Dubai: The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera) in Dubai has clarified that tenants can be charged over and above the mandatory Dh160 in government fees to renew their tenancy contracts.
Existing laws state that Dh110 covers the Rera administrative fees and Dh50 covers the Ejari registration fees for tenants.
However, in an interview Marwan Bin Galita, chief executive officer of Rera, told Gulf News that property companies can also charge their own administrative fees as long as they are transparent and can be justified to the tenant.
Tenants must also be vigilant regarding some real estate companies, he said, that may attempt to charge more than what would be routinely accepted as justifiable expenses to cover administration.
“Administrative fees cannot be stopped and they can charge the tenants to cover the various costs, such as updating the contract. But they have to be justified. It is important for tenants to communicate with the real estate agents and landlords, and they should ask what additional charges they are paying for,” said Bin Galita.
“The purpose of Ejari is to create transparency between landlords and tenants, so it is in the right of consumers to ask what the extra charges are for,” he stressed.
Bin Galita’s comments were made after several residents questioned whether they were obliged to pay additional administrative charges or not, as requested by the real estate company that manages their apartments.
“I have been a tenant of Wasl [properties] for the last few years and was not charged any extra costs until now. But when I wanted to renew my tenancy contract, I was charged an extra amount of Dh100 besides the Ejari fees. I do not know if I am legally bound to pay this,” said P.M., a resident.
When contacted by Gulf News, a representative of Wasl properties explained that the semi-private company does indeed charge the additional Dh100 as an administrative fee and that according to management, they charge an Ejari fee of Dh190.
Another resident, who lives in a newly developed area of Dubai, said that he refused to pay any additional administrative charges to his landlord as part of renewing his tenancy contract.
“I was initially informed to pay more than the required Dh160 Ejari fee and I blatantly told the landlord that I was not going to pay more than what is required. He did not argue back and I did not have to pay extra,” said the resident, who declined to be named.