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9 Legal Checklist To Rent A House

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Excitement and apprehension – these are felt by both landlord and tenant when it comes to renting a house.  All property agents in Dubai will advise that awareness of rules and regulations is essential by both parties.  Given below are some of the important legal issues that should be complied with.


Documentation:  Quoting from a professional, “Ejari Registration is mandatory – the system is in place to make sure all private rental contracts are drafted into legally binding documents and structured in the government-approved format.”  

The basic documents required for the tenancy agreement are:

  • Passport copy
  • Residence Visa copy
  • Emirates ID copy
  • Confirmation of payment of security deposit.

Any additional documents for Ejari registration, such as the Title Deed, DEWA premises number and registration fee can be clarified with the broker.


Agent or broker:  The best professional advice can be given by a broker registered with RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Agency) and the international RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors).  Ensure that your broker is both and provides a copy of his ID cards.  The brokerage commission should be discussed in advance.


Security:  Both landlord and tenant want stability and transparency.  In-person interviews if possible should be conducted.

For the landlord to choose the right tenant, the following should be verified:

  • Employment status with copy of salary certificate
  • Background check on conduct of tenant with previous landlords  (can be checked on the RGC (Rental Good Conduct) Certificate services with the RDC (Rental Disputes Centre)
  • Credit status and any criminal record
  • Number of occupants
  • Presence of pets, if allowed
  • Dietary preferences. 

The tenant should also do a background check on the landlord.

  • Ensure that the property is a Verified Listing, to prove that it is authentic and available
  • The landlord is the actual owner of the property.  
  • The name on the tenancy agreement and in his passport should be the same.  Subletting can occur only with the landlord’s permission.
  • Interact with neighbours (especially if in a group of apartments owned by the same landlord) to find out details about the landlord and facilities offered.
  • Try to contact previous tenants and assess their relationship with the landlord. 


Maintenance responsibilities:

These details should be discussed and clarified. Both landlord and tenant should be aware of each one’s responsibility towards the maintenance, repairs and upkeep of the property.


Personal viewing:  Modern technology has led to digital viewing of properties, which may not present an authentic picture.  It is best to  survey the property in person.


Allowables:  The following issues should be clarified:

  • Parking facility – free or chargeable?
  • Restrictions on late entry?
  • Any policy on guests?
  • RWA (Residents’ Welfare Association) fee?


Lock-in period and rent increase:  These should be discussed and mutually agreed to.  Notice period and any adjustment against repayment of security deposit should also be discussed. These details must be entered in the tenancy agreement.


Payments:   Receipts of all relevant payments should be kept on record.  

  • Those by the landlord for utilities and service charges.
  • Those by the tenant for deposit, rent, maintenance and other charges.


Terms of contract:  All relevant details should be covered in the agreement, so that transparency is guaranteed and all important factors are recorded.  Make sure that the landlord signs the contract himself.  If unavailable, a registered Power of Attorney can sign on his behalf. A copy of the valid POA with a passport copy of the POA holder will be required. 


Conclusion:  The goal of the landlord is to obtain a good tenant and earn a profitable ROI (return on investment).  The wish of the tenant is to find an understanding landlord and live in a comfortable home without problems.  By following the above guidelines, both targets can be achieved.



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