x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

UAE landlords drop rent demands as vacancies rise

As more properties come on to the market, landlords are becoming increasingly flexible on rental payment options, real estate agencies say.

Landlords are increasingly starting to waver on demands for one cheque for a year's rent in advance, the staple of the UAE rental market, apartment hunters and real estate agencies say.

But, though property owners are becoming more flexible against a backdrop of rising vacancies with more properties coming on stream, they are also charging more for the privilege of breaking up the payments.

In lieu of lowering rents, some landlords are advertising "easy rental payments". In some cases, that can mean anything from two cheques to 12 cheques, instead of the customary one.

But there is a catch to the 12-cheque deal with management firms saying landlords are now typically charging a 15 per cent to 20 per cent premium for a year-long contract allowing multiple payments.

"The property owners are happy to go with more cheques if they get more rent," said Zia Khan, a property consultant with White Sand Real Estate

The vacancy rate in Dubai is between 15 to 18 per cent and is likely to increase to 20 per cent by 2012, according to Landmark Advisory, which tracks the market, a statistic which is focusing property landlords' minds on how to entice people into their properties.

Robert Bruce, who is shopping in Dubai for an apartment for his wife and two children, said: "They still try to get one cheque, but there is absolutely no necessity for that anymore. People are a lot more willing to negotiate than before."

And Frank Dert, who is shopping for a one-bedroom apartment in the Burj Khalifa area of Dubai, said: "Some [landlords] offer month to month, but you can get a better deal with one cheque."