Have your property questions answered

District Real Estate’s director of business development, Alan Kaye, tackles your property dilemmas, from unreliable landlords to maintenance contracts 

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I rented an apartment through an Abu Dhabi real estate company and it would seem that the landlord, who lives abroad, is represented by a real estate company in Dubai. I was advised by my agent that any snags would be rectified once the water and electricity was connected. I have now moved in but the landlord’s representative is refusing to do the repairs and my agent has denied any responsibility. What can I do?

The landlord has an obligation by law to hand over a property that is fit for purpose so I hope that the snags of which you complain are minor.

I would suggest that you obtain an estimate from a reputable company to rectify all of the snags. I would then forward this to the landlord’s representatives and advise them that you will proceed with the repairs and will hold them liable to reimburse you.

Hopefully they will comply but dependant on the amount, you may have to end up taking legal action.

The leasing agent does not have a legal obligation to arrange repairs but should be trying to help you sort out this problem.

I have just rented a villa that I was advised had a maintenance contract. The landlord assured me that he would pay for one and I assumed it would be with a reputable company but I now find that it would appear to be with just a couple of his friends. What do you suggest I do?

Unfortunately, some landlords do not understand the importance of a good maintenance contract with a reputable company.

It does not just give peace of mind to the tenant but to the landlord as well since his property is being properly maintained and issues are dealt with correctly, as they occur.

I would suggest that you speak to your landlord and explain your concern. The cost for annual maintenance on a four-bedroom villa is around AED 7,000, so you could suggest that you each pay half or ideally try to convince him to pay the full amount as he promised.

I have been living in an apartment that came with communal facilities but eight months later there is still no gym or pool. Am I entitled to a rent reduction?

You should complain to your property management company both verbally and in writing. It is highly unlikely that you will receive a rent rebate but assuming you wish to stay in your apartment next year then I would demand a large reduction to compensate.

Unfortunately this scenario is all too common in Abu Dhabi and I always advise clients that if you cannot see it, assume it is not, nor will ever be, there.

With the weather getting cooler, one of my neighbours is leaving windows open and playing loud music until late in the evening, which is keeping my children awake. Is there anything that I can do?

It is always difficult when one has a problem with a neighbour. I would suggest that you request the property management company to try to resolve this problem.

Many lease contracts in Abu Dhabi contain a clause about not causing annoyance to neighbours.

If it really gets out of hand then the police will intervene to stop the problem.

I saw an apartment advertised on Al Reem Island for AED 95,000 and made an appointment for a viewing with a real estate company. When I arrived, the agent explained that it was no longer available and then proceeded to show me more expensive apartments in other buildings. It was a complete waste of time for me and having spoken to friends, similar things have happened to them. Why is this allowed to happen?

Unfortunately in Abu Dhabi, the real estate market is still unregulated, with many agencies advertising properties that do not exist or never did.

A new law was introduced in January 2016 that would regulate the market, but the implementation has been very slow.

Always try to choose agencies that have been registered with the municipality and remember if something looks too good to be true then it most probably is!

If you have any property related queries, send them in to contactus@adwonline.ae

This article was supplied by a third party and does not reflect the views of Abu Dhabi World. To find out more, visit: districtuae.com

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