The tenancy contract checklist: 10 things you must do

Ask the landlord for proof of payment on all service charges and utilities


Before you get too carried away celebrating your new digs, there are some important things to consider before signing on the dotted line. Documents, regulations and that first big rent cheque can be daunting but arming yourself with information before signing any contracts can give you confidence on the moving day — and beyond.

The essential 10:

1. Make sure your property is a Verified Listing on Propertyfinder. A Verified Listing has the seal of approval that the listing is authentic and available to rent in Dubai.

2. Guarantee the landlord is actually the owner of the property. Ask to check the name on the title deed and double check if it is the same as the one mentioned on their passport. Remember, subletting can only happen with the consent of the landlord.

3. Ask the landlord for proof of payment on all service charges and utilities. This is essential to avoid random knocks on your door for outstanding bills.

4. Look up your real estate agency on RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Agency). Stay safe and make sure the agency you are dealing with is licensed.

5. Request a copy of your broker’s RERA card. Show them you’ve done your homework on the laws and regulations around renting.

6. Go see the property in person. Schedule a visit to the property with the landlord and ensure the condition of the property is as requested. We live in the digital age, so photos can be downloaded, photoshopped, or just from better days for your new potential home.

7. Make sure the landlord is signing the contract themselves. Don’t take any excuses, even if you have to reschedule a new date to sign the documents together. By UAE law, the tenant and landlord are the most important signatures on the contract.

8. Read the terms mentioned in the contract and make sure it mentions that the landlord is responsible for any major repairs. As per the law, the landlord is responsible for the Real Property maintenance works and for repairing any defect or damage that may affect the Tenant’s intended use of the Real Property, except where agreed otherwise by the parties. (Article 16 of Law No. 26 of 2007 Regulating the Relationship between Landlords and Tenants in the Emirate of Dubai)

9. Do not pay the agency any fees until you have been handed the key. As tempting as it is to get all the boring payments out of the way, do not rush.

10. Make sure receipts of cheques are provided. Any money that has been paid by yourself or those involved in your move should be documented properly to avoid finger-pointing in the wrong direction.

View thousands of properties for rent in Dubai.

Now that you’re prepared to sign a tenancy contract, check these helpful guides for communities in Dubai to choose your home. 

This Blog is made available for educational purposes only, in addition to providing you with general information and a general understanding of its content, including referenced laws and regulations, and not to provide specific legal advice. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent advice from a licensed professional.