Understanding your tenancy contract

Be sure to understand every aspect mentioned before signing on the dotted lineImage Credit: Supplied

If you are living in the UAE, then chances are that your tenancy contract is a very valuable document in your life. The contract, which is renewable annually, is one of your evidences of residence.

All tenancy contracts in Dubai need to be registered via Ejari, which is an online registration system instituted by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA). In Abu Dhabi, tenancy contracts have to be registered via the Tawtheeq system. These systems help consolidate the process in a legal bracket and reduce any disagreements that may take place between the landlord and the tenant.

The Ejari system is now linked to the immigration server for additional and secure verification about the occupant. Documents needed to register a tenancy contract on Ejari are copies of the tenant’s passport, UAE visa, Emirates ID, original tenancy contract, recent DEWA bill and a copy of the title deed.

In Dubai, a landlord is required by law to give a 90-day notice to his tenant if he is planning to increase the rent, which has to be as per RERA’s rental index. In Abu Dhabi, there used to be a rent cap of 5% which was removed in 2013, leaving many tenants at the mercy of their landlords.

The tenancy contract basically states the terms and conditions under which your home has been leased to you. It especially contains important information regarding the rent amount. It also has the official name and address of your home.

In the UAE, the laws entail that at the end of the tenancy contract, the home needs to be handed over in the same condition as it was in the beginning. The security deposit, an amount that is equivalent to 5% of the annual rent, is charged as a guarantee towards the condition of the accommodation at the end of the tenancy contract. The deposit is only refundable if the landlord accepts in the beginning that it is. Ideally, the landlord has two months to return the deposit from the time the tenant has vacated the property.

Therefore, before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to understand each and every aspect of the contract clearly and do not hesitate to ask questions.

Handy Hints:

* All tenancy contracts in Dubai must be registered via RERA’s Ejari system

* In Abu Dhabi, tenancy contracts are registered through the Tawtheeq system

* The two systems help reduce disagreements between landlords and tenants

Source: Urmila Santosh, Special to Properties

The writer is a freelancer

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