Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Most landlords want a quiet life and to just receive rent, but would not hesitate to eject unreasonable tenants. Rich-Joseph Facun / The National
Most landlords want a quiet life and to just receive rent, but would not hesitate to eject unreasonable tenants. Rich-Joseph Facun / The National

What makes a good landlord-tenant relationship in the UAE?

Communication is key, as well as openness and honesty, to having a good relationship with your landlord.

Mario, what makes a good tenant? I like my apartment and wish to stay on good terms with the landlord. What are some great things tenants have done, in your experience, and what are some awful things? And what are some of the great/bad landlord things you have heard of? JB, Fujairah

What a good question.

In my column I sometimes write about advice in resolving issues due to, in the main, unreasonable behaviour on the part of either the landlord or tenant, or both. Sadly what cannot be relied upon is the reaction by people when situations arise. Their reactions/behaviour is what causes the breakdown between the parties. Common sense should prevail, but unfortunately that is not always the case.

Some tips on what makes a good tenant could be as follows.

Remaining on good terms is all about building relations and writing from experience, I can say that this is what all tenants should try to do.

Communication is the key to this so keep it cordial and invite the landlord round for a coffee and a chat if they are in the area. This shows the landlord that you are looking after his property and promotes an open relationship. During the downturn many landlords accepted multiple cheques to try and help tenants, but now that the market has picked up (if the tenant is able) it would be good if the favour can be returned by paying in fewer cheques.

Most landlords want a quiet life, to just receive the rent and get on with their lives and business. So in order not to disturb your landlord unnecessarily, make sure there are clear guidelines as to the maintenance agreement. It is normal for minor maintenance (under Dh500) to be the responsibility of the tenant, whereas major maintenance is the responsibility of the landlord. I have heard instances when tenants turn to their landlord for guidance and reimbursement when light bulbs need to be replaced. If there are major issues to be resolved, look to agree a strategy for payment.

Treat the property as if it is your own but always seek permission for internal decorations or improvements, even down to asking the landlord if he minds you putting up pictures etc. This shows the landlord that the tenant has respect for his wishes.

On the other side there are many ways an owner could become a great landlord. One way that would receive great respect from the tenant would be if the landlord addressed any maintenance issues quickly, especially if the tenant has initially paid for work and is expecting reimbursement. Being flexible, especially on the number of cheques the landlord is prepared to accept, would be a great help to any tenant. Some of the negatives I have heard from the landlord’s side would be ignoring pertinent requests from the tenant, especially on the subject of maintenance. Being aggressive and unreasonable would be another bad trait, but I guess this could also be aimed at some tenants.

The key to all of this would be to treat everybody with respect and to keep communications open. The majority of tenancies go well, and as long as both landlords and tenants abide by the rules then everybody should be happy.

Mario Volpi is the managing director of Prestige Real Estate in Dubai and has worked in the property industry in London and Dubai for the past 29 years. Send any questions to mario@prestigedubai.com

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 Three generations of the Hakimi family tend to their stall Crawford Market in Mumbai. Subhash Sharma for The National

In pictures: Shopper’s delight at Crawford Market in Mumbai

Crawford Market is an old British-style covered market dealing in just about every kind of fresh food and domestic animal imaginable. Later on renamed Mahatma Jotirao Phule, the market remains popular among locals and visitors by its old name, taken from Arthur Crawford who was the first municipal commissioner of the city.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National