Set a budget
Setting a budget is critical when you are a first-time renter or looking to swap apartment living for a villa lifestyle. Your monthly rent payments need to be affordable. Make sure to factor in monthly running costs such as water, electricity, internet and service charges. You should also set aside funds to cover your moving costs, including a deposit, upfront rent payment, utility connection costs, removals services and agent commission.
Connect with an expert
Finding a reputable real estate broker takes a whole load of stress off your shoulders, especially in a competitive rental market. A great broker will keep you updated on new and upcoming listings that meet your criteria and is your intermediary regarding lease negotiations. Ensure they are fully RERA qualified and have in-depth knowledge of the areas you are looking at. Your broker should also be there for every viewing and follow up on any maintenance issues you may have spotted, which need to be sorted out before you move in.
Secure the property
You've found the perfect property and have made an offer. The next step is to provide scans of your Emirates ID and residency visa, along with three cheques: one for the deposit, one for the first rental payment, and one for the broker's commission. The first two cheques should be in the name of the landlord and the third in the name of your broker's company.
Once you've agreed on the terms and conditions of the lease, your broker will draw up an agreement under the Ejari contract system. Any points agreed with the landlord not included in the contract cannot be enforced at a later date. After both parties have signed and the cheques have cleared, you can move in.
Register your Ejari
After signing the tenancy agreement, you must register the tenancy with Ejari. Normally, the tenant does this, but if your property is managed by Betterhomes, our property management team will take care of it for you. You can register online at dubailand.gov.ae, where you need to upload certain documents and pay a fee. Alternatively, you can visit one of the Ejari centres dotted around the city to complete the process in person. To register Ejari, you will need a copy of your tenancy contract, a copy of your landlord's ID and your passport copy/visa details.
Connect your utilities
Your Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) connection is linked to the Ejari system, so you can't connect the supply until your Ejari is registered. Activating your account can be done online (dewa.gov.ae) or at one of the self-service kiosks at any DEWA Customer Happiness Centre. You will need your Ejari number, tenancy contract, Emirates ID and passport copy, your DEWA number (if an existing customer), and nine-digit premises number (which is located on a mounted wall plate next to your front door). A refundable security deposit of AED 4000 for a villa and AED 2000 for an apartment also applies.