Tenants must make sure that all the responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant are listed in a rental contract, experts said.
How to safeguard your tenancy contract
"Service charges are one of the biggest, most critical and one of the most controversial issues in Dubai," said Shahram Safai, the head of real estate at Afridi and Angell legal consultants.
"In a tenancy agreement, the landlord's obligations should be spelt out so it is clear what he is responsible for. You should not assume this, it should be stated in the contract clearly. It is vital to lay out the obligations of the tenant and the landlord. The contract should be all-inclusive. There should be no hidden fees: the language should reflect that. The greater the clarity, the less the surprises down the road."
The tenant should ask for a certificate from the developer to confirm that the landlord has paid up all service fees.
"The agreement should say this is the rent and includes use of these facilities," Mr Safai said. "It should be transparent and describe exactly for what the rent is being paid. I would hate for the tenant to walk into a dispute between the developer and landlord about facilities."
Such disputes often have soured tenancy relations in Dubai, where some developers are restricting the use of common facilities and parking, citing unpaid dues.
The tenancy agreement must also be registered online with the Dubai Land Department.