TIPS FOR LAND­LORDS AND RENTERS

HE­LEN MARTIN, se­nior part­ner at Crompton Part­ners in Abu Dhabi, re­veals how to make rent­ing in the cap­i­tal easy

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Choose a pro­fes­sional and reg­is­tered es­tate agency and/or agent to man­age the rent­ing of your apart­ment of villa. Avoid flood­ing the mar­ket with ad­verts from mul­ti­ple agents as this will give po­ten­tial ten­ants a false im­pres­sion that there are more prop­er­ties avail­able.

When al­low­ing agents and po­ten­tial ten­ants view­ings of your prop­erty, make sure the apart­ment is clean, eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble and you of­fer to clean it be­fore your ten­ants to move in.

Give the ten­ant the op­tion to pay in mul­ti­ple cheques. Not all res­i­dents have hous­ing al­lowances from their com­pa­nies, so find­ing 12 months’ rent in one go can be very tough for some peo­ple.

Make sure you of­fer a 24-hour main­te­nance com­pany that re­sponds well and gets things fixed. Any elec­tri­cal, me­chan­i­cal, struc­tural or plumb­ing is­sues are down to the land­lord.

Of­fer a break of lease. By law, there’s no break of lease so if you pay Dh­s120k for the year, and then move out early, the land­lord can keep the money. Most ten­ants would like one, for peace of mind (al­though most won’t use it). We sug­gest a one-month no­tice pe­riod, and a two-month penalty, and that penalty is ef­fec­tive from the day you give the keys back. You can ask for that to be writ­ten into con­tracts and that’s fair for the land­lord, it gives them two months to rent it out again.

Find a pro­fes­sional agent or com­pany, reg­is­tered with Abu Dhabi Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, to source and ar­range view­ings for you. Prop­erty is very rarely ex­clu­sive to one agent so stick to one agent and ask them to find op­tions even if it means they deal with the other agents on your be­half. The com­mis­sion will al­ways be set at five per cent.

Pay at­ten­tion to prop­erty web­site list­ings. Prop­erty Finder in the UAE has a sys­tem where an agent can get a list­ing ad­ver­tised as ver­i­fied, mean­ing de­tails such as price and size are ac­cu­rate. That’s bet­ter than click­ing on ad­verts that are mis­lead­ing, or the pic­tures are wrong and show the wrong size apart­ment.

Make sure the prop­erty you’re rent­ing is legal and has a Tawtheeq. If it doesn’t have one, it means that the owner hasn’t reg­is­tered the prop­erty with Abu Dhabi Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, which means it’s il­le­gally sub­let or it’s a split villa. By law, the wa­ter and elec­tric­ity bills will be in your name – and that’s how you get fam­ily visas. And your com­pany will ex­pect you to have a Tawtheeq.

Check the main­te­nance con­tract, so if some­thing hap­pens you’re not li­able for fix­ing a bro­ken AC unit.

Leave the apart­ment as you found it – when you leave, you can choose to paint and fix every­thing your­self, or you can leave it to the owner to do it, but then they choose who they use, and he or she might choose some­one ex­pen­sive and they’ll take that money out of your deposit. If you do it your­self and the owner says the work isn’t good enough, he’ll do it and then pay for it out of your deposit. Or ask the owner how they would like you to leave it, so you get your deposit back.

If you’re look­ing for a new home, don’t start search­ing too early. Land­lords want you to start a con­tract two weeks af­ter you’ve seen it and made an of­fer. They don’t want to lose money and they don’t want you to book some­thing two months in ad­vance and then have it sit empty.

Ask the agent for an of­fer let­ter once you’ve cho­sen a prop­erty. Make sure it has a start date, pay­ments and who they are to, the state of the apart­ment will be in when handed over, and the main­te­nance con­tract. Once

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