KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: how to make sure your new apartment is safe to rent

You have finally found that dream apartment after numerous months of searching and viewing, and you can’t wait anymore to move in. Unfortunately, there is still a thing or two that might keep you from the big move. Here are some tips to help you guarantee that your brand-new property is nothing but safe to move into.

We offer you some advice on things you need to look out for, as well as safety measures you need to take before signing a contract with your landlord.

Contract

contract

  • Make sure that maintenance is included in the contract agreement. The tenant usually pays for minor maintenance while the landlord takes care of major issues.
  • Your contract should grant you a few days after the move to report any maintenance issues with your AC or water pipes. The landlord will be responsible for fixing those.
  • If your contract is in Arabic, ask for it to be legally translated to avoid any misunderstandings. 
  • Remember, the law doesn’t protect the ignorant!

Condition

EMPTRY APARTMENT

  • The landlord is obliged by law to hand over each property in perfect working order, unless the contract states otherwise (we can’t stress enough the importance of checking all clauses, before proceeding with signing).
  • A tenant is advised to check and double-check the physical state of the property – make sure there are no exposed cables and wires, check under the sink in the kitchen and bathrooms for any possible leakages, and check the doors and windows for any cracks. 
  • Remember, electricity and water is only connected after the lease is signed, which means that the power, air conditioning and plumbing might not be in working condition during the viewings.
  • As a new tenant, you should make sure that the previous tenants’ DEWA bills have already been paid before signing the contract. 

Maintenance

plumber

  • The landlord is obligated to pay for all major maintenance work that might be required. (Major maintenance is described as maintenance of the structure of the property, such as the one that has to do with drainage, plumbing, pumping equipment, boiler, sanitation and electrical installations, A/C)
  • The tenant might be responsible for minor maintenance work, especially if the issue arises after the tenant has moved in. However, if the minor maintenance work reoccurs often, you are advised to speak to the landlord and ask for a compensation or for him to be responsible moving forward.

For more information on your rights as a tenant or an owner in the UAE, check out our Tips & Advice section.