Read This Before Signing a Tenancy Contract


August 29, 2018

Negotiating and signing a tenancy contract is often a rushed, last-minute process in Dubai. Before creating an agreement with new tenants, there are certain things that you should definitely check. It will help determine who you are letting into your property and avoid any future disappointments.

1. Reasons for moving

family unpacking moving boxes

Did they change jobs or job location? Do they need a larger space? Are they downsizing for cost-saving reasons? Did they have a bad relationship with the previous landlord? Probe until you get to the bottom of the real reasons. Listen carefully and try to pinpoint any red flags.

2. The intended use of the apartment

Is the person you are negotiating with the one moving in or is it someone else? Are they going to use it for accommodation only? Do they intend to have other uses? Are they planning to sublet a room or the whole apartment?

The tenancy contract should explicitly state the intended use. This is often overlooked, but very important. Specify whether the tenant can sublet the property to third parties or for services like Airbnb. As a landlord, if you find out that the tenant is using your apartment contrary to the terms, then you can evict them.

3. The intended duration of stay

When a tenant leaves, the apartment may remain vacant for some time. There might be some things to fix to make it liveable again. The cost of the repairs may be more than the deposit covers. If you do not live in Dubai, you may have to pay someone to take care of the new lease process. All of these situations translate into a loss of income.

Sometimes it is hard for a tenant in Dubai to accurately predict how long they will be staying. However, it is always good to try and understand their intentions and whether they plan to move out after one year. Especially for the sake of the tenancy agreement. A tenant that plans to stay in your apartment for multiple years is considered more valuable than a tenant staying for one year. Be sure to discuss these intentions before committing to a particular tenant.

4. The number of people

Due to high rental costs, it is not unusual in Dubai for multiple people to share an apartment, even if they are not family. More people in an apartment means more wear-and-tear. This may increase your apartment upkeep costs. When multiple people are sharing a property, they could get into arguments which might lead to early termination of the lease.

One option is to adjust the rent to the number of people that will be staying. A second option is to restrict the number of tenants to a specific number and state it in the tenancy contract.

5. Pets

dog and cat playing in grass

Pets are fantastic companions, but they can also cause unnecessary damage to an apartment. Most buildings in Dubai have a specific pet policy. Even if the building does allow pets, you should still dive into the details with your tenant. Make sure your tenancy contract is clear, so no confusion arises later.

Is the interested tenant planning to have a pet? What kind of pet exactly? How do they plan on looking after the pet? Who will take care of the pet if they are away?

6. Inventory or snag list

Before signing the tenancy contract, create a list of possible issues. Also, a detailed inventory of the furniture and equipment inside of it. Take a quick tour (with or without the tenant) to establish the condition of the property. Record everything you see. Both parties should date and sign the list. As an extra measure, it might be a good idea to take photos and keep a copy with dates.

This is a checklist of any faults the apartment has. As the landlord, you will not be unfairly charging the tenant for already existing damage. As for the tenants, it ensures that they don’t claim any old issues as new ones.

7. Credit and background check

Although slightly uncommon in Dubai, you can always request a credit and background check for the tenant. Since new work visa issuance rules require all applicants to get a good conduct certificate, this has become easier. It can be obtained outside of the country or inside, depending on how long you have stayed. You can also request that the prospective tenant speak to their previous landlord and ask for references.

In the UAE, the tenant must consent to a background and credit check. Otherwise, it’s illegal to do so without their approval.

In conclusion

To reduce the turnaround time, most landlords in Dubai skip a large part of the tenant candidate review process. They seem to forget that it can be costly, hectic, and time-consuming to get a new tenant in. So, we highly advise you to take some time to review your potential tenants in order to select the right one.

If you would like to avoid the entire process and maximize income, consider renting your property to Blueground. We are an award-winning company that leases hundreds of properties around the world. The property owners we work with are considered as valuable partners. Discover a professional organization that will be your perfect tenant. Blueground handles tenant screening without you having to worry about a thing.


United Arab Emirates