District Real Estate’s director of business development, Alan Kaye, helps you understand your property rights.
Q – We have just moved into a brand new building and at the moment neither the gym facilities or pool are working and the promised shops seem to be a long way off from opening. We feel that we should receive a reduction in rent until everything is finished but the managing agents have refused. Can you suggest what we should do?
This is an all too common occurrence.
I would suggest that you notify in writing both the managing agents and the owners of the building that you intend to seek a reduction in rent until such time as the facilities are completed.
I would continue to do this on a monthly basis as when your lease comes up for renewal you will have this correspondence as proof. Also take photos and include them as well.
Send both by email and WhatsApp as you will then have proof that your messages have been both received and opened.
We at District Real Estate always advise clients not to believe promises from developers: ‘If you cannot see it, then assume it is not there!’
Q – We have just received our new rent demand for the next year and the landlord has increased the price by five percent, which I understand is the maximum under the law. I am constantly hearing that rental prices are reducing so what is going on?
I am informed by one of the largest landlords in Abu Dhabi that over 50 percent of tenants pay their rent demand without query, hence your landlord has sent you a demand with an increase.
Negotiations should start approximately 70 days before the end of the lease contract.
You should arm yourself with all of the facts concerning current rents for similar properties, occupancy levels and use of facilities then write to the landlord with your proposed new rental rate.
If possible, try to set up a meeting where hopefully everything can be discussed and agreed.
Q – We are new to Abu Dhabi and are starting to look for accommodation. The agents that we have contacted so far seem to be very unprofessional, not returning telephone calls and always offering to show us different properties to the ones we have enquired about. How do you suggest we find a reputable real estate company?
I would suggest that you ask friends and work colleagues for any recommendations and then check that the company is registered with the municipality.
All of the reputable companies in Abu Dhabi are registered and this should ensure that you receive a good level of service.
If you are not sure then ask to see the certificate and if the company is not registered then proceed with caution.
Q – We have decided not to renew our lease on our current property as we wish to relocate. Our landlord has informed us that although it is seven weeks until we move out, we have to allow potential new tenants to view now. Is this correct?
It depends on your relationship with your landlord and also what is written in your lease contract that you signed when you moved in.
Some contracts actually specify a time frame from when you are obligated to allow new tenants to view but normally with the condition that you are given adequate notice of viewings.
I suggest that you speak with your landlord and try to reach an amicable agreement on viewings and so avoid issues later on such as return of deposits.