x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Q&A: Property agents help maximise investments

The basics all landlords need to know, from long-distance management and what to do in case of damage to the property.

Ryan Mahoney, Better Homes chief executive officer, explains the basics of being a landlord:

What are landlords required to do for tenants?

It depends on what the tenancy agreement says, but generally landlords should provide the premises to tenants in good condition and are responsible for the major maintenance of the property. In addition, they must rectify any defects or faults that affect the tenant's right of occupation.

How much assistance does the investor receive from the property agent?

A property agent will assist an investor in pricing the property through a comparative market analysis. They market the property and source potential buyers, which may include marketing on websites, in newspapers, through flyers and HTMLs (hypertext markup language; these are sent via e-mail), open houses and signage. They will assist the investor throughout the process up until the transfer of the property at the Lands Department.

How will the property be managed if the landlord lives overseas? Can property firms such as Better Homes, offer management services?

Sure. We manage properties for thousands of landlords.

What rights does a landlord have if, for instance, their property is damaged by a tenant or the tenant leaves before the contract expires?

The rights of a landlord vary and depend on the tenancy contract. If the property is damaged by the tenant and the deposit held by the landlord is not enough to cover the cost of fixing the property, then the landlord usually has the right to demand that the tenant pays the additional cost. As far as leaving before the end of the lease term, some tenancy contracts require the tenant to pay the rent until a new tenant is found, with a refund given to the tenant on a pro-rata basis. More commonly in this market, a tenant will simply have to pay a penalty to leave the contract and this is usually one or two months' rent. Some tenancy contracts do not even cover this and in such cases, both the tenant and the landlord would have to reach an amicable agreement or go to the rent committee if no agreement can be reached.

fglover@thenational.ae