UAE Renters’ Guide: A Comprehensive Checklist for Tenants

Last Updated on July 9, 2024 by Vadim


Moving to the UAE can be an exciting experience, but it can also be overwhelming, especially when it comes to finding the perfect apartment. As a tenant, it’s essential to know your rights and responsibilities to avoid any potential issues. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the entire process of renting an apartment in the UAE, from house-hunting to contract renewal.

House-Hunting in the UAE

When searching for an apartment, it’s crucial to work with a registered real estate agent and verify their licence number. You can check the agent’s licence online or ask them to provide it. Additionally, make sure to enquire about any pet-friendly buildings and their respective rules.

Budget and Costs

Before signing a lease, you’ll need to consider the initial payments and security deposits. These typically include:

  • Annual rent
  • Security deposit (5% of the rent)
  • Lease registration fees (e.g., Ejari in Dubai or Tawtheeq in Abu Dhabi)
  • Electricity and water connection deposits

Understanding Your Contract

Your tenancy contract outlines your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Make sure to read it thoroughly and keep a copy safely at home. The contract should include information on:

  • Maintenance responsibilities
  • Utilities and chiller fees
  • Lease term and renewal process
  • Notice period for rent increase or termination

What Does the Rent Include?

Your rent typically includes:

  • Use of the apartment
  • Maintenance costs (unless specified otherwise)
  • District cooling services (if promoted as ‘chiller free’)

Facilities and Amenities

Under Dubai’s rental law, the rent includes access to amenities like swimming pools, playgrounds, and gymnasiums, unless otherwise agreed upon. Always check your contract to confirm which facilities you’re entitled to use.

Subletting and Lease Terms

You can sublet your apartment, but you need your landlord’s written consent and must not make any changes to the apartment without their permission. The typical lease term is one year, and you should be aware of the notice period required for rent increase or termination.

Rent Increase and Notice Period

In Dubai, rent increases are regulated, and you can refer to the rental index to determine the expected increase. Your landlord must provide at least three months’ notice before the rent is due to expire.

Contract Renewal and Termination

To renew your contract, follow the steps outlined in your tenancy agreement. If you want to terminate your contract, review the clauses for early termination or non-renewal and serve the required notice period.

Key Takeaways

  • Verify your real estate agent’s licence number
  • Read your tenancy contract thoroughly
  • Understand your budget and costs
  • Know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant
  • Be aware of the notice period for rent increase or termination
  • Review your contract for subletting and lease terms

Further Reading

If you’re navigating the housing market in the UAE, particularly in Dubai, it’s essential to stay informed about various aspects of renting. From understanding security deposits to checking your landlord’s rental track record, being well-prepared can save you time, money, and stress. Below are some key resources to help you make informed decisions and ensure a smooth renting experience.

  1. Renting a Home in Dubai: Understanding Security Deposits
  2. How to Check Your Landlord’s Rental Track Record
  3. Finding the Best Rental Deals Online in Dubai
  4. Understanding Your Rental Contract in the UAE
  5. Download EJARI Certificate and Check Tenancy Contract Online in Dubai
  6. Who Pays for Ejari Renewal in Dubai: Tenant or Landlord?
  7. How to Raise a Complaint with a District Cooling Company in Dubai
  8. Can a Landlord Increase Rent Without 90-Day Notice in Dubai?
  9. Subletting in Dubai: Understanding the Rules and Regulations
  10. Dubai Rent Security Deposits: How Much and Can You Negotiate?