Your Guide to Renting Property in Dubai

March 14, 2020
Written by Arpan Ghosh

As with any other major city, Dubai’s property rental process can be tricky to navigate for the first time. However, once you understand all of the steps and the paperwork involved, as well as the government controls that make the process more transparent and secure for tenants, renting in Dubai is quite hassle-free. After all, where else in the world can you move into your new home within 24 to 48 hours of completing all of the legal formalities?

 

Getting Started

 

The first step in the process is to find a trusted advisor who can guide you in the right direction, keeping your needs, expectations and better interest at the forefront. It is of absolute importance that you work with a broker who has been certified by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority, or RERA. If your broker does not have a valid RERA card, then you are better served taking your business elsewhere. RERA ensure that all real estate agents in Dubai meet the highest standards of professionalism and protects against malpractice or underhanded business with the imposition of strict penalties.

 

Once you have found the right property and are ready to finalize, you will need to sign a tenancy contract with terms agreed upon by yourself and your landlord. These terms would include division of maintenance costs, notice periods for termination and most importantly, a break clause in case the property needs to be vacated in a hurry.

 

This is also the point where you will need to pay for the security deposit and the first year’s rent (or for the duration of the contract if less than a year). The security deposit is typically 5% or unfurnished properties and 10% if they are furnished, but these figures are not set in stone. The rent for the year is typically split into a maximum of six cheques, though landlords prefer to receiver fewer cheques as much as possible. The date of the first cheque might be set at a few days prior to the start of the rental term as a form of extra security for the landlord.

 

The broker submits the contract (signed by the tenant) and the cheques to the landlord so that the landlord can sign and return the contract, completing the transaction. Do make sure you get a receipt from the deposit cheque from your broker so you can get it refunded on move out. Next, the tenancy contract needs to be registered with Ejari.

 

Understanding Ejari

 

Ejari, which is Arabic for ‘my rent’, is an online portal introduced by the Dubai Land Department to provide a central system for registering tenancy contracts. Ejari validates your contract and makes it legally binding in a government-approved format. The benefits of the Ejari system are:

 

  • Creates an official record of your tenancy, which helps in solving any disputes that may arise between landlords and tenants

  • Serves as a rent regulator, ensuring that rents cannot be raised or lowered without the consent of both parties

 

For registration, you will need to visit an Ejari centre with all of the required documentation. Once everything has been checked and approved, an Ejari fee needs to be paid to complete the registration and you will receive an Ejari certificate. 

 

After the registration is complete, a notification goes to the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), who will set up and connect your utilities in a timeframe between thirty minutes and three hours. Thus, registering with Ejari is essential in order for you to move in and start living in your new home.

 

Required Documents

 

Here are the documents you need to prepare the tenancy contract. It is important to note that the Ejari, and therefore the contract, can only be registered under the name of one tenant.

 

  • Valid passport copy of both tenant and landlord

  • Title deed of the property under the owner’s name 

  • Valid visa copy of the tenant

  • Valid Emirates ID copy of the tenant

 

To register with Ejari, you will need the above documents, plus:

 

  • The original tenancy contract, signed by landlord and tenant

  • Original Emirates ID of tenant

  • Ejari fee (between AED 205 and AED 225)

 

If you are new in Dubai, it is possible to get the contract process started with a copy of your visa application, but the Emirates ID will be required for Ejari registration.

 

Settling In

 

After all other formalities have been completed, you are ready to move into your new home. You will also need to register yourself with the community, which you can do online on the developer’s website or at their nearest office location. This will grant you vehicular access to the building/community along with access to your parking spot (if applicable) and will let the security team know that you are a new tenant.

 

Registering will also help you get a move-in permit, which is extremely important as vans from furniture moving companies and the like will not be allowed onto the premises without a permit.

 

With the right broker by your side, this process should be quite straightforward and you will be well prepared for a future move.