With Dubai being an international hub, renting is an important aspect which must be given careful thought and consideration to avoid any unnecessary complications or expenses.

From choosing a home to finalising the Ejari, there are a number of steps involved in the process which many may not be aware of, especially if you’re new to Dubai.

While the vibrant city has a selection of popular hotspots with upcoming locations to possibly move to, being well-equipped with the processes involved will make the entire journey quite effortless and will save you time. The steps for finalizing a home for rent include:

Shortlist a property

Depending on preferences and budget constraints, there are various websites such as bayut.com or propertyfinder.com which provide tailor-made options as per your requirements on the above. Whether you’re looking for a villa or an apartment, there are plenty of options for you to choose from including details which are broken down such as furnished or unfurnished, balcony and number of bathrooms. After shortlisting a few, based on location, amenities and finishing, you can get in touch with the listed landlord or agent for the property.

Note: agents usually charge between a two to five per cent commission if you go ahead with a property.

Schedule a visit

Once a date and time is scheduled to visit, carefully observe the neighbourhood and scan the property or arrange another visit incase any doubts still linger. Ask any questions relating to parking spots, the inclusion of facilities, plumbing and if the fixtures are in good working conditions. In case of any minor issues such as paint or slight damage ensure to have that sorted before signing the rental agreement, otherwise, later on, might be too late. As per the neighbourhood, it’s always better to ensure, it’s not noisy, is it family-friendly, is there any public transport close by and are there any construction sites nearby to be completely satisfied with everything. Ensure you also ask about bills, if there is a gas connection, if chiller (air conditioning) is included and how many cheques are expected. The number of cheques you pay in – two, four, six or 12 – can often be negotiated.


Finalise the offer

Ensure the contracts have mutual payment terms agreements is as also agreed upon by the landlord. Always make sure that the real estate is RERA-registered and ask for the broker number to be certain.

Lynette Abad, the director or research and data at Property Finder explains, “First, always make sure to work with a RERA certified agent who can help you with the process. Before moving in, you should take pictures and a video of the unit and send it to the agent and the landlord.  Also, if there is anything that needs to be repaired, write a formal email to your agent and landlord of the items asking for them to be repaired before moving in.”

Book the property

In order to reserve the house, a refundable security deposit of around five per cent of the rest will be required. As per real estate agents, the amount will be held until the deal is finalised, do ensure a receipt or proof is received when submitting the deposit cheque or cash with the documents needed for the process which include a passport copy and residence visa copy. It’s also important to take pictures of the property along with a copy of the landlord’s passport copy to retain the security deposit later.

Review the tenancy agreement and then sign

Always proofread the contract carefully to ensure they are in line with Dubai’s tenancy laws, while understanding what tenants are entitled to before agreeing upon. If any clauses wish to be added or removed, they can be done if there is a mutual agreement with the landlord. If all the terms are ok to proceed with, sign the tenancy contract after which you make sure, a copy of the contract is kept with you. If there is an agent involved, they will usually get the tenancy contract signed by the landlord and handover the cheques given by you. After which, the keys and access cards are handed over to you with acknowledgement form signed that everything has been received along with the handover contract signed.

Ejari Registration

Registering the tenancy contract with the Ejari is the responsibility of the landlord. Typically, the landlord will assign this to the real estate agent. However, in practice, the tenant will complete the process and pay the required fees.

You must be sure that all deposits, contract duration and rent amounts are clearly stated in your Ejari. You can register on Ejari here or via the Ejari app as well.

Registering your tenancy contract with Ejari will cost you Dhs220 at the typing centre. You can head to the typing centres in Al Manara Centre, Al Barsha Mall, Oud Metha, Port Saeed or Zabeel to register your Ejari. The Ejari desk is open from 8am to 8pm from Sunday to Thursday and 9am to 2pm on Saturday. During Ramadan, the Ejari desks are open from 8.30am to 4.30pm on weekdays only.

You will need to fill out a registration form when you arrive, so make sure you have your new address and tenancy contract number with you along with copies of the following documents.

The documents required to register with Ejari include:

  • Original signed tenancy contract
  • Security deposit receipt
  • Tenant’s Passport (for non-GCC countries nationals)
  • Tenant’s UAE Visa (for non-GCC countries nationals)
  • Tenant’s Emirates ID
  • Copies of the landlord’s passport (if an individual)
  • Copy of a valid power of attorney document (if the contract has been signed by a PoA). Power of attorney documents must be renewed every year to remain valid.
  • Copy of title deed of the rented property
  • 9-digit DEWA Premises Number (or copies of recent DEWA bills/Green bill accepted)
  • DEWA bill and previous Ejari if you are renewing
  • Trade license (in the case of commercial properties)

Once the registration is complete, you will receive the official Ejari contract, which includes a unique Ejari ID number. You will use this number to register for your DEWA account, which you can now conveniently do online.

Register Ejari via the mobile app

Alternatively, you can register your tenancy contract and upload your documentation using the Ejari official app on Dubai Rest application from Dubai Land Department.

Download the Dubai Rest and register with your Emirates ID, passport and visa copy. Upload documents, including tenancy contract, Emirates ID, landlord and tenant’s passport and visa copy, and title deed copy, on the app. Your landlord needs to be registered on Dubai Rest as well. Once she/he approves the documents on the app, an Ejari certificate will be issued in two working days. It costs AED 172 to register your Ejari via the app.

To use this method, your landlord must be registered on the Ejari also. Once your landlord approves the documents on the app, an Ejari certificate will be issued in two working days.

The official Ejari contract will include a unique Ejari ID number. This number is used to register for your DEWA account, which you can now conveniently complete online.

The Ejari registration can be done here.

Apply for a DEWA connection

For a new connection, the DEWA premise number, Ejari number, landlord’s passport copy, your passport copy and Emirates ID, completed DEWA form and security deposit payment are needed to finalise the connection. Once the required deposit is paid, the online payment and getaway service will be activated within 24 hours of registration and payment.

The DEWA registration can be done here.

Move-in form

Various popular communities in Dubai, primarily the projects developed by Emaar, will require a move-in permit, with the following documents such as passport copy, Emirates ID, payment completion certificate, tenancy contract copy and recent service charge receipt.

Moving in

Once the move-in permit is arranged, everything is ready for a fresh new start. From packers and movers to furniture delivery services, there are plenty of options to ease your moving process.

With regard to construction noises while moving in, Abad has also said, “This is Dubai and we are surrounded by construction. You can contact RTA or the Municipality at 800 900 to file a complaint. Construction hours are 7am to 8pm with a  decibel noise of no more than 55. Developers can apply for special permits to work in the night however the decimal noise can be no more than 45 decibels. To put this in perspective, a hairdryer is about 60 decibels.”

Top tips

  • Always check a couple of options before making a final offer, as annual contracts might make it tricky to leave later on.
  • For single-cheque arrangements, ensure your completely satisfied otherwise losses could be incurred.
  • Ensure all service charges have been settled by the landlord before you move in. Your agent should be able to check this and get it in writing.
  • A rental dispute in Dubai can always be filed in case of any inconvenience caused by the landlord.

As per any hidden costs, Property Finder’s Abad also says, “What tenants need to keep in mind is to always go through the contract and addendum well. The hidden costs are really in the addendum. For example, if repairs are needed in the home and it’s not clearly defined who pays for it, most likely it will fall on the tenant. These types of items need to be spelt out very well in the addendum.”

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Feature Image: Property Finder, Images: Unsplash, Pexels