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A UAE real estate recovery could see your landlord get tough

Dubai Marina

It seems like it’s over before it had even begun – the downward trend seen in UAE rental prices is set to be reversed this year, with landlords returning to their old ways.

That’s according to a new report from Propertyfinder.ae, anyway. The company recently surveyed nearly 24,500 apartments and villas advertised for rent on its portal, looking into how many cheques landlords expect their tenants to pay rent in.

The report found that, with industry experts predicting a recovery of the real estate market in the UAE, landlords could begin to ask for fewer cheques for rent payments this year. This follows reports that, over the past year, tenants have been able to demand payments in larger numbers of cheques in return for accepting similar rental prices.

“The current market has seen some power return to tenants – they can start to dictate more favourable terms and the amount of cheques is often one of those negotiation points,” said Lukman Hajje, CCO of Propertyfinder Group.

Indeed, according to Propertyfinder’s survey, only one in six rental listings actually specify the number of cheques required for a rental contract. Of those, more listings (1,842) specify a preference for four cheques than any others. Just 925 demanded one cheque, while 1,052 ask for rent to be paid in two cheques.

By the same token, landlords haven’t gotten too generous with the way they want to receive rent payments – only 140 listings advertised on Propertyfinder said that rent could be paid monthly – as is usual in most other countries around the world.

Indeed, according to Propertyfinder, few tenants ask to pay for rent in more than four cheques – with quarterly rent payments sort of becoming the industry norm. Still, if the rental market picks up this year, the warning is that landlords could demand that rents are paid in one or two cheques going forward.

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