2017 UAE Real Estate Trends: Maintaining and Maximising Your Investment

This article was originally published in propertyfinder Trends Report 2017 – click here to read online (Adobe Flash required) or click here to download PDF instead. To request a printed Report, please email us on marketing@propertyfinder.ae

Effective property management is a convenient and cost saving solution for property owners. It is a beginning- to-end hassle-free service that looks after property, owners, tenants, tenancy contracts and maintenance repairs. There are many factors to consider in order to maximise the revenue potential and maintain the investment of any property.

The benefits of a reputable and reliable property management company can be vast. If you wish to generate revenue from your investment, your ultimate goal would be to find suitable tenants as quickly as possible for the right rental amount.

A priority for busy property owners is the convenience of the service to assist with tenant enquiries and receive timely notifications of tenancy requirements. To avoid any periods of vacancy, it is very important to have the confidence your property will be exposed effectively in the market to reach a wide audience of potential tenants.

Many tenants prefer renting a property that is managed, as they know that the property is better cared for, with regular inspections and a maintenance contract. Tenants also have access to immediate contact through the managing agent rather than direct contact with the landlord, who can often be living overseas and/or less contactable.

This point of contact for both landlords and tenants provides a convenient service that removes the time and stress involved for homeowners. There are many laws and regulations in Dubai regarding the leasing of properties. In the event of any leasing dispute, legal costs can be substantial and an effective property management company should offer background knowledge and experience to assist towards a quicker solution. Owners need professional and transparent advice and need to be kept informed of landlord rights and any amendments to the relevant laws, especially in an ever expanding and developing market such as Dubai.

Property management companies can also assist with third-party payments which offers overseas owners an effective solution to onshore banking requirements. On-time payment of maintenance services can be vital for non-local owners. Equally as important are ongoing inspections and care of your property. Property inspections are generally conducted on a quarterly basis for those occupied by long- term tenants. This will provide owners with assurance that the terms and conditions of the contract are being abided by and tenants are maintaining the property to a satisfactory level. The knowledge, experience and contacts the property management companies possess in order to obtain the right maintenance company to service properties will save investors money in the long term.

In the event that investors cannot travel to Dubai at the time of building completion for the handover, a property management company can step in and represent them. A legalised Power of Attorney is often required if the investor cannot attend in person.
Familiarity with not only the procedure but also the standards of developers in Dubai, an experienced property management company will ensure no defective items are missed during handover inspections. Identifying faults is key, as later this can result in costly repairs once the property warranty has expired. The management company should advise on required final payments and procedures that are outlined by developers to ensure a smooth collection of keys.

Over the past 10 years, Dubai has seen a growth in property management companies. This activity is supported by a pool of international property owners who need their investment to be under the right care in their absence or simply for their own convenience.

When searching for a property management company, look for companies that have the right experience and credentials. Check the company’s business operations which includes their property portfolio (number of properties managed and in which communities), office location and working hours.

Check the experience and longevity of the property management team as this is very important to build long- term connections and have assurance of expertise and know the people you can rely on and contact. Customer feedback and testimonials always provide insight into the existing client ratings of performance and service standards and can normally be found on company’s websites.

All real estate activities in Dubai are governed by RERA and in addition to a Trade License, a RERA certificate is required. Check the activity on the Trade License as they can vary depending on the type of business. Management companies with Real Estate Supervision Activity are not entitled to receive or collect rental cheques in favour of their companies. A property management company must have the license activity of “Leasing and Management of Other People’s Property” which allows them to collect and disburse rental funds. This should be further supported with a Government capital commitment and bond of AED 5 million.

WHY CHOOSE TO HAVE YOUR PROPERTY FULLY MANAGED?

Landlord Benefits:

  • If you reside in or outside of Dubai and have a busy schedule or travel frequently, you’ll need eyes and ears on the ground in Dubai that you can count on.
  • A point of contact for the tenant for emergencies, property maintenance and all enquiries pertaining to the tenancy.
  • Local landlord representation that will act in your best interest and provide a service that will ensure landlord compliance with tenancy terms and Dubai policies.
  • To be kept up-to-date with the laws and procedures to avoid error through misunderstanding or lack of expertise.
  • To have access to established relationships with developers, owners associations, utility and Government departments and thorough knowledge of procedures Connections to professional and preferred partners that will present value-added services at the most competitive rates.
  • Assurance you are dealing with a licensed and reputable company that is regulated and compliant with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency policies and laws.
  • Thorough screening of tenants to provide full details of who will be residing in your property to present a good caliber of tenant.
  • Long term relationships with large corporations and extensive client databases who have become good tenants for landlords.
  • Priority and maximum property exposure in many marketing and advertising avenues to limit periods of vacancy.
  • Collection and disbursement of funds for landlords who do not have a local bank account or require assistance with third party payments including service charges.
  • Property inspections check your tenants are abiding by the tenancy contract, to prevent subletting, over occupancy, incorrect use of property or a threat to the safety of the property or its occupants.

Tenant Benefits:

  • Tenants like to rent property they know is being managed professionally.
  • A tenancy contract with terms that protect both landlord and tenant with tenancy contract registration with the Government Ejari System.
  • A provided on-the-ground point of contact for emergencies, property maintenance and all enquiries pertaining to the tenancy

Financial Benefits:

  • Confidence that maintenance problems are monitored and attended to and advice on any action required to prevent or avoid major maintenance issues that can be very costly.
  • Marketing of property in advance of tenants’ departure to find a suitable replacement tenant at the earliest.
  • A procedure to safeguard the landlord and ensure the property is handed back at the end of the tenancy without pending bills or outstanding debts Competitive cost for property refurbish including painting, general maintenance, pest control and cleaning through reliable maintenance team.
  • Proactive and accurate notices to be issued to the tenant to prevent situations that could result in loss of revenue or delayed recovery of property.
  • Timely issuance of renewal notices, in line with the law, to request rental increase or eviction and secure the landlord the maximum value for the property Representation at Dubai Police, Rental Dispute Centre and courts that could incur high legal costs without property management company support.
  • Tenants like to rent property they know is being managed professionally and therefore managed properties rent sooner, saving the landlord money

#PFTRENDS2017

Zarah Evans

Managing Partner, Exclusive Links