TIPS FOR LANDLORDS AND RENTERS
HELEN MARTIN, senior partner at Crompton Partners in Abu Dhabi, reveals how to make renting in the capital easy
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