Dubai renters more vigilant following exposure of scams

Dubai renters have become more vigilant and are insisting on proper documentation before signing tenancy contracts, according to real estate agents.

“Tenants have now become increasingly vigilant and are, indeed, requesting for proper documentation including proof of property ownership, passport copies of the owner/s and/or a power of attorney if the owner is represented by a third party,” Zubin Firozi, Head of Property Management, Head Office, Better Homes, told 'Emirates 24|7'.

“However, there is still a greater need for all tenants to be more wary of the fact that they need to check necessary documentations thoroughly before they conduct any rental transactions.“ The vigilant attitude of the renters follows the news of rental scams being reported in Dubai. This website has revealed that a number of unlicensed companies had conned hundreds of landlords and tenants, leaving the parties warring over unpaid rents. The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) had told this website before that it was investigating some companies involved in unauthorized activities.

Bernard Aoun, Manager – Residential Department, SPF Realty, says: “It is unfortunate that we are still witnessing such scams in Dubai’s real estate rental market. A potential tenant always needs to ask for the three basic documents from the landlord and/or the property consultant/broker company representing the owner: Title deed, passport copy and the property consultant broker Rera card.”

He informs that the tenancy contract has to be in the same name as the person and/or company that figures on the title deed.

“We make sure that all our tenants are protected by providing them the required documents from the landlord. All our property consultants are Rera registered and always holding the Rera card on them when meeting with clients.”

Parvees Gafur, Chief Executive Officer, PropSquare Real Estate, says: “The news of the scams has definitely made the new tenants more cautious, but we are witnessing even existing tenants who had previously signed leases come back and request for further details on the landlord and office documentation if they had missed it earlier.

Title deed is mandatory as Dewa now requires the same for utility registration.”

Asked if the brokerage firm offers the service of getting the tenancy contracts registered immediately on Ejari, Firozi says: “For all our property managed units, we ensure the Ejari registrations are done immediately after the lease is executed and also offer this service to other landlords who are not registered with us to manage their properties.”

Aoun informs: “We make sure to inform all our clients to register their tenancy contract on Ejari. It is the responsibility of the Landlord to register the tenancy contract but the tenant can also do the registration. We also offer the service of registering the tenancy contract on Ejari for individual and corporate clients.”

Gafur adds: “Once it has been active, we have always suggested tenants to register on Ejari, or if they want us to help on the same, we do assist. To advise landlords to have it done, we find it not effective as majority of landlords live overseas in terms of freehold property.”

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