Dubai: If you ever end up buying your own property in Dubai, you may at some point end up being a landlord. If you are a landlord, you have to remember the rules, laws and responsibilities. It isn’t quite as simple as renting out your property and hoping for the best. Then a landlord must take their responsibilities into consideration. Lewis Allsopp, CEO of Allsopp and Allsopp lists the responsibilities of a landlord when there is no property management contract in place. Landlords are liable for many aspects of their property despite having a tenant residing there.
1. Safe environment
A landlords' property should be a safe environment for a tenant. This means that all doors and windows should lock securely, and fire alarms should be installed and fully equipped in essential areas of the home.
2. Clean property
It is the responsibility of a landlord to ensure that the property is clean and tidy for the arrival of a tenant. Usually in a tenancy contract it states that full painting and cleaning is down to the previous tenant but before the new tenant is ready to move-in, it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure the property is in perfect condition.
As far as maintenance goes, as a rule of thumb, the landlord is responsible for maintenance above Dh500. Small wear and tear maintenance should be repaired and paid for by the tenant as well as any damages caused by misuse by the tenant. Landlords are responsible for major maintenance including electrical, mechanical, plumbing and air-conditioning when required.
4. Security deposit
Once contracts are signed a security deposit will be given to the landlord from the tenant. This security deposit is the landlords' to cash and keep safe for the duration of the tenancy contract. This will cover any damages or lack of payments made by the tenant, so it is important to cash the cheque before it expires. The full deposit will be returned to the tenant at the end of the tenancy contract if the premises has been left in satisfactory condition and in coherence with the tenancy contract.
5. Return of security deposit
Security deposits can often be a tricky subject for both a landlord and a tenant which is why a check-in and check-out report should be carried out by the landlord, ideally with the tenant present. A check-in report consists of a thorough look over all fittings and fixtures of the property including photographic evidence. The report is then signed by the landlord and tenant. Once the tenancy contract comes to an end the check-out report will be conducted by the landlord with the check-in report as reference. So long as there is only minor wear and tear to the property the full deposit will be given back to the tenant. The reports give both the landlord and tenant peace of mind and evidence to any discrepancies that may arise.
6. Lines of communication
A clear line of communication should always be given to the tenant. If the landlord travels often it is advisable to give the tenant a contact that they can easily get in touch with in an emergency. Alternatively, a landlord should provide the tenant with the details of their preferred and trusted maintenance company in case of an emergency. This will avoid the tenant struggling to get a hold of the landlord or getting maintenance work done that the landlord later doesn’t agree to.
7. Home insurance
The landlord should have home insurance taken out on the property; however it is important that the tenant should also take out content insurance. It is a misconception of a lot of tenants that the landlords home insurance will cover everything, but this isn’t always the case and in the unlikely event of an emergency, content insurance is an extra security.