Although the reputed real estate management companies are adhering to the law on registering rental contracts on Ejari, a number of "small and moonlighting" agents seem to be totally ignoring the law.
Random calls made by Emirates Business to individual agents, whose phone numbers are mentioned in newspaper advertisements, said registration of the contract was not "mandatory and there was no requirement for that".
"We will just provide you with a Rera contract. If there are some additional clauses, we attach the clause sheet with the contract. However, we haven't registered any contracts as yet on Ejari," said an agent.
Another agent said: "It is not my job to get the contract registered with Rera and the tenant, if he desires, should go to Rera's office and get his contract registered."
However, large real estate management companies do follow the rule. Liz O'Connor, Director – Residential Sales & Leasing, Better Homes, said: "For their 'let only' service, we are advising all of our landlords to register their tenancy contracts through Ejari and this information now appears in our tenancy contract. For properties that we manage, on behalf of the landlord, where we provide a property management service, we register the contracts with the Lands Department. These have been registered manually for the last year, as the initial Ejari system required upgrading."
"Tenancy contracts registered with Ejari will be a positive move for the Dubai real estate market… because all rental data will be registered with the Lands Department. This will make the rental index extremely accurate and sure lead to more information being available regarding the entire rental market in Dubai," she added.
Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director, Harbor Real Estate, said: "We have been registering all the commercial lease contracts including office or retail lease contracts, bulk lease contracts or assets owned or leased by institutional owners. In general, we recommend the registration to all our clients, especially the institutional ones, as this will protect their interests in case of any future conflicts, and the cost in general is very low."
Asked who has to bear the cost of registration, O'Connor said: "As far as we are aware, the landlord has to bear the cost of the registration. However, Ejari is commencing training sessions soon and we will be advised accordingly of all details when we attend the training session."
According to Alwadiya, the cost was usually borne by the landlord, but sometimes the landlord and tenant do agree that the tenant will cover the cost.