x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

My Dubai landlord wants to raise my rent. Can he?

The Life: Any increases in rent is determined by the Rera rent calculator, which can be found on the Dubai Land Department's website: dubailand.gov.ae.

I moved into a one-bedroom property in Jumeirah Village Triangle (JVT), Dubai, last September and pay Dh70,000. I have just received a letter from my landlord saying that if I plan to renew my contract, my rent will go up by Dh15,000. I've seen on Dubizzle that similar properties are currently going for Dh90,000 to Dh95,000. Does this mean that the rise is in accordance with market value and I will have to pay it, or is there a cap on how much rent can be increased within the first two years? I've tried the Rera [Real Estate Regulatory Agency] property calculator but this area isn't listed on there yet. PM, Dubai.

 

Any increases in rent is determined by the Rera rent calculator, which can be found on the Lands Department's website: dubailand.gov.ae. The current paid rent is inputted into the calculator along with information on location and size in terms of bedrooms for the property. The calculator will work out if there is any increase due for the next renewal date.The way it works is based on the average rent payable not the market rent as seen on all the popular websites. This is where there can be confusion between landlords and tenants. The Decree No. 2 of 2011 on rentals in Dubai states that increases in rent are allowed as follows:

A. There should not be any rent increase, if the rent for the real estate unit is up to 25 per cent below the average similar rent.

B. If the rent value was 26 to 35 per cent less than the average similar rent; the maximum rent increase shall be equal to 5 per cent of such value.

C. For 36 to 45 per cent less than the average, the maximum rent increase is 10 per cent

D. For 46 to 54 per cent less than the average, the maximum rent increase is 15 per cent

E. For 55 per cent less than the average, the maximum rent increase is 20 per cent

The average similar rent value of the property is based in the rent index of the emirate of Dubai applicable on the date of reviewing the tenancy contract approved by Rera, which reviews and updates the index three times a year. Currently the JVT area comes under the rent calculator area as Jumeirah Village. This area would also take in consideration Jumeirah Village Circle and Jumeirah Village South. I would imagine that all the areas within the rent calculator will be upgraded as time goes by. According to the rent calculator the average similar rent of the JVT area is between Dh80,000 and Dh90,000. Your rent of Dh70,000 is equal to or less than than 25 per cent of this average, therefore your landlord is not entitled to a rise in rent this year.

 

I live in a villa and have had a spate of maintenance problems. My agent says if it is a small problem I should pay. These are not small problems, with the bill totalling Dh5,000. Should I pay or should my landlord? ZR, Abu Dhabi.

As with any or all tenancy agreements it is imperative that tenants and landlords are aware of their obligations when it comes to property maintenance. The standard agreement/contract that all tenancies are governed by is presently inadequate and does not cover the full spectrum of eventualities. These contracts normally have added documents called addendums or appendices attached to them that outline in clear terms who is responsible for what, when and how much they are liable for. One of the points that an addendum will cover is the responsibility of property maintenance. If the tenant is very lucky, the landlord will have a maintenance contract with a reputed company in place that affords the tenant peace of mind and an avenue by which to deal with should maintenance problems occur. When no such agreement is in place, then the norm is that major maintenance is payable by landlord and minor maintenance by the tenant. This statement is open to interpretation. Under normal circumstances, anything around Dh500 to Dh1,000 can be regarded as minor costs so should be taken care of by the tenant; above Dh1,000 it is the responsibility of the landlord. The landlord/tenant relationship comes into play here as the tenant relies on the landlord reimbursing him should the he initially pay for the work. This would be done to avoid further problems with the property. Communication is the key and all parties should work to improve dialogue should issues arise. If the landlord lives abroad, an agent may be assigned to manage the property, so check before agreeing to a tenancy. My advice is that this Dh5,000 amount is not the responsibility of this tenant and the bill should therefore be forwarded to his landlord as it would appear to fall under major maintenance.

 

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