Mario Volpi: Dubai tenant wary about paying landlord’s supposed power of attorney

Tread carefully when paying your rent to a landlord's power of attorney - you want to be sure they are genuine.

Apartments in Jumeirah Lakes Towers. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
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I am looking to rent an apartment in JLT. The broker says that the owner is Pakistani and lives in Pakistan. He has given a power of attorney (PoA) to another Pakistani, authorising him to undertake all transactions on his behalf (I am yet to see the PoA). He said that the rental payments have to be in the name of the PoA holder and that the PoA document specifically mentions this. My question is, even if it is stated in the PoA document, is it allowed? And would you advise undertaking this transaction? RA, Dubai

When dealing with a power of attorney, one has to be certain that the documents are indeed real and that all appears to be in order. Make sure you see a true copy of the document. If the PoA document was executed here in Dubai, it will have the proper Dubai Courts stamp on it. If it was attested in Pakistan, it has to have the UAE embassy stamps from Pakistan on it in addition to the stamps from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation here in Dubai – this is to verify the whole document. If you have trouble getting hold of the document or feel that all is not what it seems, then my advice would be not to proceed with the let.

There are of course legitimate reasons that an owner would wish for someone else to receive monies on their behalf. The PoA is there to facilitate the transaction by means of signature and the like, and this sometimes also involves receiving monies. But why can’t the owner receive the money (rent) directly through a local bank (if he has an account here) or through an overseas bank transfer? I stress that you have to be sure that this transaction is legitimate – otherwise you could find yourself being chased for the rent by the actual owner if the PoA turns out to be a fraud. Where possible, always deal directly with the owner – only then can you be sure the rental monies you are paying actually go to the landlord.

I am a tenant in International City in Dubai and I finished my contract in November last year. However, my landlord is refusing to return my security deposit. I cleaned and fixed the apartment and have already moved to another flat, but he is telling me that he has lost rental income and he wants me to pay a charge. He is also accusing me of a violation, but I did not receive any violation in my two years living there. He is charging me Dh2,000 a day because I did not give him the key. I put down a Dh5,000 deposit but he is now claiming that I owe him Dh66,100. I don't know why he is claiming such an amount. I've made all my payments. JG, Dubai

If you have been a model tenant and have cleaned and fixed all necessary jobs required to hand back the property as it was given to you, then you are entitled to your deposit back in full. I assume from your email that you did not leave earlier than your contract allows, because some contracts have a penalty if a tenant leaves early. If all is in order but the landlord still demands money from you and does not return the deposit, I would advise you to file a case at the rental committee to get your deposit back.

Mario Volpi is the chief sales officer for Kensington Exclusive Properties and has worked in the property industry for the past 32 years in London and Dubai. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and they do not reflect in any way those of the institutions to which he is affiliated. It does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Please send any questions to

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