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How do I find a home in Dubai, where do I begin?

At Essence of Arabia Real Estate LLC we understand the hassles and headaches of relocating to a foreign country. We have global experience, with property professionals who have worked all over the world. From America and the UK, our property knowledge extends across Europe, through the UAE (Dubai and surrounding areas) and includes a wealth in the London and UK markets.

We pride ourselves on customer service and understand that unreliable property "professionals" do not help at the somewhat stressful and difficult time of relocation. Our team is focused on providing a very high level of customer service and has been especially selected in order to work to this ethos. In our experience there are many questions that all clients have in common, to make your leasing experience easier and before you proceed you need to ensure that you hold a residence visa, or at least that your visa is in process and your company can confirm this. Also you need to have a local bank account or means that allow you to pay your deposit, annual rent, agency fees and utility connection fees.

Once I've found a home I like how do I secure it?

You will need to pay a security deposit.

How much is the deposit?

The security deposit will be a minimum of AED 5,000 for apartments but is normally 5% of the yearly rental amount. Please take a look at the RERA Guidelines.

Is my Deposit refundable?

This security deposit is refundable at the end of the tenancy, providing the terms and conditions in the contract have been met. Prior to signing the contract, however if you pay your deposit to hold a property then decide you no longer want it, the amount is generally non-refundable. To ensure that this doesn't happen, prior to taking the deposit, Essence of Arabia Real Estate LLC will write a letter of intent / booking form, which is given to both tenant and landlord and is signed by both parties. This letter will highlight your intention to take the property, outline the payment plan and break down other necessary information.

What's the next step?

The next step would be to pay the annual rent. In Dubai most landlords expect payment for their property one year in advance; we at Essence of Arabia Real Estate LLC realise that to some individuals this is quite difficult; we therefore work hard in order to get a payment schedule that both Landlord and Tenant are happy with.

Do I sign an agreement with the Landlord?

After outlining payments details in the 'letter of intent' Essence of Arabia Real Estate LLC will draw up a 'tenancy contact' between yourself and the landlord, this contract is directed by the municipality and is derived from the UAE Law No. 26, 2007 issued by Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum. It is here stated that a 'lease agreement/tenancy contact' should be written, signed by tenant and landlord, describing the property details, include the purpose of tenancy, state the name of landlord and tenant. Period of tenancy, rental value method of payment and finally the contract must be registered with RERA.

How long can I lease the property for?

The length of time that a property can be leased for is totally up to the agreement between the Tenant and the Landlord; however the standard contract is a one year renewable tenancy. On the other hand, there are short term rentals from weeks to months and also contracts for 5-10 years (this would normally be a company let where an entire building or a large villa is taken on by the company for staff usage).

What is the process of leasing the property in my name?

You will require the following documents - Passport Copy, Visa Copy (or a letter of intent from your company confirming that your visa is in process) and of course the rental payment (normally in the form of a cheque).

What is the process of leasing a property in the name of my company?

You will require the following documents - Company License copy, Visa and Passport copy of the person signing the lease on behalf of the company.

Who pays the agency commission fee to Essence of Arabia Real Estate LLC and how much is it?

The agency fees are paid by the tenant and should always be a standard charge of 5% of the annual rent

What other payments am I responsible for as a tenant?

The tenant is responsible for all utilities, such as Water, Electric, Phone and Internet Services and of course TV subscriptions. In some developments i.e. palm Jumeirah the tenant is responsible for chiller consumption and gas consumption charges.

How do I connect my utilities?

Water and Electricity are standard connections and can be done at either the DEWA offices around Dubai or of course online. Air-conditioning/ chiller charges differ between developers and have specified connection offices around Dubai.

If I have a maintenance issue who do I contact?

Your normal first port of call would be the Landlord as he/ she would be responsible, however should you be in an apartment block then you will no doubt have a company such as Edima / Nakheel, which the Landlord pays a fee to, that would help you in the first instance.

Am I allowed to put up pictures and hang paintings in my leased property?

You are of course allowed to do this, however it is always better to get the Landlords written permission beforehand.

Will the property be cleaned before I move in?

The property should be cleaned and completely habitable before you move in. Your agent should make sure that the Landlord has done this or that you know it is to be your responsibility.

Is it necessary to take out personal home insurance?

It is wise to insure your own belongings as normally the Landlords insurance would only cover any damage done to the property and not the non-fixed property within it.

We highly recommend that you insure your personal belongings against theft and fire.

What happens at the end of my years lease?

Three months before your lease end date, you should contact your Landlord if you wish to stay on and agree the terms of the extension. Again this is normally year on year.

What happens if I need to break the lease agreement?

You will need to inform the Landlord in writing if you need to break the lease early and this is always best mediated between the Landlord and Tenant.

My lease is only for one year, if I wish to stay can the landlord increase my rent?

Depending on the contract signed at the beginning of your lease, you should be able to renew the lease with no hassle whatsoever; however the Landlord would not be allowed to enforce a rental increase.

What is RERA?

Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) is a government agency that has its own financial and administrative independence with full legal authority to regulate the real estate sector in Dubai. It was launched on the 31st of July 2007 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister Ruler of Dubai, as a part of the Dubai land department

How will issues of Rent be handled by the agency?

The agency will regulate the relationship between landlords and tenants via registering all the types of rental contracts. For this purpose a comprehensive database for the rental sector in Dubai has been set and registrations for trade rentals will commence from the beginning of 2008.

What will be the relationship between the agency and the rental committee?

The rental committee will continue its work as usual. However, the agency will provide standard rental contracts, endorsing all kinds of rental agreements, establishment of the rental sector database, conducting research and studies for the sector.

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