To rent an apartment in Dubai there are a few little quirks to the market that you need to go through, and one of the main ones is the cheques system. But the good news is, after a couple of years of rigidity, landlords are now back to being flexible with prospective tenants. So negotiate away!
In Dubai, the agreed yearly rental amount is paid with post-dated cheques. This means that the rent is paid in advance for the whole year. Landlords have been requiring the entire rental amount to be paid in one cheque in many areas but that seems to be changing. Now, many will allow for 2, 3, 4, 6 – or occasionally even 12 cheques (but that is rare). You can also negotiate the number of cheques you will pay, however the rental price may increase with the number of cheques.
Using an up-to-the-minute property listing site like propertytrader.ae allows you to research how many rental cheques existing tenants are paying for a certain (or similar) property. The more information you have about the situation in similar buildings the easier it will be when it comes to negotiations with a landlord about number of cheques. Do some shopping around to find examples of similar apartments being rented for more cheques, and bring this information to the table – e.g. if you discover that the apartment you want is being offered for one cheque, but others near it go for 6 cheques, you can use this knowledge as leverage.
When renting a property in Dubai ensure you are issuing cheques in the name of the unit owner only. The Dubai Land Department (DLD) has taken a tough stand and issued a warning to property management companies to not take any rental payments (cheques) in the company’s name. The move follows cases previously reported of property management companies taking rental cheques in their own name and cashing them, thus failing to pay the landlord on the due payment dates.
You must remember a cheque which is returned by the bank due to insufficient funds is classed as a ‘bounced cheque’. The account holder is deemed fully responsible for this illegal act, as it is classed in Dubai. So be very careful. Ensure you have enough money in your account to cover any cheques you may have written. Do not provide a blank cheque to anyone at any time for whatever reason, including the banks.
Once you rent an apartment in Dubai, before you hand over your cheques, make sure you have taken clear copies of them and made a log of the due dates. Bouncing a cheque in Dubai is a big no-no and will cause you to get a fine from the bank, as well as potentially legally trouble if your landlord chooses to file a complaint. Record and store all information.
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