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KT for Good: Spacious housing in demand as social distancing turns norm during Covid

Ahmed Al Hassoni/Dubai
Filed on July 18, 2020

(Alamy)

Most common "phrases" for online searches by residents include "outside space, garden and pool".

Demand for villas, townhouses and hotel apartments has gone up in Dubai and Abu Dhabi after the pandemic outbreak, as residents are preferring to settle into spacious homes amid the coronavirus-triggered implementation of social distancing.

Most common "phrases" for online searches for by residents in the recent months include "outside space, garden and pool", showing that "outdoor" has become a commodity in demand.

Some tenants opted to cancel their existing rent contracts to go for better, more spacious houses and hotel apartments to fit their lifestyle due to the opportunity that came with the lockdown (cheaper tenancy costs than usual and availability of short-term leases). Home movers and real estate consultancies are also offering palliative discounts on services to help alleviate the financial costs of finding choice abodes and moving into them.

As authorities in the UAE admirably put up efforts with initiatives to fight Covid-19, knowing that we have great leaders helping us during this tough time. We are living in the best part of the world where there is unity and love between different nationalities. We are all together in this, and we are all one. We have learned from our leaders in the UAE that it's always "we", and not "I".

While tenants are paying 50/50 to change around the open space layout in the office on behalf of the owner, others have opted to cancel their existing rent contract to take opportunities of cheaper housing they can afford since the pandemic had affected their finances. Some landlords are cooperating with tenants by offering free-rent periods, early refund of security deposit or delaying payments. In the end, everyone is struggling and team effort is much needed during this time.

If your earnings as a tenant dropped to a level that makes it impossible to pay the rent, you can terminate the contract without having to pay a penalty. Alternatively, tenants who are unable to fulfil the financial obligations of their lease contract could ask for a truthful alleviation from the responsibilities of the tenancy agreement in the Rental Dispute Centre.

The real estate landscape might be changing but professionals who are staying bold and fighting through this crisis will go beyond in the future because they have taken actions tackling every challenge. The boost from e-commerce is a positive change. Also, cloud kitchens and self-storage are expected to see a big expansion within the region soon.

And, if landlords have to rent out monthly as a means to help alleviate the financial constraints caused by the pandemic, then they should do it. After all, we - landlords, movers, real estate professionals and tenants - are in this together.

Ahmed Al Hassoni, founder, www.stallhunt.com


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