on a percentage. You may even introduce the risk that the broker already has a competing client who may offer more, or even, heaven forbid, just tell you that!

The broker/agent being rera registered can usually be checked out on here:
Search for Approved Brokers
This is worth checking out. I have walked away from a couple of properties where brokers' registration numbers did not check out and they had no reasonable reason, other than a load of muttering and mumbling about it. It is worth doing a bit of detective work yourself to establish any agent's bona fides.

I think your estimate for DEWA may be a little on the low side, then again that may be based on the rent that I pay. DEWA also has the Dubai Municipality "Housing" charge. Which is another "foreigner fee". This will be another 5% of your annual rent split over the course of a year. On my previous aparment, this was about 500 AED/Month... then I started using water and electricity, which hardly ever exceened another 130 ish.

DEWA desposits have changed yes, 2000 AED for an apartment. For a villa/townhouse, 4000 AED.

Not sure where you got your Ejari numbers from. We did this quite recently and it cost 215. There are a lot of online companies that will do this for you and charge you 400+ for the pleasure. Some estate agents' offices will also do this for you for a relatively small premium (although, the last quote I got from an agent for this was a bit eye-popping!)

Rents are currently on a bit of a Southerly trend. Don't be afraid to walk away.

The Dubai property does seem to be improving (based on recent experience) but it is still a snake-pit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Only a couple of things to add/note.
then I started using water and electricity, which hardly ever exceened another 130 ish.
Should have read
... then I started using water and electricity, which hardly ever exceened another 300 ish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
for me the hardest part has been after I have entered the apartment. After five months still maintenance work to be fixed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
for me the hardest part has been after I have entered the apartment. After five months still maintenance work to be fixed
Ah... yes... that old chestnut.

Experience seems to mainly show that if it hasn't been fixed before you hand over cheques, it probably won't get fixed at all. That and apparently solid promises made during negotiations, will also be ignored or denied.

Get it in writing, or better still don't hand over cheques until issues are sorted... or just move on to the next property, there isn't a shortage.

I have walked into aparments where the floor looked either like somebody had been playing basketball with a bowling ball on tiles, or the whole place had fake wooden floors that has absorbed so much moisture they were like walking on a mattress. The agents always repeating the same trite "oh, the landlord will fix that before you move in". My response is usually a simple "he's prepared to let people see it like this?! Why would I hand over money based on some vague promise that it might get fixed if I pay. I've just seen 2 or 3 with perfectly fine floors."

It isn't your responsibility to like the apartment. It is the landlord's job to make it presentable so you may want to move in.

Another of my the irritations with the Dubai rental system.
You generally have to let your current landlord know that you do not want to renew, on the same terms at least 90 days before the expiry of your current contract.

Prior to this landlords often send the vaguely worded "rent will be raised in accordance with the rera calculator"... but do not mention the amount. You can usually check what this this migt be, for yourself online, on rera's website ( Dubai Land Department - RERA Rent calculator ) but this figure may also change during the 90 days.

So, you have to decide wether you want to renew based on an uncertain figure, 3 months from now, or not renew. You may choose not to renew as a bargaining tool with your current landlord to try and reduce your current rent. Or simply want to move.

If you decide to move... you now have 3 months to move. There is hardly any point even trying to look at apartments until the final month/few weeks, unless you have several months of rent to just throw away. So, in reality, you often have 1-3 weeks to find the place you like, in the location you like, in the condition you like, for the price you are prepared to pay. Haggling and discussing "fixes and changes" only lengthen this process.

And even then... things can change. Last time we moved (quite recently) we were gazumped a few times by either other parties or landlord greed (they just decided they wanted another 5 or 10k). Always have a plan b, plan c, plan d. Even if you think you have agreed terms, until at least deposit cheques and contracts change hands, nothing is set in stone.

This probably feeds from the problem that there may be 5 agents all running around with the same property on their book all whispering in the landlord's ear that they can get him another 5k.

In short, to do it properly probably takes a bit of time. In reality whenever you have to do this, you are usually time coinstrained. Usually you also have to try and squeeze some "going to work" into this process as well.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top