In the last year, Dubai has become particularly attractive for expats, freelancers and digital nomads. Today the Emirate is one of the best places in the world not only for short- but also long-term residence. How can a foreigner rent real estate in Dubai, what status should he have and what documents will be required for this? We will answer these questions below.
- Who has the right to rent a house in Dubai?
- Number of tenants at check-in
- Nuances in drawing up a lease agreement
- Contract registration in Ejari
- Rent payment
- Connection of utilities
- Tenant's rights during eviction
Who has the right to rent a house in Dubai?
Long-term rental (more than 1 year) is available only to persons who have the status of a resident in the UAE. Without an Emirates ID (resident card), it is impossible to open a bank account, which is necessary for concluding a lease agreement. Applicants over the age of 18 or 21 can open a personal account, depending on the requirements of a particular bank. Thus, in order to rent a house, you must have the status of a resident. If you are in the process of receiving it, you will need to document it.
Number of tenants at check-in
When renting a property, keep in mind that certain rules apply in Dubai. So, more than 3 people cannot live in a studio, no more than 5 in a 1-bedroom apartment, and a maximum of 7 in a 2-bedroom apartment.
Nuances in drawing up a lease agreement
Find a real estate agent or broker. Please note: this specialist must be registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Real Estate Regulatory Agency, or RERA). Ask him to show his ID – only after that you can start cooperation.
The lease agreement can be either fixed or for short-term accommodation. In a fixed contract, they indicate what rights and obligations the parties are endowed with. This is a legally binding document with prescribed conditions in case of premature eviction, with the lease term and the date of payment.
A flexible payment schedule is often prescribed in a short-term lease agreement. The tenant can contribute funds every day, every week and every month by agreement of the parties.
Both the lessor and the lessee have the right to apply to RERA if the other party has violated the provisions of the contract. As a tenant, you can protect your rights if, for example, proper maintenance is not carried out in the apartment. Before contacting the competent authority, make sure that all utilities are paid, and there are no debts for them, and all communications are in good order, as when you check in.
Contract registration in Ejari
All legal real estate lease agreements are registered in Ejari. After this procedure, the lessor has no right to change the conditions. Only an agent can register by filling out a form on the Ejari website online or through any printing center approved by DLD. In the latter case, you must personally provide all the documents:
- Lease agreement (original);
- Passport (copies) – yours and the owner of the property;
- Emirates owner ID (copy).
Online contract registration costs AED 172 ($47), with a visit to the office AED 220 ($60).
Also, when entering many residential complexes in Dubai, you must first obtain a settlement permit. It is better to clarify this question directly with your agent.
Upon check-in, you need to pay rent for a year in advance along with a security deposit, which is usually 5% of the total cost. After all payments, the owner will give you the keys, codes, cards and everything else that may be required to access the apartment. The owner will also provide copies of the property documents. They are necessary to connect utilities, Internet and telephone.
Keep in mind that the owner of the property cannot increase the rental price for 2 years. If, however, the requested amount increases, it must correspond to the RERA rates – the Agency sets the average cost of renting housing, taking into account the area and location. The lessor has no right to significantly exceed this norm.
Connection of utilities
In this case, the tenant must apply for the connection of electricity and water supply (DEWA). The real estate agent, in turn, is obliged to check whether there are any debts from previous tenants. You can apply online. To do this, you will need the following:
- Ejari Number
- Passport number
- Emirates ID
A deposit of AED 2,000 ($545) is required if you rent an apartment, and AED 4,000 ($1000) for villas in Dubai. This money will be returned to you later. To activate the counters, you will need to pay AED 110 and AED 300 ($30 and $82 respectively). Another AED 30 ($8) will be paid for registration and innovation fee.
Tenant's rights during eviction
The landlord cannot evict you before the deadline specified in the contract. According to the law, he must notify about the relevant intentions no later than 12 months in advance. If the owner asks you to move out earlier, then he must have legal grounds for this. Valid reasons include the following:
- Intention to sell or demolish the property;
- Carry out major repairs;
- The need to settle next of kin.
Nevertheless, any argument must be notarized and documented.
Renting apartments in Dubai is generally a simple procedure. But it requires enough attention to detail on the part of the tenant. Summarizing the above, we note that, first of all, it is important to make sure that all communications work properly and there are no debts from previous tenants. When signing the contract, you should read everything that is indicated in small print, and make sure that all the conditions in the document are clearly stipulated. Registration of your agent in RERA is mandatory. These are the key points, based on which you can easily rent a house in the sunny emirate.
You can always consult with our experts on the purchase of real estate in Dubai on flexible terms. Write to us in an online chat, and experts will tell you everything about investing and buying housing in the UAE.