Should expats in Dubai renegotiate their rentals

Published:  21 Aug at 6 PM
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As Dubai’s sky-high rentals take a dive, should expats living and working in the emirate try to get a better deal?

During the second quarter of 2018, Dubai rents fell by five per cent and are expected to stay on a downward path during the rest of the year. For expats whose present contracts are close to ending, the advice from the professionals is that renegotiation is a good idea. How much you aim for is down to present rental charges and the area in which the property is located, but a reduction of at least 10 per cent seems fair at the present moment.

Before setting up a meeting with their landlords, expats should carefully check their present tenancy agreements as to how much notice should be given for renegotiation. Leaving an approach to your landlord until the last minute won’t help you get what you’re asking for. Online research as to the state of the rental market in your area is straightforward via local real estate agency websites, and checking with friends and colleagues as to how much rent they’re paying gives a sense of the market.

The next move is to contact your landlord by post, politely requesting a meetup to discuss a rent review. Politeness is essential, even if a refusal is your first answer. Giving up at this point isn’t the right thing to do, as polite persistence often pays off. Many landlords may be relying on rental income to pay their own housing costs and mortgages, with a stable tenant more valuable than a period where no rent is coming in, plus the cost and hassle of refurbishment.

Prices across the city are being driven down by oversupply and the high number of expats permanently leaving the emirate. Many new developments are about to come on the market, tempting both locals and expats to quit their older buildings for brand new apartments with modernised kitchens and suchlike. Right now, the chance of getting a significant rent reduction is at an all-time high, provided your present apartment is still suitable for your lifestyle.
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