Should Abu Dhabi landlord use property agent to find new tenant, sort maintenance?

We own and live in an apartment in Abu Dhabi. When the time comes to leave the UAE we intend to rent out the flat long term, preferably, handling the leasing ourselves and therefore saving the fee we would have to pay to an estate agent. We obviously need to do everything in line with the law and I am wondering what the necessary steps are for leases with tenants, such as where to obtain leases (we used to have a green printed document when we rented), registering the lease with Abu Dhabi Municipality and other matters. Also can you advise if service maintenance is at the expense of the landlord or tenant. Where we live, Khidmah offers a yearly service maintenance contract for Dh3,400. SH, Abu Dhabi

To do this properly, I would recommend you use the services of an estate agent. Remember that cutting corners in terms of saving the potential agent’s fee can sometimes end up costing you more than the fee itself.

Although it is becoming increasingly common for landlords or sellers to be charged for real estate services to sell or lease their properties, there are still many companies that will charge the tenant only, so it may still end up costing you little to nothing while still using the services of an agency.

If you still insist on doing it yourself, you can generally obtain a tenancy agreement via the ADM website after populating all the relevant information online. The tenancy has to be registered on the Tawtheeq system; this can also be done via the ADM website.

If you are considering taking out a maintenance contract, this gives piece of mind not only to you as the owner but also to the tenant, who would regard the tenancy as being hassle-free. I suggest adding the cost of the maintenance agreement on to the asking price of the rent when marketing the property.

I came to Dubai with my family at the end of March and I received my residence visa last week (my Emirates ID is on its way). My family are still here on their 90-day Schengen visa. As my wife is pregnant and will have the baby back home in the Netherlands, she will return in November. This means that I will be here on my own. I want to keep my monthly rental costs low by renting a studio for six months and move to a long-term apartment in November so my family will join me again. My questions are:

1. If I rent a studio for six months can I register for Ejari? I will be needing this to sponsor my family.

2. Am I obliged to rent a place for one year? Does Ejari accept any rental agreements less than a year? EB, Dubai

Renting any property for less than one year is regarded as short-term accommodation, but there will not be an Ejari issued under this tenancy.

My advice would be to seek out a small property and lease it for one year, but make sure that there is a break clause of six months included in the contract. Discuss your requirements with your landlord in the first instance, who, I’m sure, will be accommodating. This lease will be registered with Ejari, so you will be able to sponsor your family.

The other option would be to initially rent out a smaller unit for yourself on a short-term ­basis of, say, four or five months rather than the six months you were mentioning. This will not be registered with Ejari but short term will mean that the property will probably be registered through the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. Once ready, you can move into a larger property and organise the Ejari in good time, whereby you will then be able to sponsor your family in due course.

Mario Volpi is the chief sales officer for Kensington Exclusive Properties and has worked in the property industry for the past 32 years in London and Dubai. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and they do not reflect in any way those of the institutions to which he is affiliated. It does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Please send any questions to mario.volpi@kensington.ae