Buying a home or a property in Abu Dhabi can be a very complicated and expensive process. Because of this, most expats choose to rent an apartment instead. When renting an apartment, there are rules and policies that an expat must abide by. However, he or she does also own rights that a landlord must respect in return.
In some cases when both parties can’t seem to agree to terms a compromise is necessary. But it pays to be well-acquainted with laws pertaining to renting apartments.
Some of the rights that an expat may exercise in terms of renting an apartment in Abu Dhabi include the following:
- Changes in the unit occupied. Minor changes such as hanging curtains, painting of the walls, or decorating can be done without the landlord or landlady’s consent. However, once an expat decides to vacate the property, he or she has to remove all decorations and return the unit to its original condition.
- Rent. An expat’s rental does not always have to be paid on an installment basis. The payment terms can be determined in the agreement or contract made and signed by both parties. When paying the rent, an expat is entitled to receive (a.) a copy of the landlord or landlady’s passport or trade license (in case of renting from a company), (b.) a copy of property ownership papers such as sales and acquisition agreement, (c.) clearance of utilities such as water, electricity, district cooling, gas, and so on, (d.) payment acknowledgement or receipt from the landlord or landlady, and (e.) a good and operational property.
- Paying rent in installment basis. The payment terms can be discussed by the expat and the landlord. The payment can be spread out from one to four installments, depending upon the agreement between the two parties. However, in newly developed areas such as Al Reem, Al Raha and Al Reef, most landlords accept a maximum of two installments.
- Cleaning of the unit. The expat has the right to receive the property or unit in good state. However, there is no rule that tackles on the cleaning of the property. But, an expat need not worry because owners are likely going clean the property before handing it over to a new occupant.
- Changing the contract. Once both parties have already signed the contract, changes cannot be made anymore. Thus, a landlord or landlady cannot create modifications midway. He or she has to wait until the contract is due for renewal for any alteration. Amendments must be written in black-and-white and a copy of it must be handed over to the tenant 2 months prior the contract’s expiry.
- Breach of Contract or Disputes. When disputes arise between tenants and landlords, the purview of the Abu Dhabi Law is in charge to settle the argument. A rent dispute settlement committee is established under the guidance of the prime minister, his minister of presidential affairs, and the chairman of the Judicial Department. The committee created is then tasked to resolve the dispute between the two parties.