Friday 1 December 2017

Moving House in Dubai Part 1 - Giving notice and finding a new home

Handing in your notice:

You need to give written notice of 90 days to your landlord as per your tenancy agreement. I'm seriously hoping that a WhatsApp message to the Land Ladies daughter will suffice or we'll be staying put. The last two years we've rearranged the new teensy agreement this way and last year, it was how the 5% increase in rent was relayed to us via WhatsApp also. So far the only response I’ve had is that we’ll get the deposit back once we’ve settled the DEWA (electricity and water) account.
Our contract states we mustn’t remove anything attached to walls, so must I sssume we leave the curtain poles in place? It’s the only thing we’ve put up and that the house must be clean.
I’ve heard other contracts stipulate the house must be repainted and all plants removed from the garden. As our garden was bare other than a patch of half dead grass and 2 office chairs, I’ll be digging up our shrubs and small trees regardless.

Contacting an agent: 

Google ‘houses to rent in Dubai’ there are quite literally 100’s if agents. Set a budget, location, size of house (number of bedrooms) and be prepared to have agents a) ring you within several minutes with a list of available properties or b) not reply to your calls at all. 
Ask agents to ‘drop a pin’ on WhatsApp but be prepared that a) you’ll never find that location or b) the agent fails to turn up.

We’re moving to downsize, save money and be closer to Peters work. Downsizing and small are not words that Dubai are familiar with. Most of the properties viewed so far are bigger than where we are now, it have gardens of epic proportions. 

Some things to take into consideration when renting a new property:

Does the landlord accept pets? Does the land owners ie construction company allow pets on their land they manage? I know of a couple of areas in Dubai where pets are allowed in the buildings (mainly apartment blocks) but the land owners have declared the outside area a ‘dog free’ zone.

Will the landlord be doing any work to the property? What? Timescale? Decorating before you move in? Landscaping the outdoor area? What are the t&cs in regards to repairs? It is common that the tenant is responsible for repairs up to AED500. Make sure all this is in writing. 

Find out how many cheques the landlord will accept. It’s commercial n to pay rent a year up front. Some places will accept 2-4 cheques in advance for the year, but the price will go up if you accept this method and remember it’s illegal in Dubai if a cheque bounces and you will face prosecution if you don’t have the funds. You’ll also require a deposit. 

Agents fees? You’ll need to budget for them also, but don’t expect them to manage your rental agreement, that’s between you and your landlord. 

Getting a quote for packers and moving:

You’ll find details of removal companies in adverts on the rental agents pages. Find out if they’ll pack and unpack and if insurance is included and over how many days they’ll move you.

Here are some of the properties we’ve been looking at.
We’ve decided we want to rent a townhouse. They are 3 beds but much smaller and with less outdoor space than the 2 bed villas. Both properties are however the same price to rent.
There are only so many different styles to townhouses and villas, so preference comes down to location and quality of property.
We want to be within walking distance of the mall/shops and access to public transport and not on the front row on the entrance road.

2 bed villa

3 bed townhouse


  1. Renting in the UK can be tricky but Dubai sounds a lot more complicated. I'm surprised so much is done via whatsap and the 3 month notice period. I hope you find what you're looking for soon (and I don't blame you for digging up your plants, we did that in all of our rented properties too) #pocolo

    1. So different from the UK, we rent a property out in the UK but leave the agents to manage it, all we ever have to do is sign the new contract for our tenants, I’ve no idea though what one has to do to rent in the UK though

  2. Wow, so much to do, but it be worth it for a lovely looking home X #pocolo

    1. Id started to decluttering the house earlier this year now just to find somewhere to take all the stuff we’re getting rid of and actually rent a place and we’re good to move

  3. Wow! There is so much to think about. We rent and I'm sure there wasn't that much to do when we moved from our last property to here. Good luck with finding somewhere new x #PoCoLo

    1. I’ve no idea what one has to do to rent in the UK, it was different again in South Africa. Our rental property in the UK is managed by agents and we don’t have to do a thing

  4. Oh gosh that sounds complicated. I hope you find a suitable place, the ones you've shown look lovely. :)
    Thanks for linking to #pocolo

    1. i'm sure we'll find somewhere, we have to by the end of the weekend as I'm traveling back to the uk on monday

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