It is a topic of discussion that's common as the weather — how much rent do you pay?
Each year, tenants in Dubai negotiate two key aspects when it comes to rent, they are how much you'll pay and how many cheques you will use to pay it.
While the number of cheques is up for negotiation, the issue of how much rent increases should be pretty clear-cut in most cases.
Dubai Land Department's Rental Index gives tenants and landlords data on residential, commercial and industrial properties in the emirate.
The index includes a calculator that helps users to determine the rental increase of any leased properties before they negotiate a contract.
First set up in 2009, the index helps landlords, agents and tenants map out maximum allowable rent increases on the expiry of a lease.
The index is also used as a reference in disputes between tenants and landlords over rental values.
How the rental increase calculator works
The rental increase calculator determines any changes in rent based on the average movement in the region's rental value, depending on the specifications of a property, including its use, location, number of rooms and other parameters.
In all cases, the increase is set at a maximum of 20 per cent and any changes are based on the market value of other properties in a given area.
- If the rent is 10 per cent less than the market value, there is no increase
- If the rent is 11 to 20 per cent lower than the market value, the maximum increase may be up to 5 per cent
- If the rent is 21 to 30 per cent lower than the market value, the maximum increase may be up to 10 per cent
- If the rent is 31 to 40 per cent lower than the market value, the maximum increase may be up to 15 per cent
- If the rent is lower than 40 per cent or more of the market value, the maximum increase may be up to 20 per cent
The rental increase calculator is available on the Dubai Land Department's website.
According to the DLD, landlords must provide 90 days' notice regarding any changes to the rent contract, such as breaking it or increasing the rent amount.
Tenants can legally refuse a rental amount increase if 90 days' notice was not provided by the landlord.
The tenant can file a case with the Rent Disputes Settlement Centre at the DLD upon refusing to agree to the new terms of the contract.
Anyone opening a case at the rental committee must pay 3.5 per cent of the rental amount.
The winning party usually has costs awarded to them, although this is not guaranteed.
Compensation awarded to a tenant against a landlord in breach of the rules can be as much as a year's rent.