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FAQ on Leasing a Property in Dubai

Where do I begin?
A: Choosing a reputable agency such as House Hunters is your first step towards finding your ideal home in Dubai. Our very experienced team of agents not only has access to the latest listings of both new and available properties but will guide you step by step through the various processes. Before proceeding you must ensure you hold aresidence visa or at least have a letter from your employer saying that your visa is being processed.Also you must open a local bank account to enable you to write deposit and rent cheques, pay DEWA deposit and agency fees.
Q: How do I secure a property?
A: By paying the security deposit

Q: How much is a security deposit?
A: It can be anything from AED5000 upwards. This security deposit is refundable at the end of the tenancy agreement in accordance with the terms and conditions of the tenancy contract.

Q. Is my security deposit non-refundable?
A: Yes and for this reason House Hunters will write a “Letter of Intent” which is sent to both the landlord and tenant before the security deposit is accepted. When both parties agree to the terms of the contract the agent will then hand over the security deposit to the landlord so the property is off the market and secured for you.

Q. How do I pay the rent, is it in monthly installments?
A: No, it is paid in full, in advance, by 1 cheque. Sometimes, the Landlord will agree to 2 cheques or on very rare occasions 3.

Q: What is a Tenancy Contract?
A: It is the agreement which your property consultant will draw up between yourself and the landlord, it normally lasts for one year, it can sometimes be two years. House Hunters will issue a “Letter of Intent “which will cover all that has been discussed and clearly explain the terms of the contract.

Q: How do I lease a property in my own name?

A: You will need to provide copies of the following documents for both the landlord and the property consultant to complete this process.
• Passport
• Residency visa
• Security deposit
• Rent cheque (cheques) in advance in the name of the landlord for the duration of the lease
• Commission or Agency fees payable to House Hunters Real Estate

Q: How do I lease through the name of the company I work for?

A: You will need to provide copies of the following documents for both the landlord and the property consultant to complete this process
• Copy of the company’s trade license
• Copy of the tenant’s passport and residence visa page
• Security deposit
• Rent cheque(s) in advance in the name of the landlord for the duration of the lease
• Commission or Agency fees payable to House Hunters Real Estate

Q: Who pays the commission and agency fee to House Hunters?
A: In Dubai, the fee is paid by the tenant only.

Q: What is the commission when I lease through House Hunters?
A: All reputable agencies charge 5% of the annual rent.

Q: Does the tenant pay any maintenance charges?
A: No the maintenance of the property is the landlord’s responsibility, a clause stipulating this should be written into the contract.

Q: How do I connect electricity and water?

A: House Hunters will arrange this service for you for a fee of AED  200 otherwise your employer may take care of it for you. This can be done by visiting any DEWA branch.

Q: What about Municipality taxes?
A: It is normally 5% of the annual rent and is shown separately on your DEWA bill.

Q: Are there any extra fees to be paid for compounds with facilities?
A: No it is all included in the annual rent.

Q: If maintenance problems occur, should I contact the agent or the landlord?
A: After receiving the keys of the property from the agent, you should report any maintenance problems to the landlord or a representative of the landlord. Contact numbers are shown on your contract.

Q: Is the tenant allowed to alter the structure of the property?
A: The tenant is not allowed to make changes without written permission from the landlord. This may include painting. Always check with your landlord if you are unsure.

Q: Will the Landlord provide curtains or white goods?
A: Normally no, we can negotiate with the landlord on your behalf.

Q: If I’m renting a new villa, will the landlord install the garden?
A: It depends on each individual landlord, House Hunters can negotiate directly with the landlord on your behalf.

Q: If I lease a villa with a private pool and garden who maintains both?
A: The tenant is responsible for the day to day maintenance of both the garden and the pool unless otherwise stated in your tenancy contract.

Q: Will the landlord clean the villa prior to the handover?
A: Not all landlords agree to clean their properties to the standard that we would like, however, we can recommend a professional cleaning service should you need one.

Q: Is it necessary to take out Home Insurance?
A: It is highly recommended that you insure the contents against theft and fire damage. Also it is worthwhile checking that the building is insured. House Hunters can recommend a reputable firm to do this for you.

Q: How many days notice should I give my landlord if I wish to vacate?
A: 60 days notice is required in writing before the end of the contract.

Q: What happens if I need to break the lease agreement?
A: Inform your property consultant and they will discuss the options available to you.

Q: Can the landlord increase the rent, next year?
A: According to the latest decree issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum on January 1st 2007, the rent cannot be increased beyond 7% of the annual rent, this applies to all contracts renewed in 2007 on the condition that no increase was made on thatparticular property in 2006 and there will be no increase on properties signed in 2006
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Q: Can my landlord ask me to leave after one year even though I have spent money on curtains and the new garden ?
A: The tenant is very much favored here in Dubai and a landlord will find it very, difficult to ask you to leave after one year. You may also contact the Rental Committee at Dubai Municipality.

Happy House Hunting!
Debbie Cope
Managing Partner

House Hunters Real Estate LLC, PO Box 46883, Tel: +971 4 4522007, Dubai RERA Registration No 294
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