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How to Get Your Rental Deposit Back

Each year, thousands of seasoned expats either move house within Dubai or leave the Emirate altogether. One of the downsides of being an expat tenant is that we can often be exploited, especially in the case of having to leave Dubai in a hurry. Some, but not all landlords are unscrupulous and we all know that landlords here in Dubai can be quite unique. So to ensure you get your deposit back here are some helpful tips and advice you can follow. After all, many tenants have had little or no choice but to improve the landlord’s property, at their own expense! Why risk losing your deposit as well?

Issues often arise throughout the tenancy, especially where maintenance services have been promised and yet not forthcoming. There are however, things you can do to limit the damage. The first tip is for right at the very beginning, get everything in writing. Contracts are often very simple and very limited as to the information they contain. Make sure any extra agreements are added before signing and the contract is registered with the RERA’s online portal called Ejari.

Deal with reputable agents! Ask your community and or relocator for advice and recommendations. Often your relocation company has an affiliation with a reputable realtor. Take photographs and make sure a proper handover is done and signed by both parties. Make sure you keep a copy of the tenancy agreement and receipts for the rent and deposit. Keep a log of issues, repairs and any receipts where you have had to repair, replace or maintain things throughout the tenancy. At the end of every year make your landlord aware of the costs to date.

The next piece of advice is key. Time! Give yourself time, if you can, to complete your move. Expect to move out of the property a couple of weeks prior to your move and into a hotel, serviced apartment or friend’s sofa. Thus giving you time to ensure the property is handed back in a timely and tidy fashion, clear DEWA and other bills. Again, photograph the property and ensure it is clean and tidy, giving the Landlord no reason to try and keep your deposit.

Your landlord should give back theĀ  security deposit immediately after you have vacated the property. Normally he has to provide you an invoice of his expenses, if he wants to reduce the amount of the security deposit paid back to you, but it is not mandatory. So, it is always better to be clear about the return of the deposit in the rental contract at the beginning. If you have any problems regarding your tenancy you canĀ complain to RERA at the Land Department. Here is the link to the RERA laws and here are some words of wisdom from RERA;

All Dubai tenants should be familiar with Law No. (26). of 2007 which is the Law governing the relationship between the Landlord and the Tenant.

Tenants should also remember, the property is the asset of the Owner, it must be looked after. When you have registered the Tenancy contract with RERA, and if you have a problem and need intervention or a dispute arises, RERA can assist, but only if the lease is registered.

The final piece of advice – always act respectfully, even if your landlord doesn’t. Never enter in to a war of words. Simply state your case and then get on with life until your tenancy comes to a natural end. If the landlord refuses to give you the money back, speak to RERA in the first instance. They may be able to help. If the agent has the deposit, take your receipt with your file and knock on his door. The trick in a tenancy is to keep good records. In the face of evidence the landlord will hopefully back down, especially if they are simply using your deposit as part of their income.

Good Luck!

4 Responses to “How to Get Your Rental Deposit Back”

  1. Manohar says:

    If i make a rent deposit cheq. towards booking an apartment and if i had to cancel that booking within two weeks, do i have a chance to get back my rent deposit cheque.

  2. Miguel says:

    I just vacated a house I stayed in for more than 6 years and the 2 months new landlord is playing smart saying that the walls are cracked in 2 places , the tiles are cracked in one corner and few bulbs are burned!!!!! For your info these are structural damages.One sink is also cracked and this is the same way we got it when we rented the premises from a reputable real estate developer at the time.
    I knew immediately that the tenant is playing games and will not pay my deposit back.

    The house was taken care of and due to its perfect condition it was possible to sell it to one new owner 2 months before I vacate the premises. This new owners first reaction was the key list and he wanted to make sure all the keys are there so I provided him the key list with 2 keys in each case. He said they should be 3 keys !!!! I told him I only have 2 and anyway you need to replace the front door key. He said this will cost 90AED !!!!!!
    This is really ridiculous, sheep and unprofessional.
    Better not to rent from individuals to avoid falling in such stupid issues in Dubai.
    The guy bought a house for close to 4M AED and he is worried of the burned light bulbs !!!!

  3. Kristian says:

    I rented a apartment and there should be 2 access cards for parking and to get in to The building .Still i havent recived them i try to get hold on The landlord but he lives in The UK i was told by The Secruity that he hasnet paid his service charge..what to do


    • Louise says:

      Move One Relocation services advise that you should keep trying to reach landlord for access cards and for payment of service fees as this can lead to more issues for a tenant. You can try applying for new access cards for parking and pay himself and later try and get a reimbursement on the money from landlord, however as the service fees have not been paid you may be denied access altogether.

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