Friday, August 12, 2022

Dubai tenants face rises in rent as property prices recover

Dubai tenants

In some of the most popular areas of the emirate, rent has increased by up to 20 per cent after prices dipped during the pandemic

As the economy recovers from the pandemic and Dubai property prices recover, tenants in Dubai say they face sizeable rises in rent.

In some of the most popular areas of the emirate, rent has increased by up to 20 per cent after prices dipped during the pandemic.

In October last year, Lebanese resident Hoda Ayache, 52, rented a spacious flat in Dubai Sports City through an estate agency so she could work from home more comfortably.

She paid Dh42,000 ($11435) a year for the two-bedroom property, and said this was a good deal at the time, despite months of maintenance glitches including problems with the air conditioning and plumbing.

In July, three months before her contract was up for renewal, she was told the rent would rise to Dh50,400 ($13722) a year.

The agency sent me an email and stated that according to the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera) calculator, they could increase the rent by 20 per cent as the property was already rented out at 40 per cent less than market value, she told The National.

She said: I wouldn’t have mind so much, but the apartment was in such bad condition. For the whole time I was living there, the air conditioning did not work correctly and I had continuous leaks in the bathroom ceiling.

Despite several visits from the maintenance team, the landlord or agency didn’t fix the issues, so when I got that email about the rent increase I was shocked, she said.

After months of going back and forth, trying to negotiate the price, Ms Ayache decided to move out of the apartment when her contract expired.

Lucas Charles, a public relations executive from New Zealand, said he faced a yearly increase of Dh6,000 ($1633) on his two-bedroom property in The Greens two months ago. He had been paying Dh56,000 ($15246) per year for two years prior to the rent increase alert.

I know the rental market has bounced back from the Covid-19 pandemic, which is good for landlords, but some people are still faced with pay cuts from work, he said.

To get slapped with a considerable rent hike is stressful. I didn’t want to move from the property as I love the area, so I tried to negotiate a fair deal, he said. After several unanswered emails, I eventually managed to speak to someone but had no luck trying to lower the increase. I ended up just agreeing to the new contract.

He now pays Dh62,000 ($16880) a year for his apartment.


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