When renting property in Abu Dhabi, you will have to give your landlord a security deposit, which is usually 5% of the annual rent. Many tenants are shocked to learn that a large part of their security deposit is being held back by the landlord when they vacate the property. While there can be a number of reasons for losing your deposit, the most common reason is damage to the property. However, you can avoid such losses by knowing the terms and conditions of your contract and taking some simple steps. The experts at ServiceMarket have put together the following tips to make it easier for you to get your deposit back.
- Read and understand your contract: A lot of people make the mistake of not giving their landlord enough notice that they are leaving. Every rent contract specifies a notice period. For example, you might have to inform your landlord two months before you move. Make sure you check your contract and give the right advanced notice. This rule is in place so that landlords have enough time to advertise the property and find a new tenant, so the landlord is likely to deduct money from your deposit if you don’t give them enough notice.
- Take photos of your apartment: Your landlord might point out a damaged area and hold your responsible for it even though it was already damaged when you moved into the house. To avoid such situations, you should take photos of all damaged areas and things when you first enter the property and send a formal request for these things to be fixed.
- ‘Make sure to directly inform your landlord about damage when you discover it. Document this. We had a discussion at the end of our lease about damage that was known to be structural and not caused by us. We threatened to take the case to court. Fortunately in the end we got back our deposit of 5,000 Dhs.’ — Florence (Moved out of Al Reef)
- Save money by repairing the house yourself: If something got damaged while you were living in the house, you should consider getting it repaired yourself. Sometimes landlords deduct more money from the deposit then it would cost for you to repair the house. You can use ServiceMarket to easily book painting, cleaning and maintenance services in the UAE. Make sure you leave your home in its original condition.
- ‘Be sceptical when proposed deductions for certain damages in the house. Always propose to have it fixed yourselves by hiring a painter or handyman yourselves. That brought the actual deduction down for us.’ — Marian (Recently moved out of Oryx Gardens)
- ‘The only thing we were charged for when we moved out was damage to baths/showers. He knew the price out of the top of his head, so I assume this is being charged to everyone.’ — Meiretta (Recently moved out of Mangrove Village)
- Register your contract with Ejari: To make the agreement between you and the landlord legally binding, you should register your contract with Tawtheeq as soon as you move in. Doing so will save you from unnecessary hassles and make it easier for you to get your deposit back in case there is a dispute.
- Contact the land department: Arguments and disputes between tenants and landlords are not uncommon. If you think that the landlord is holding back your deposit unfairly or is not acting according to the terms and conditions specified in the contract, you should speak to the Rent Disputes Settlement department. They can offer advice and help you in settling the dispute.
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