We sums up everything a Dubai newbie needs to know about renting a property.
Type of rent
Most properties are rented on fixed-term contracts, meaning that both the landlord and the tenant sign a mutual contract that states the rules and responsibilities to be carried out by both parties. The term of the lease is typically yearly and states that the landlord cannot vacate the tenant, unless there has been a direct violation of the terms, as well as the fact that the tenant is able to terminate the contract, possibly after the deposition of a specific fee.
In order to be able to rent an apartment on a fixed-term contract, one must have a valid residence visa. This is why newcomers choose short term rentals over long-term ones until all their documents are sorted. Others prefer short term rentals (such as serviced apartments) because they don’t want to have a long-term commitment with the landlord.
Unlike most cities in the world, landlords rarely accept monthly rent payments and instead demand rent to be paid in cheques; either in a single cheque or in 2-4 cheques.
This provides landlords with the security that the tenant will not leave after a short period of time, and will follow the rules stated in the contract.
Additionally, there are other costs to be considered such as the security deposit – which is usually 5 percent of the annual rent, as well as the agent’s fee, its which is usually a fixed fee from AED 2000 – 3000.
Recently, landlords have been demanding to be paid upfront in one cheque. In order to encourage tenants to agree to pay a lump sum right away, property rental rates vary, depending on the number of cheques paid.
Note that the cheque will be dated as the day the tenant is handed the access keys, and the landlord will probably cash the cheque on the same day.
Not everyone has an entire year’s rent available at their disposal; this is why they usually request to pay the year’s rent in multiple cheque payments. As mentioned above, paying in multiple cheques often means paying more, but it does help tenants avoid bank loans.
Don’t expect multiple cheque payments to get you out of your yearly commitment, as the landlord will receive the cheques on the day he/she hands over the property and will cash the cheques on the stated dates even if you have decided to leave. A bounced cheque can land the issuer in jail.