Abu Dhabi: Renting a home in Abu Dhabi emirate now includes a municipal fee for expatriates, calculated as a minimum of three per cent of annual rent each year.
The fee is being collected by the emirate’s utilities provider, the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, in instalments, and is a minimum of Dh450 per year. Emiratis renting property will be exempt from the payment.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, announced the decree on Monday in his capacity as head of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
Accordingly, the fees have been implemented since the beginning of March. They will be used by the emirate’s municipal regulator, the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport, for the registration of rental units and the regulation of the rental market.
“The fee is collected every month, not as a lump sum, so that it is easily payable,” Dr Abdullah Al Beloushi, executive director of land and property at the Department, told Gulf News.
Similar municipal fees are also charged in other emirates. For example, Dubai imposes a municipal tax of five per cent of the annual rent, and it is collected in instalments by the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority. In Sharjah, a 2.5 per cent fee is payable at the time of contract renewal.
Some residents said the fact that the municipal fee is payable on a monthly basis makes it less burdensome.
“The base rent in Abu Dhabi is high but the utility fees are actually quite reasonable. I wouldn’t mind paying the additional Dh2,000 or so for my studio on Reem Island, which I rent at Dh75,000,” said K.M., an American media executive.
Some expatriate residents who spoke to Gulf News seemed dismayed at the additional cost, saying it would increase their expenses.
“We shell out Dh75,000 a year for a one-bedroom in Tourist Club area because we wanted our children to live close to their schools. But the rent is increasingly unaffordable and I believe we will move out to the suburbs when the contract is up for renewal in December,” said A.K., a homemaker from India. She added that it is now very difficult to maintain a family of four on a single income, and she is therefore looking for a job to supplement her husband’s earnings.
“No fee is good news, but this one doesn’t seem all that steep,” added M.M., a Sri Lankan engineer.
New table of fees for Tawtheeq
Renting a residential unit:
Minimum of Dh450 per unit per year, or at least 3 per cent of the annual rental fee payable over 12 months
Registration of tenancy contract by landlord Dh100
Modification of tenancy contract by landlord Dh50
Modification of tenancy contract at landlord’s request Dh50
Modification of tenancy contract at tenant’s request Dh100
Registration of property data by landlord Dh1,000
Registration of rental unit data and modification of any property data by landlord Dh5 each
Opening a Tawtheeq account Dh200
Getting a Tawtheeq system username Dh300
Training for using the Tawtheeq system Dh300 per user
Transfer of rental units management by landlord Dh50
Modification of landlord account details Dh50
Printing an extra certified copy of an original registered tenancy contract Dh50