When their contracts are up for renewal, tenants can look around for better deals in Dubai’s burgeoning real estate market. While Ejari contracts have made landlords and renters’ life simpler, securing a complete security deposit recovery in Dubai can be difficult at times. When tenants move, they are entitled to a refund of their security deposit from the landlord. In most situations, this occurs without incident. However, there may be deductions for which the tenant is unprepared. Let’s take a closer look at what tenants may do to avoid unpleasant shocks.
Consider the situation in light of the legal context. According to the Dubai Rental Law,
“When entering into a lease contract, the landlord may obtain a security deposit from the tenant to ensure the maintenance of the property upon the expiry of the lease contract, provided that the landlord undertakes to refund such deposit or the remainder thereof to the tenant upon the end of the lease contract.”
This specific stipulation has three important components:
- The landlord may request a security deposit from the tenant at the start of the rental contract if they so choose (which is typically the case).
- The security deposit is for ‘end-of-lease repair’ caused by wear and tear on the property while the tenant occupied it.
- When the tenant vacates the property, the landlord MUST restore the security deposit in full or what is left after deductions.
In most cases, the landlord receives a security deposit cheque from the tenant to cover any property damage. When the tenant vacates the rental property, the cost of wear and tear is removed from the security deposit.
While the law in Dubai outlines the purpose and treatment of security deposits, it does not specify:
- Allowable landlord deduction.
- What is commonly considered property damage or wear and tear
- What percentage of wear and tear or property damage should be deducted
Because the law makes no provisions for calculating the overall cost of damage or wear and tear, the amount kept is completely at the landlord’s discretion. And, in some cases, these deductions are exorbitant in comparison to the security deposit reimbursement the tenant gets in Dubai.
However, receiving a full security deposit return in Dubai is still achievable as long as the tenant exercises care and protects themselves by following some basic instructions.
Follow these easy ways to receive your whole security deposit (or at least the most of it) returned from the landlord in Dubai, whether you’re renting long-term or short-term.
CAREFULLY READ YOUR TENANCY CONTRACT.
As a general rule, landlords must restore the whole security deposit if tenants quit the premises in good condition according to the contract. As a result, it is critical to properly study the tenancy contract in Dubai. The agreement covers particular facts (if not all) connected to rental security deposit claims, in addition to describing each party’s rights and duties.
To summarize, your best chance for not losing your security deposit is to:
- Before signing the rental a contract, carefully read everything.
- If any of the security deposit conditions or clauses are confusing, seek clarification.
- Inquire with the landlord about what means “wear and tear.”
- Before moving in, inspect the property and notify the landlord of any damage or broken items.
- When you renew your lease contract in Dubai, be sure the conditions remain the same.
- Before making any changes to the property, seek permission.
- Before you leave, attempt to repair any damage that may have occurred during your tenancy.
GET A “CHECK-IN” AND “CHECK-OUT” REPORT EVERY TIME.
Check-in and check-out reports are another important step that even the most popular real estate agents in Dubai swear by. These reports feature photographs of the property’s condition before and after the tenant moves in and out.
These reports are best completed in the presence of the tenant, with the proof present. It is considerably simpler to identify any differences in the property’s condition and the level of damage and wear and tear. In Dubai, if the wear and tear is small, the tenant receives a full security deposit a refund.
If disputes remain about the request for a return of the security deposit cheque, the tenant should formally submit or register a complaint with the Dubai Rental Dispute Centre at the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA). RDC is the judicial arm of the Dubai Land Department, which uses flexible processes to handle rental disputes in the emirate and other real estate-related concerns.
Tenants can file a complaint for a charge of 3.5% of the yearly rent (minimum AED 500, maximum AED 20k). There is also an administrative fee of AED 320. The Arbitration Department will make every effort to provide a ruling within 15 days. If it does not work, a lawsuit will be provided. A decision has a maximum time frame of 30 days.
However, if you need to get your security deposit returned from the landlord fast, this may not be the greatest option. If a solution can be reached through negotiations, it will save time and visits to the courts.
TIPS FOR RECEIVING THE SECURITY DEPOSIT FROM THE LANDLORD
While due diligence is always recommended, following recommendations might help you improve your case when demanding a full security deposit refund in Dubai.
WALL REPAIR AND REPAINT
While fair wear and tear is allowed, why give the landlord the opportunity to remove money from your security deposit do? Make it a practice to return the walls to their original state after you leave the property. Before returning the keys to the landlord, always refinish them and fix any damage – drill holes, scuff marks, and so on. This applies to tenants residing in both apartments for rent in Dubai and villas for rent in Dubai.
ALL PROPERTY-RELATED EXPENSES SHOULD BE RECORDED.
Keep track of the following from the day you move into your Dubai rental home:
- You pay for property repairs.
- Personal expenses related to the property.
- Everything you do to have the house in decent shape before you leave.
This will allow you to effectively argue your case when requesting a security deposit return from your landlord in Dubai.
CLEAR YOUR BILLS
Please do not leave past-due invoices for the landlord, since this may result in additional charges. To enhance your chances to get a full security deposit payment cheque from the landlord, make sure you pay off all your dues (telephone, electricity, etc.) before quitting the property.
REMOVE THE FURNITURE
If you rented an unfurnished property, do not leave any furniture behind when you move. Any fees required in removing the furniture will be taken from your security deposit, which you do not want!
KEY TRANSFER TO RERA
If you believe your landlord will not restore your security deposit, you can give over the keys to RERA on the moving out date. The company can keep them for you until you pay.
When renting property in Dubai, you should be aware of your renters’ rights. The landlord is responsible for some of these rights. When it comes to the property, the landlord must ensure that the tenant thoroughly inspects the property and the tenancy agreement for the following issues.
THE PROPERTY SHOULD BE CLEAN.
The property must be neat and prepared for the new tenant to move in. Before handing over the house to the renter, the landlord must ensure that it is in excellent shape and livable.
A COMFORTABLE LIVING SPACE
The landlord has to ensure that the property they are handing over is secure. This involves properly locking windows and doors, as well as any fire or other alarms required for safe living. Additionally, the property should be outfitted with necessities (functioning bathrooms, sufficient kitchen).
When renting a house in Dubai, one of the most crucial factors to consider is maintenance and who is accountable for it. Ideally, the landlord should cover all maintenance charges in exceed of AED 500. Furthermore, the landlord should bear all major maintenance expenditures such as plumbing, electricity, and air conditioning, and none of them should be removed from your security deposit payment. However, the tenant is responsible for minor wear and tear.
Keep in mind these recommendations and criteria for getting your rental security deposit back from your landlord in Dubai. You won’t lose your security deposit return in Dubai if you play your cards well.
HOW TO PROCEED IF THE LANDLORD IN DUBAI DOES NOT RETURN THE DEPOSIT?
Previously said, tenants can file a rental dispute in Dubai to address a variety of rental difficulties, including security deposit a return in Dubai.
Call 800-4488 if you have any questions about security deposit refunds.
WHAT CAN THE LANDLORD DO WITH THE SECURITY DEPOSIT?
The security deposit is held for property maintenance after the leasing agreement is terminated.
IS THE LANDLORD ENTITLED TO KEEP THE SECURITY DEPOSIT EVEN IF THE TENANT IS EVICTED?
No, the security deposit is not meant to be kept by the landlord. In Dubai, the security deposit must be returned to the tenant once the tenancy agreement expires, either in whole or whatever portion remains after maintenance.
To summarize, it is always beneficial to have a positive landlord-tenant relationship. Maintain friendly, honest, and professional relations. Maintain good communication and keep track of your payment schedules. This can help ensure you get your security deposit got back from the landlord.