Dubai: Some landlords seek minimum lease duration as rentals continue upward trend

This trend can be mainly attributed to factors like the growing presence of high net-worth individuals and the UAE’s removal from the FATF’s grey list


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 29 Apr 2024, 10:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 29 Apr 2024, 8:57 PM

Some landlords in Dubai are setting a minimum lease duration as the rental market is fast evolving with demand rising for short-term rentals.

Amidst rising rentals, there are both short-term tenants as well as long-term tenants, including those new residents who have just moved to the emirate in search of greener pastures.

According to Betterhomes’ first quarter data, rental prices across all communities witnessed a consistent upward trend, mainly attributed to factors like the growing presence of high net-worth individuals and the UAE’s removal from the FATF’s grey list, enhancing the emirate’s attractiveness as a destination for investment and residency.

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Karun Luthra, vice president for global operations at Foremen Fiefdom, said landlords are also offering shorter lease terms or lease break clauses to cater to a more transient population.

Karun Luthra. Photo: Supplied
Karun Luthra. Photo: Supplied

“Landlords are prioritising amenities and services to enhance the overall tenant experience and retain tenants in a competitive market. Clear communication and trust-building between landlords and tenants will be essential to navigate this changing landscape and ensure a positive experience for both parties. These trends indicate a shift towards a more tenant-centric approach as landlords aim to maintain high occupancy rates and meet the evolving needs of their tenants,” he said.

Luthra added that landlords typically seek timely rent payments, specify the security deposit amount, set a minimum lease duration and require adherence to building rules as rentals continue to rise across the emirate.

He added that tenants, particularly millennials, are seeking flexibility in lease terms, co-living arrangements and pet-friendly policies.

“Landlords who accommodate these preferences may attract a wider pool of renters. Additionally, tenants are placing a greater emphasis on community within their buildings, prompting landlords to host social events or create online forums for residents," said Luthra.

He added that tenants who are willing to pay a premium for a quality living experience may be more readily attracted.

“Streamlined processes, such as offering efficient application and move-in procedures, can enhance the tenant experience, leading to greater satisfaction and potentially longer tenancies.”

Alois Kugendran, general manager for real estate at Huspy, said many landlords recognise the value of continuity and avoiding vacancies, seeking tenants who are committed to staying in Dubai for the longer term, often for at least the next 3-5 years.

Alois Kugendran. Photo: Supplied
Alois Kugendran. Photo: Supplied

He added that tenants are no longer going after classified listings on websites, but want to see verified properties only.

Jacob Bramley, leasing manager at Betterhomes, said single-property landlords often prefer to be more hands-on, meeting tenants before their move-in and establishing a close personal relationship with them.

Seeking property management services

Bramley said there is a growing interest among property owners in professional property management services, especially those who have had negative experiences, such as disputes with tenants.

Jacob Bramley. Photo: Supplied
Jacob Bramley. Photo: Supplied

“Additionally, with rent increases, owners are experiencing a larger net return on their investment, prompting some to invest in these services,” he added.

Paul Kelly, operations director at Allsopp & Allsopp Group, said they’re seeing more landlords looking to property management companies to help manage, coordinate and reduce costs as much as possible.

“The overall picture is that both tenants and landlords are a lot more knowledgeable about their rights and advocate a lot more for them. In turn, this also leads to more landlords looking for property management, and more tenants seeking units that have property management to give professional management to the relationship and prevent unnecessary and uncomfortable conflicts,” he said.

Echoing his peers, Luthra added that there is a rise in professional property management, as busy landlords are outsourcing tasks to property management companies.

Alina Adamco. Photo: Supplied
Alina Adamco. Photo: Supplied

Alina Adamco, head of sales at Metropolitan Homes, said that landlords are increasingly turning to property management companies which are armed with a deep understanding of Rera regulations, and play a crucial role in educating both parties on their rights and obligations, fostering a smoother and more harmonious rental experience for all involved.


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