The Life: Being a tenant in Abu Dhabi can be a daunting prospect but it is not a foregone conclusion that rents only go up, Mario Volpi advises tenants to stand their ground and negotiate.
Abu Dhabi is a tenants' market for those willing to negotiate
Being a tenant in Abu Dhabi can be a daunting prospect as there are presently no strict rules for rental increases in the emirate. Where there is a case for a genuine increase, the norm is 5 per cent upon renewal.
It is not a foregone conclusion that rents only go up - certainly this appears to be the case in Dubai at present, but not in many areas in Abu Dhabi. The capital has mirrored the property ups and downs of Dubai and continues to do so, albeit 18 to 24 months behind its neighbour.
It is always advisable to have as good a relationship as possible with your landlord, you are, after all, effectively looking after his property by living in it. Landlords can sometimes make misjudged decisions about rental values, so the key to communication is the facts.
My advice to any tenant is to arm yourself with current property information. Do your homework and have a clear understanding of the market. If after all this the landlord still wishes to increase the rent to a level you do not agree with, then it is time to look elsewhere for your next home.
The Abu Dhabi property landscape is ever changing and more properties are coming onto the market so there is a greater choice for tenants whatever their priority - price, accommodation or location.
Right now, Abu Dhabi is by and large a tenants' market. Good deals are out there to be had.
Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate should be your mantra. You will get your way - the only exception may be in Al Reef, where prices appear to be on the increase. This is mainly due to facilities, shops and communities being built up and offering a desirable lifestyle.
Yas Island is also expanding as more communities spring up and with them come malls, restaurants, facilities and hotels.
For cheaper rents, look to downtown Abu Dhabi island, where good deals are readily available. The only downside is that parking is limited.
Reem Island has plenty of inventory with many towers coming onto the market. This is likely to suppress rental prices in the short to medium terms at this location.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org