There are many renting options for expatriate residents in the UAE.
You can search for available accommodation using local newspapers and magazines, or through registered real estate brokers (agents) or through private property websites. You can also find properties rented directly from the owner.
Rent rates depends on the location and size of the property to be rented. Tenants can pay the rent in one payment or through multiple payments as agreed with the broker/landlord.
In addition, some brokers may require a commission fee, up to 5 per cent of the total amount of rent.
To conclude a lease contract with the landlord and/or real estate agent, the tenant must provide identification documents which include a copy of his passport, a valid residence visa and Emirates ID, in addition to post-dated cheques covering payments for the agreed lease period.
Lease agreements between landlords and tenants must be registered by the respective authority in each emirate. Registration of lease contracts is compulsory to connect the utility services needed for the rented property. This includes water, electricity and gas and telecommunications services.
In Abu Dhabi, landlords have to register lease contract in the Tawtheeq system, which is the city’s register for tenancy contracts. Once the lease contract has been registered, a housing fee of 3 per cent of the value of the annual rent will be levied equally across 12 months. This amount will be added to the monthly water and electricity bill of the tenant.
In Dubai, landlords must register lease agreements with RERA's online portal, Ejari. Tenants must pay housing fees to Dubai Municipality, which is calculated at the rate of 5 per cent of the yearly rental charges. The housing fees are added to the monthly electricity and water bills.
As per local Law No. 43 of 2013 of Dubai, rental increases in the emirate can be applied when compared with the average rent in the area as per RERA increase calculator.
In Sharjah, lease contracts are registered with Sharjah Municipality.
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For any rental disputes between the landlord and the tenant contact:
In other emirates, refer to the local municipality.