For the past few weeks, Aslam (name changed), a resident of Dubai Marina, had a harrowing time after he renewed his rent contract directly with his landlord.
Thereafter, the agent, through whom he had first rented the apartment, continued calling him to pay Dh1,000 as ‘renewal’ fee despite not being party to the agreement.
“The agent kept calling me, asking me to pay his fee, as the contract had been renewed. When I threatened to complain to the Dubai Land Department and Police, he stopped calling,” claims Aslam.
There have been cases where gullible tenants have been forced to pay contract renewal fees despite the agent not being party to the rental deal.
“If the landlord and tenant mutually agree and there is no agency involvement then how can an agent claim a fee? An agent can only claim what they have worked on or for,” Toby Young, Managing Director, propertyrights.ae, told Emirates 24|7.
Generally, the agent fees range between Dh500 and Dh1,000. However, tenants remain uncertain on whether to pay a renewal fee to the agent.
Young clarifies below on tenant’s rights and should he/she pay the renewal fee.
1 # Do tenants need to pay any property agent fee for rent contract renewal?
Tenants only need to pay if it is written into the contract. It is only fair that if someone does some work for you they are paid for it. Fees tend to range from Dh500-Dh1,000, or as a small percentage of the annual rent. A tenant can object to heavy fees, but that would be down to negotiation between the tenant and the agent.
2 # If so, what are the legal charges?
If someone has signed a contract then it is contractual. Although again, if the fee is too high they can try and negotiate it. If the fee is excessive they could also try to appeal to Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera), although we have not heard of this before.
3 # What if the landlord and tenant mutually renew the contract without informing the agent?
If the landlord and tenant mutually agree and there is no agency involvement then how can an agent claim a fee? An agent can only claim what they have worked on or for.
4 # Can the agent still seek his fees for renewal since the old contract mentions renewal fees?
An agent can try, but it is then up to the discretion of the tenant. Unless the fee is of a high value then it is probably not worth the agent’s time and trouble in chasing it, especially if they have not done the work to be paid it.