Residential buildings in Dubai will be provided with a grading system similar to hotels so they reflect their commercial value and the range of rents tenants should expect to pay.
The voluntary classification system – with grading from one to seven stars – will help people battle the emirate’s “erratic rent market and exploitation by certain landlords”, said Mohammed Sultan Thani, assistant director-general for excellence and organisational governance at the Dubai Land Department.
“This classification to streamline the status is good news for every residential building and will be implemented in stages before the end of the year,” he said.
Every building would be required to display its classification status at the main entrance. The rating system, which Emirates Business had reported, is a prelude to an index system that would provide general rent ranges for neighbourhoods.
“Currently, rents of buildings in the same area are similar despite the discrepancy in the material used in the building and the services that a particular building might be providing. After the launch of the new rating system, we will dispatch inspectors to different buildings to check for things such as the quality of structure and facilities.
Depending on the quality of material used and services provided, we will give different ratings to different buildings,” Thani said. Participation in the system will be voluntary. However, Thani said landlords of quality apartments stood to gain by using the ratings to charge higher rent on their properties.
The classification will be valid for one year, after which it must be renewed. “In the second year, we will renew the classification without inspection, but in the third year buildings will have to undergo an inspection check,” he said, adding that regular inspections should also encourage better building maintenance.
“For example, the average life of a building in the emirate is between 25 to 30 years. However because of regular maintenance work, we see buildings such as the Trade Centre still in good condition despite being built more than 30 years ago.”
Star rating to control rents