Life Admin, Living

Ready to rent or buy a property in Dubai? Here’s what paperwork you need


Ready to rent?

You’ll need a residence visa to rent a long-term apartment, and most landlords will accept payment in 1-4 post-dated cheques. You can try and negotiate the number of cheques you will pay, however the rental price may increase with the number of deposits.

If you’ve used an estate agent to find your apartment or villa, make sure they’re officially registered with RERA. You’ll need to pay them 5% of the total lease amount or AED 5,000, whichever amount is higher for which they’ll arrange all the paper work and draw up the contract. The tenant will also have to provide a maintenance deposit which is refundable, and is usually 5% of the total rent amount.

Before moving in, make sure there are no outstanding service fees or back-dated DEWA fees – once you’ve signed the rental agreement it can be difficult to get the owners to pay the outstanding debts.

Ensure that there is a title deed on the property and that the name on the title deed and the tenancy contract are the same – cheques should be made out to the property owner and not a third party. Maintenance should be included in your contract – usually the tenant pays for minor upkeep, with the landlord taking care of major maintenance.

Ready to buy?

If you’re buying a property, you’ll need to be over 21 years old. Extra costs on top of the sale price could total an extra 10% of the property’s value – you’ll need to pay agent fees of 2% of the sale, 4% of the property value to the Dubai Land Department alongside bank charges, valuation and surveyor fees. You’ll also need to cover registration fees between AED 2,000-4,000 plus your mortgage fee costs.

Once you’ve had an offer accepted, you’ll need to provide your passport copy to the agent along with a 10% booking deposit which is held by the real estate company and should not be deposited.

When the buyer and seller are ready, your agent will help you apply for the NOC at the developer’s office. The NOC ensures that the property is fully paid for, that it is not under any mortgage, and that all the maintenance fees have been cleared.

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