It might lack the pizazz of Dubai, but the fact remains that Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and the second most populous city in the Emirates. Several major embassies and oil corporations have their headquarters here. Lush green boulevards, opulent shopping malls, verdant green parks, and sophisticated high-rise building define the capital city. With a population of around 2.7 million people, there is no dearth of choice in the rental market; in fact, Abu Dhabi is witnessing rapid growth in the real estate sector as more developers are entering the market. Properties to meet all pockets are available here, but all tenants must be aware of the criteria involved in renting a property in Abu Dhabi.
The tenancy law in Abu Dhabi
The basic framework of the tenancy law was stated in Law No. 20 of 2006 which has since undergone several amendments keeping in tune with the changing market scenario. The bill ensures that the interests of both parties are protected. It primarily deals with rental prices and eviction policies. Your agent will be able to give you in detail information on this subject before you sign the rental agreement.
Costs to take into account when renting
When you rent a property with the help of a real estate agent, you must pay 5% of the rental to the agent fee for services provided. The other costs to consider are:
- Fees involved for setting a contract
- Security deposit to confirm your interest which again is around 5% of the total rent
- Opening accounts for utilities like electricity and water.
Guidelines for renting property in Abu Dhabi
To begin with, it is essential that you familiarize yourself with the various areas in the city – proximity to schools, hospitals, shopping malls, parks, etc. You can either search for Property for rent in Abu Dhabi or reach out to an authorized real estate agent to help you in the process. Remember rentals differ based on the location, the area, the floor (higher floors are often more expensive) and the amenities available in the condominium or the villa. The rentals have fallen in the second quarter of 2018 in Abu Dhabi, and now there is scope for tenants to negotiate with their owners to lower their rents, but they should initiate it at least three months before their lease expires.
- Occupancy rules: It is paramount that you understand the occupancy rules before renting a property in Abu Dhabi or you will end be violating rules and face serious consequences. In Abu Dhabi the law states that each occupant in the property must be allotted a minimum of 14 sqm; that is to say that you can rent a feature based on your family size. You cannot share your residential unit with anyone other than your family. The halls and corridors in a group cannot be used as bedrooms. As a rule, only three individuals can share a room; of course, this excludes the children and the housemaids.
- Rent is paid annually: You are expected to pay the full year rent in a single cheque; some landlords might agree for two cheques, but that is rare and depends entirely on the landlord. Once a tenant and the landlord agree on the terms and conditions, they must sign a contract, and the tenant must hand over the cheque and date it at least two days before moving in. This is to safeguard the landlord’s interest as he can ascertain that the cheque is encashed before handing over the keys.
- Documents needed: Along with your security deposit you have to present copies of your passport, UAE residency, and the Emirates ID. In case you haven’t received your ID card you can block the property with your passport copy, but the deal will only be finalized once you submit all the required documents.
- Tawtheeq: According to the Abu Dhabi executive council all landlords must register a new tenancy contract with the Abu Dhabi Municipality via an electronic system called Tawtheeq. Here the authorities keep a record of all tenancy agreements and other related data to a rented property. The contract must be in English and Arabic. So, it is your responsibility to ask the owner to show you the registration certification before moving in.
- Rental price increase: A landlord can increase the rentals based on the market price giving the tenant just two months prior notice; but thankfully, the increase has been capped at 5%. In the same vein, a landlord can choose not to renew a tenancy or make certain amendments to it by giving a two-month notice to the tenant. The landlord is under no compulsion to explain the reason for not renewing a contract or for eviction. From the tenant’s end, a two month notice period is mandatory should you choose not to renew a contract. In case you end a deal early, you will have to pay the penalty. The dispute resolution committee can be approached should a dispute arise between the two parties.