Renting an apartment in Dubai: Now that you have touched down in Dubai, acquired an Emirates ID, and landed a good job, the next thing you ought to do is rent an apartment to make it a home. It isn’t as easy as it may sound.

As you embark on your journey to call this extraordinary place your home, you’re about to unlock a world of opportunities and experiences. But before you start living your Dubai dream, there’s a crucial step you need to master: find a suitable place to rent!

Dubai is a city like no other, where the skyline is constantly evolving, and lifestyles are as diverse as the people who call it home. Whether you’re a newcomer seeking your first residence or a seasoned resident looking to switch locations, this guide will be your key to understanding everything you need to know about renting an apartment in Dubai.

From navigating the bustling real estate market to understanding the intricacies of tenancy laws, we’ll demystify the process, so you can make informed decisions and secure the perfect place to live.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the real estate jargon, frequently asked questions, hidden costs, and legal considerations. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be armed with the knowledge and confidence needed to find the ideal apartment to rent in Dubai that suits your lifestyle and budget.

You might also like to read: Best Real Estate Investment in Dubai with AED 500

Renting an Apartment in Dubai: A Quick Guide to Finding a Better Home 

Scrolling and navigating through classifieds for renting an apartment seems fun until some jargon puts you off track. There is a lot to filter and scrutinize when finding a suitable place to rent in the metropolis.

Then comes dealing and interacting with real estate agents. Roaming from one corner of the city to the other may be another uphill battle. Understanding DEWA bills, Tawtheeq contracts, and negotiating agent fees may also add to the stress.

But take a sigh of relief, as you are now at the right place to find everything you need to know about renting an apartment in Dubai. Our quick and comprehensive guide will answer all the questions boggling your mind to simplify the house hunt process.

Now enough of the talking and let’s get straight to the details.

Renting in Dubai: Understanding the Jargon

Here is a list of some important terms that you must know and understand when navigating through real estate classifieds in the UAE.

  • Chiller Free

In UAE real estate classifieds, “chiller free” refers to a rental property where the cooling or air conditioning costs, often referred to as “chiller fees” or “district cooling charges,” are included in the rent.

When an apartment or property is advertised as “chiller-free,” it means that the landlord or property owner covers the cost of cooling the unit, and the tenant is not responsible for paying separate utility bills related to air conditioning.

  • DEWA

DEWA stands for the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. It is a government-owned utility company responsible for providing electricity and water services to the residents and businesses in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

DEWA plays a critical role in ensuring the reliable supply of electricity and water throughout the emirate of Dubai. The authority also offers online services for customers to pay bills, monitor their consumption, and access various other utilities-related services.

  • Ejari

In Dubai, Ejari is an online registration system that is used to officially register and regulate rental/tenancy contracts for residential and commercial properties.

The term “Ejari” is derived from the Arabic word for “my rent,” and the system was introduced to enhance transparency and protect the rights of both landlords and tenants in the emirate.

  • Maid’s Room

In Dubai real estate, a “maid’s room” refers to a small, separate living space or quarters within a residential property, typically designed to accommodate domestic workers such as maids, nannies, or other household staff.

When you are looking to rent an apartment in Dubai, you may find adverts for properties that include a maid room. It may be an added benefit as your live-in domestic staff would have a separate place to reside in the house.

  • Payment in Multiple Cheques

In Dubai, when you hear the term “multiple cheques” in the context of rent payments, it refers to a payment arrangement where the tenant divides the annual rent into several post-dated checks, typically in equal installments, to be provided to the landlord.

This practice is commonly used in the UAE’s rental market and offers a certain level of flexibility for tenants who may find it more convenient to manage their finances this way.

Let’s say you are renting a property in Dubai, and the annual rent is, for example, AED 100,000. Instead of paying the entire amount upfront, you and the landlord may agree to split it into multiple cheques.

  • One Cheque Payment

“one-cheque payment” refers to a rental payment arrangement in which the tenant pays the entire annual rent for the property in a single lump-sum payment, typically at the beginning of the lease term.

  • Post Dated Cheques

When a tenant and landlord agree on the terms of a lease, including the rent amount and the duration of the lease, they often discuss the payment schedule. If post-dated checks are agreed upon, the tenant will typically write and provide a series of checks to the landlord.

These checks represent the agreed-upon rental payments for a specific period, typically covering the entire lease term.

  • RERA

RERA stands for the “Real Estate Regulatory Authority” in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. RERA is a government entity established to regulate and oversee the real estate sector in Dubai. It plays a vital role in ensuring transparency, fairness, and the protection of the rights of both property buyers and tenants in the emirate.

RERA’s responsibilities extend to various aspects of the real estate industry, including rental agreements and disputes.

Things to Expect When Viewing a Property to Rent in Dubai

If you are a first-timer in Dubai, things may be a bit different when it comes to real estate etiquette. Here are some things that you can expect when viewing properties with real estate agents for renting an apartment in Dubai.

