Dubai: As rents fall, tenants get new & better deals

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Residential landlords in Dubai are getting increasingly flexible in their terms and pricing.

The burgeoning supply of units in Dubai has given more choice and confidence to tenants to explore more options and cheaper rents upon lease renewal. Landlords are slowly accepting the new reality and are open to negotiations with their tenants.

“Landlords are flexible when it comes to the number of rental cheques. The norm for the number of cheques is between one to four. However, there are no incentives given by landlords as yet,” says Yash Shah, sales director, Aurum Real Estate.

Although four to six cheques is becoming a more common occurrence, it’s not available on all properties and sometimes a tenant will still have to pay one cheque. Very few globally recognised cities, however, require a tenant to pay an entire year’s rent in advance.

“Multiple rent cheques shouldn’t be looked at as a bad thing from a landlord/investment point of view. It’s how a healthy property market should run and at the moment, it’s how they can get an even greater return on their investment,” explains Lewis Allsopp, CEO, Allsopp & Allsopp.

“To distinguish their property in a competitive environment, some landlords are even prepared to include the first month rent-free,” observes Nick Grassick, managing director, PH Real Estate.

While a tenant in Dubai has always had the opportunity to renegotiate upon renewal, landlords today are more susceptible to those negotiations. With a lot of choice and deals in the market if you are willing to look around, tenants can cite these factors while negotiating with their landlords.

“However, I wouldn’t be disheartened as a landlord. If you are flexible on the amount of cheques you will take, you can still get excellent returns on your properties. I think an important message to get across is that if you have a good tenant, you should be accommodating with them as they are worth a lot more than just the rent,” Allsopp points out.


Several families are using the rent softening to upgrade to townhouses and villas for a better lifestyle and amenities.

“The further you move away from the central hub of Dubai [Sheikh Zayed Road corridor], the more affordable homes become,” suggests Grassick. But, he adds: “As a result of softening of rents, we are finding greater inflows to the more mature, developed communities that line Sheikh Zayed Road, historically the more expensive communities.”

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