It is all good news for tenants in Dubai.
Unanimously, residents we spoke to in the emirate are looking forward to price drops, higher negotiation powers with landlords and better, easier payment options. They said rents have been consistently on a decline. Even premium locales like Dubai Marina and Downtown Dubai are experiencing rental drops. As a result, there has been a paradigm shift of what constitutes a budget-friendly area. People are increasingly moving to bigger, better homes.
This is what tenants said:
Lara Gordon Finnih, British, 31 lives in Dubai Sports City’s Hope Canal building. She is currently leasing a one-bedroom apartment (826 square feet) for Dh55,000 per annum.
Finnih loves her apartment, although it is old. “The apartment has a big kitchen, a window inside, nice ceiling windows across the pad. If I am missing something, it would be a place to walk. But I am sticking around here,” she said as she just struck a better deal with her landlord.
Finnih has lived in her apartment for three years. Initially she paid Dh60,000 in two cheques. Last year, this was dropped to Dh55,000 - two cheques. “This year I have been able to negotiate better payment options,” she said.
“He is a really nice person and has let me pay the rent for the same price, but in six cheques [instead of two]. Believe me, it is a huge load off my chest. Rents are important to be set at the right price, but easy payment plans, lessen the burden equally to a tenant,” she added.
She said if tenants are looking to have their rents reduced, they must do enough and more research. Check out the average rents for similar properties on property portals. “If you can, match your existing property as closely as you can in terms of view and square footage. Be as accurate as you can. You can then send the links of these properties to your landlord as evidence that you are paying above the market rate.”
Lionel Joel, 27, PR professional, Gabonese, lives in a three-bedroom apartment in Dubai Marina’s Marina Sail. He is really happy with the way the rents have dropped for his three-bedroom pad in one of Dubai’s most iconic locales. “I could not ask for a better location.”
What's more, his rent has massively dropped, too. From paying Dh220,000 per annum last year, 2019 saw the rent plummet to Dh180,000.
“It is definitely a tenant['s] market and am happy to there are some great deals going on.”
Filipina beauty consultant Lorelei Lazaro, 40, pays a rent of Dh52,000 for a one-bedroom apartment in International City (phase II). She was previously paying Dh,54,000. She is looking forward to getting better deals next year for her renewal.
Christina Bostock, UK, 40, is currently renting in Dubai Investment Park (DIP) at the Ritaj community. She said she is currently paying Dh35,000 over the current market rate for her two-bedroom-plus-maid's-room apartment and so she is looking forward to a massive rental drop. “I am currently negotiating a better deal with my landlord or contemplating moving out of my pad.”
“I am currently paying Dh95,000 for a two-bedroom [with] a maid’s room. A similar unit in the building is already going for Dh60,000 as per Rera Index, property portals and private postings in community groups.”
Bostock said she and her husband moved into the apartment five years ago. “Although we moved from one building to another within the community, the rent remained the same. But now we definitely know we are in for a massive rental drop.”
She added: “If your landlord has a good understanding of the property market and you are asking for a reasonable reduction, you should be successful 100 per cent of the time. For the past three to four years, rents have been declining six to seven percent and I don’t think we’ve reached the bottom yet.
Indian Nandini Shekhawat, 40, who is living in a three-bedroom apartment in The Gardens, said her rent fell to Dh93,500 per annum from Dh104,000 per annum last year. As per her latest tenancy contract which she signed last month, Shekhawat has also been able to negotiate for a more flexible payment plan.
She will now pay her rent in six cheques, compared to four cheques last year. “The Gardens, developed by Nakheel, comprises of 129 low-rise buildings with 3,828 apartments of one, two and three bedrooms. The community development comes with lush landscaped gardens, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, swimming pools, 24-hour security and we are very happy living here,” she added.