  • Is it OK to schedule a meetup over WhatsApp chat?

Yes, totally. It’s quite common for real estate agents in Dubai to chat with potential customers over WhatsApp. They might send you pictures and videos of multiple properties so that you may shortlist some to view in person.

  • Why do real estate agents ask for a copy of Emirates ID from customers?

Real estate agents in Dubai request Emirates ID copies from customers to verify their identity, comply with regulatory requirements, and maintain accurate records for transactions.

It helps prevent fraud, ensures transparency, and facilitates the rental or purchase process by local laws. It’s a common practice and you shouldn’t be afraid of handing over a copy of your ID.

  • Why do some agents ask if a customer has a checkbook when renting an apartment in Dubai?

Agents often ask if customers have a checkbook because it is a common method for paying rent or property-related expenses. Having a checkbook simplifies financial transactions, especially for post-dated checks, which are commonly used for rent payments in Dubai.

  • Is it a norm that agents are often not present at the time of viewing a property?

In Dubai, it is not uncommon for estate agents to arrange property viewings without personally attending them. Instead, they may provide you with the necessary information, access instructions, and contact details of the property owner or a representative who will show you the property.

This practice is common in the real estate market, and it allows agents to efficiently manage multiple property showings. However, it’s essential to communicate with the agent to ensure you have all the details you need for a successful viewing and to address any questions or concerns you may have about the property.

  • Is it normal to view a property on my own without anyone being present at the place?

In Dubai, it is not uncommon for tenants or prospective buyers to let themselves into a property for a viewing, especially when dealing with individual property owners or landlords.

Real estate agents or property management companies may provide you with access instructions, such as the location of the key, key code, or access card, allowing you to enter the property independently.

  • Some agents ask to decide on the spot and do not give enough time to make a decision. Is it right?

Properties available for rent in Dubai are gone within the blink of an eye. You may sometimes have to act fast to secure yourself a good apartment. It is not uncommon for estate agents to encourage prospective tenants or buyers to decide on the spot, but it’s important to remember that you should never feel pressured into making a quick decision about renting or buying a property.

While agents may highlight the urgency to secure a property due to market demand, it’s essential to take your time and consider your options carefully when renting an apartment in Dubai.

Renting an Apartment: Uncovering Hidden Charges and Costs

When you view an advert for an apartment available for rent, the total amount shown often does not include the hidden charges. To budget effectively, here is a list of costs, bills, and payments that you would have to pay additionally along with the rent displayed on an advert.

  • Agent Fees: Agents charge around 2 to 5 percent of the total rent amount as a commission.
  • Security Deposit: 5 percent of the total rent amount is charged as a security deposit for an unfurnished property. For a furnished apartment in Dubai, you will have to pay 10% of the rent as a security deposit.
  • DEWA Connection Fee: AED 2,000 per apartment is charged along with AED 110 as a connection fee. For villas, you would have to pay AED 4,000 as DEWA security plus AED 330 for connection fees.
  • Ejari Registration Fees: AED 110 if you choose to pay the fees online and AED 215 if paid via the typing center.
  • Housing Fees/Municipality Tax: As a tenant, you have to pay 5% of the total rent split over a period of 12 months as housing fees.

Renting an Apartment in Dubai: Utility Bills Payment

You must have already looked into the overall cost of living in the Emirate of Dubai. However, people often forget about the cost of utility bills when budgeting for rental costs. Here is a list of essential utility bills that you would have to pay when renting an apartment in Dubai.

  • DEWA bills (water and electricity)
  • Chiller Fees (air conditioning)
  • Internet, TV, and landline connection fees
  • Gas bills
  • Parking fees

Some Important Tips When Renting an Apartment in Dubai

When renting an apartment in Dubai, it’s crucial to:

  • Budget Wisely: Consider all costs, including rent, security deposit, agency fees, utilities, and maintenance, to create a comprehensive budget.
  • Choose the Right Location: Prioritize proximity to work, schools, and amenities to reduce commute times and enhance convenience. In case you are wondering, here is a list of the best places to find cheap apartments for rent in Dubai
  • Understand the Lease: Carefully read and understand your tenancy contract, paying attention to terms, responsibilities, and renewal conditions. Some landlords may increase the rent after one year, but there is a cap on how much they can increase the rent annually.
  • Inspect Thoroughly: Before moving in, inspect the apartment for any damages, and document them in writing and with photos to avoid disputes when moving out.
  • Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with Dubai’s tenancy laws and regulations to protect your rights as a tenant.
  • Negotiate Terms: Don’t hesitate to negotiate rent, lease duration, and other terms to ensure a fair deal that meets your needs.
  • Maintain Records: Keep copies of all documents, including rent receipts and correspondence, for reference and dispute resolution.
  • Ask Questions: Seek clarification from the landlord or agent on any uncertainties and communicate openly throughout the rental process to avoid misunderstandings.

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