Since 2014, DEWA has doubled its security deposit to 2,000AED for apartments (from 1,000AED) and 4,000AED for villas (from 2,000AED) in order to cover the costs of unpaid bills from previous tenants who vacate the property. However, it is still relatively common for tenants to vacate the property without finalizing their outstanding DEWA bill, which results into the next tenant being unable to connect their electricity before the bill is paid in full. propertyfinder examines the issue and finds the best possible way to deal with an outstanding DEWA bill from a previous tenant.
Who should pay the outstanding bill?
The previous tenant should have paid the outstanding DEWA bill before leaving, and the landlord should have checked the payment receipts before returning the securing deposit to the tenant. However, if the tenant failed to pay and the landlord did not go through the trouble of verifying the payment, it is the landlord’s responsibility to cover all outstanding charges before handing over the property to a new tenant.
Under no circumstances is the new tenant obligated to pay the previous DEWA bill.
In the case of chiller services
In some cases, especially if the new tenant moves into the property during the cooler months, he/she does not notice that the chiller bill has not been paid and gets surprised when he is unable to use his cooling system once the weather gets hotter.
What can be done in the future?
- We always urge home seekers to meet with the landlord before signing any cheques or contracts.
- All new tenants should ask for proof that all the outstanding bills have been paid to make sure that they would not face any trouble connecting any utilities once they are handed the property.
- If the tenant discovers that they are unable to connect their new units to either DEWA or the Internet, they should immediately inform the landlord and ask them to pay any outstanding bills.
Worst case scenario
if the landlord refuses to pay the outstanding payments for DEWA or Internet providers upon signing the tenancy contract and being handed over the access keys, the tenant should file a complaint with the Dubai Land Department.