No matter how carefully you observe a prospective apartment that you intend to rent in Dubai, you’re obviously going to find out about some quirks of the place once you’ve moved in properly. If you haven’t moved in and notice that the toilet seat’s broken, or if the door knobs are loose while viewing the apartment, or if you have moved in and find out about clogged drains, malfunctioning air conditioners and leaky faucets, you should know your rights as a tenant and have your maintenance done.
Who is responsible for the payment and the arrangement of maintenance works in a rented property?
The landlord. All of the major maintenance tasks have to be completed by the landlord upon handing over the property. This means once the lease agreement is signed, and unless it is stated otherwise on the signed agreement, the landlord has to get all the maintenance work done before you move in.
As per Law 26 (Tenancy Law) of the Emirate of Dubai:
- (Article 16) The Landlord is responsible for, during the term of the lease, for maintenance of the leased property, and to repair and rectify any faults or damages on the property that may hinder the intended use of the Tenant, unless stated otherwise on the signed agreement between the two parties.
- (Article 17) The Landlord will be held responsible for any wear and tear, damage, defect or deficiency caused to the leased property the fault of which is not attributed to the tenant.
However, this does not mean that the tenant is not to be held responsible for causing any damage to the property, as according to the Article 21 of the Tenancy law:
- The Tenant is to maintain leased property as any person would maintain their own property. The Tenant is to return the leased property at the end of agreed tenure in the condition that it was received by the Landlord, save for fair wear and tear, which is expected.
Does this mean the Tenant does not have to pay for maintenance at all?
Not really, as most lease agreements only talk about major maintenance issues. In general, a landlord should ensure the maintenance of the air channels and ACs, damaged circuitry, all major plumbing issues, and water heater, water pumps related issues.
However, everyday life causes multiple wear and tear that have to be taken care of by the tenant by themselves. A short circuited switchboard, for example can be fixed by the tenant. Other small maintenance works such as changing of light bulbs, and tightening of leaky faucets, cleaning of blocked drains and repairing of shower pipes.
Apart from that, in case of damage to the property due the negligence of the tenant,it is the tenant who needs to get them fixed. This can include broken kitchen drawers, broken door knobs, damage to window or balcony glass or any other feature of the apartment.
There may also be cases where the maintenance problems of the leased property becomes a cause of dispute between the Landlord and Tenant. In such situations, the issue is to be taken to the rental committee who will review the case and make a final decision.
Whether you own a property you’ll be putting up for lease or are living in a rented space, Contact Total Property Care at +971 56 466 706 for queries, inquiries and assistance.