How to Rent an Apartment in Dubai – Legal issues
In Dubai the rental contracts are for a fixed term of one year from the start date.There is a legal requirement that obligates the landlord to offer the same terms the following year, however this is superceded by the actual terms on the contract, so read read them carefully.
- It is legally impossible to rent a long term apartment without a valid residence visa. However the banks will allow you to open an account with a letter from your company stating that the visa is under process. This is somewhat a grey area, as DEWA will also accept this. If for any reason your visa does not happen you will forfeit any legal right to money spent on rent for the apartment.
- Many landlords will only accept payment in one to four cheques. These cheques are payable at the start of the contract and in the event that you have agreed to pay in more than one, the others are post dated. This is very important as the cheques are more than just a method of payment in Dubai, they are a legally enforced bond, and there can be serious consequences if you don’t cover the funds.
- Generally there is a period of notice at the end of a contract, within which you tell the landlord whether or not you are staying. If you fail to give notice, then legally you are bound to renew on the same terms. This is really important as you don’t want to be bound into two contracts if you have found a new place.
- Only make cheques payable to the registered owner. The only way of checking the owner is to see the title deed, or the sales contract. Either of these are valid proof. You may also make payment to a power of Attorney (poa). In this instance it is wise to have the POA document checked. There are commonly in Arabic, and will sometimes be dated and should always have the court stamps and stickers attached. If its a copy and you have doubts,then ask to see the original.