rent contract can be terminated
Steps to follow when renegotiating rents with your homeowner in the UAE Image Credit:

Dubai: If you were looking to possibly alter your rental contract at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the contract, the key is to prepare before hand.

While ensuring you do your homework regarding the price by visiting property portals such as Property Finder and Bayut, which will give you a fair idea on the price range of what is currently available on the market - such websites also give trends regarding property prices for rent in their blogs.

Now ​that you are able to come up with a reasonable rent to reflect current prices​​​​​​, when organising a face-to-face meeting with your landlord, keep in mind that it is important that you have a bit of room left in your negotiations.

UAE residents are still eyeing lower rents

Given that the pandemic constricted income for many, although salaries are gradually returning, one of the biggest crisis-induced lessons that confronts them is how to cost-effectively meet their next rental payment. Rent accounts for the biggest financial commitment for the majority of expats in the UAE.

Real estate experts insist that it is best to be transparent with your landlord about the change in your financial or job circumstances. Although UAE landlords are not legally obliged to accept your rent relief request, some of them are being reasonable if the tenant can furnish proof of change in circumstances from the employer.

If your next rent cheque is due - what to do?

If a tenant is in the middle of a lease and they have faced a salary cut or lost their job, they will have to provide evidence to the landlord that their circumstance has changed. They can request for a rent reduction or a deferral on the next rental cheque. But the landlord is not obligated to do it. It depends on the personal relationship you have with your landlord.

If your lease is up for renewal - what to do?

Meanwhile, if your lease is up for renewal, check current market rents for comparable properties on the above-mentioned portals. Your landlord must match this rent and tenants can ask for between 30 and 60 days rent free.

Property experts view that if you have been a steady tenant, the landlord has a good incentive to match rents advertised on portals and throw in a few months as rent-free, while adding that landlords ensure to retain good tenants and therefore 1 to 2 months’ rent free is not an unreasonable ask.

Although property portals provide real-time rental price data, don’t go by the cheapest listing advertised, instead consider something equivalent to the unit you are currently staying in or looking to rent next.

While experts add that there is a 5 to 7 percent flexibility on property prices listed on portals, also consider the listed price for a property with similar specifications to get a fairly good idea of how much to negotiate with your landlord. The rent guidance on the Real Estate Regulatory Agency’s rental calculator is done only once a year and the rates shown are for an area in general.

Experts recommendations on how to negotiate your house rent with the landlord

While you provide proof of change in your financial circumstance, also check comparable unit prices on property portals. Moreover, seek to extend lease by another year and if you are a long-standing tenant, ask for at least a couple of rent-free months in the lease.

It is often recommended to be as honest as possible with your landlord, while citing how UAE banks have been deferring mortgage payments for landlords. With the job uncertainty still lingering, several people in the UAE are averse to taking long-term leases. If your lease is expiring soon, you can, instead, opt for flexible monthly rentals.