UAE property: ‘Can I raise the rent on my villa based on the Dubai REST app?’

The Rera calculator is not permitting the landlord to increase the yearly rent because it is rounding up the current figure

Landlords can try to organise a rental valuation through the Dubai REST app. Photo: Bloomberg

I own a villa in Dubai and it has been rented out.

The average annual rent in the community where the villa is located is Dh148,000, according to the Real Estate Regulatory Agency calculator. My tenant pays an annual rent of Dh132,825, which is 10 per cent less than the average rent in the community.

The calculator should allow me to increase the rent. However, since the tool rounds up the rent, the Rera website shows I cannot increase the amount.

Can my property undergo a rental valuation through the Dubai REST app? Can I ask the tenant to pay the higher rent as a fair market value after the valuation? MO, Dubai

You could try to organise the rental valuation through the Dubai REST app and then start negotiations with your tenant.

However, this has not been tried and tested yet, so the outcome is not guaranteed if the tenant does not agree with the valuation and decides to contest the findings.

My advice would be to try to negotiate better terms with the tenant directly, by offering other incentives to the agreement, such as easy maintenance procedures via a maintenance contract for the villa — basically a quid-pro-quo arrangement.

Remember that in any negotiation, both parties need to feel that they have had a win-win scenario. That way, everybody leaves feeling satisfied.

I live in a residential tower in Abu Dhabi. In October 2021, the tempered glass of the double-paned balcony door in my apartment shattered on its own. I did not hit or break it.

The property management company came to inspect the damage and covered the part with a silver sticker. For four months, the management company said they were seeking more quotes for repair because the ones they were receiving were expensive.

In January, they asked me to pay Dh3,423 to fix it. I refused to pay for this repair because I did not cause the damage.

The property management company is familiar with spontaneous glass breakage in other units in the tower. I found out that the company replaced the shattered glass in another tenant’s apartment free of charge.

How can I get the property management company to fix this? Where and how can I make a formal complaint against them? RH, Abu Dhabi

The responsibility and payment for repair should lie with the management or, at the very least, the landlord.

Proving you did not break the glass is difficult. However, waiting for more than six months for a repair is too long.

DUBAI APARTMENT PRICES APRIL 2022 IN PICTURES

I would suggest you keep trying to arrive at an agreement with the management company, but also reach out to the landlord for assistance.

In most tenancy contracts, there are clauses that state the tenant’s responsibility and what the landlord has to take care of when it comes to maintenance. This typically comes down to a monetary amount, for example, under Dh500 for tenants and any amount more than Dh500 would be the landlord’s responsibility.

I would further ask the landlord if he/she has any insurance that would cover accidental damage.

If all this fails, try to compensate the management company by offering something towards the repair cost, say 50 per cent to fix the damage.

I understand you did not cause the breakage but as you have seen, without anything from your side, the situation may take too long to be resolved or may never be sorted at all.

Although you are not the cause, you must be part of the solution as this is the only way to achieve closure on the case.

Mario Volpi is the sales and leasing manager at Engel & Volkers. He has worked in the property sector for more than 35 years in London and Dubai. The opinions expressed do not constitute legal advice and are provided for information only. Please send any questions to mario.volpi@engelvoelkers.com

Updated: May 12, 2022, 3:30 AM
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