x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Rent dispute protection offered by new Dubai office

A new government office will make it easier for landlords and tenants to file lease agreements, a move that can protect both parties in the event of disputes.

DUBAI // Residents and landlords will find it easier to protect themselves in case of disputes over property leases by registering their tenancy agreements at a new government office.

The new branch to register contracts in the Ejari system was opened Tuesday at the Al Twar centre of Dubai Municipality, a senior official said.

The system aims to establish a central database of rented properties, and to record the details and agreements in all lease contracts.

"Opening an office will definitely help," said Salik Ashrafi, a property adviser with Taktical Realty. "Earlier, if people had many questions and specific queries and needed to do special documentation, they couldn't get all the information online. So this is a good move."

With the new office, officials seek to help residents save time in the registration process, said Marwan Bin Ghalaita, the chief executive of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera).

"It is necessary to build an inclusive leasing regulation system that is able to protect the rights of all parties and solve the problems existing in many state departments," Mr Bin Ghalaita said.

Until now, the registration process for rental contracts in the emirate was available through an online portal, www.ejari.ae, established by Rera as per a 2010 government announcement.

The March 2010 announcement for rental contracts to be registered through the Ejari portal was part of an effort to standardise contracts, regulate the relationship between the landlord and tenant, and protect the rights of both in the event of claims or disputes. Ejari means "my rent" in Arabic.

"The registration will be quick and easy at the branch," said an official at the new centre. "It will be done in 10 minutes if you have all the papers ready."

The branch at Al Twar aims to facilitate the process for residents with officials on hand to answer queries. The centre will initially open from 8am to 2.30pm this month with plans to extend the closing time to 8pm.

The documents required for registration include copies of the tenancy contract, a copy of the title deed, copies of the landlord's and the tenant's passports, and the bill from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) showing the account number.

The charge for registration in the Ejari system is Dh195.

A template of a rental contract is also available through Ejari.

Once the contract is entered into the system, an allocated bar code becomes the reference for the life of the contract.