How to rent a property in Dubai
It’s easy and quick to rent a home in Dubai. You just need to make sure you have the right documents ready (see our checklist below) and know your budget, so you can go and find a suitable rental property in one of the best residential projects in Dubai for you. Units are usually let out on a yearly basis and rent needs to be paid upfront by way of a number of post-dated cheques, the number of which is agreed between landlord and tenant.
Dubai property rental checklist
- Passport copy
- Residence visa copy
- Emirates ID copy
- Security deposit cheque (typically 5% of the annual rental amount for unfurnished, or 10% for furnished properties)
- Agency fee cheque (typically 5% of the annual rental amount)
- Post-dated cheques to the value of the rent amount (can be one to 12 cheques depending upon your rental contract)
Tenants are well protected from unscrupulous landlords in Dubai – all rental contracts must be registered with Ejari. This a mandatory record of your rental agreement at the Dubai Land Department and ensures the legality of the contract between landlords and tenants.
Dubai offers a wealth of the best real estate deals to suit your needs and preferences. There’s a huge choice of units available to rent all over the emirate so you can narrow it down straight away by considering your commute to work, or if you have a family, where the children might go to school, if you want a particular part of the city or are happy further out in a quieter spot. This will influence whether you end up in a towering skyscraper or a villa in a peaceful community.
Do your homework by visiting various neighbourhoods you’re interested in (and at different times of the day to gauge traffic). Ask friends for recommendations, perhaps join a community group on social media to get genuine feedback from residents before you take the plunge.
Once you have a neighbourhood or two in mind, you can assess the average rent for the type of unit you need and then arrange for some viewings. Keep in mind you’ll be paying for the whole year upfront across post-dated cheques (and bouncing a cheque in Dubai is an offence with a hefty penalty).
Then make sure you understand all the fees involved in running your home for the year – utilities vary according to the size and age of the building, the number of people in your household and so on. The main expenses are for electricity and water (supplied by Dubai Electricity & Water or DEWA), television and / or internet, district cooling (in some instances) and possibly gas, if used in the building. Ask your agent or better still, try to speak to other tenants in the building or neighbourhood.
An agent will usually charge 5% of the rental amount as their fee and a security deposit is also payable at the start of the contract, again normally set at 5% for an unfurnished property or 10% if it is furnished.
Signing your contract
When you have decided on your home and agreed the rental amount, you can sign your contract – but of course, make sure you read it through first. It is likely to be a standard document but this way, you will understand your responsibility as a tenant and any costs you may be liable for. Usually, maintenance is included but it also outlines any penalties you could incur in the event of damage to the unit or general wear and tear, along with early termination of the contract.
Once you have your tenancy contract in place you will need to apply for Ejari – or your agent will on your behalf. Read our blog about Ejari to understand more how it safeguards tenants and landlords.
Ready to move?
Moving in is the exciting, but tiring bit! You might like to arrange for a thorough deep cleaning of the property if you are not the first tenant to live in the unit, so you can arrange this once you have the keys and then you can set your moving day.
If you’re moving from another home, you’ll need to book a moving company to pack, transport and unpack your furniture – but do check with your agent or landlord to see if you need to apply to the community management for a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) and if there are certain times/days to avoid for your move.
Then it just remains with us to wish the best in your new home and happiness over the year ahead!