How do I negotiate a lower rent with my landlord in the UAE?

Tenants are continuing to look for affordable homes in the UAE or move to spacious units during the Coronavirus pandemic. The first quarter of 2021 indicates some signs of stability in rentals rates. This makes it important for the tenants to put their demands before the landlord adequately.

Here are five techniques to get a good home rental deal from your landlord

Start a constructive conversation

Never be argumentative or give ultimatums and especially don’t have an ego clash when you want to negotiate for the rent, says Gaurav Aidasani, managing director of Union Square House. “You must understand that many landlords would have this as their only investment unit with their life savings invested. Understand this factor and lead your conversation based on these factors. Also, you must see who are you speaking with - is it the landlord directly or the property agency? In either case, it requires different methods of deliberation.”

“Never wait for the last minute and always start your negotiation at least 120 days before your renewal. In Dubai, there is usually a three-month rule of giving notice for non-renewal, so keep that in mind. If the situation allows it, try to negotiate in person, or tthrough a video call. If that also not possible, then a phone call, email or a WhatsApp will do, but try to keep it personal.”

Go with realistic expectations

Know what you want before you approach the landlord. Aidasani says, after doing a thorough comparative market analysis of the units in your area:

● Set a realistic expectation.

● Be prepared to hear a yes, maybe and a no as well.

● Remember this rule, aim for more than you expect to receive, then meet somewhere in the middle.

● Have screenshots of listings of similarly priced units listed on the various portals to present them to your landlord.

Ask for payment flexibility

If your landlord is unwilling to negotiate on rent, you can negotiate on the payment mode or number of cheques. Rakesh Mirchandani, co-founder and CEO at KGR Real Estate, says nowadays flexibility of payments is the norm. Four cheques or even monthly payments are generally achievable.

“The landlords accept the option of monthly payment because their property gets rented and, at times, this offers the prospect of higher rent. Here, the landlords do their due diligence on the tenant before accepting to monthly option to ensure that the payments will be made and on time. Those who have cash and want a better rent offer paying lesser cheques or higher initial payment. As in for luxury properties, the tenants prefer to pay in one or two payments,” he adds.

Demand for other concessions

Discounts and allowances on rent can also be requested. Mirchandani says, “Although the standard rent contracts are for 12 months, you can negotiate or ask for an additional one to threemonth rent-free period. This rent-free period is reasonable to average out your rent value. Landlords, rather than waiting and keeping a property vacant, accept giving the benefit to a tenant of a rent-free period so that the renter moves in and the landlord can receive his rent/ payment earlier.”

“Some landlords also offer an all-inclusive rent, which includes utilities. You can negotiate a contract that includes either all or a certain ‘capped’ amount included in the rent. This is a viable option for tenants that prefer not to register the utilities in their name or pay deposits to the utility service providers.”

Request for appliances, furniture or upgrades

Mirchandani recommends negotiating rents with products being included, such as furniture appliances. This helps tenants to save money on new appliances and furniture. “If you are renting partially furnished or furnished properties, ask the landlord to include additional furniture or other items, such as a refrigerator or a washing machine or maybe an upgrade in the property that can add value.”

“While renting a villa or townhouse, ask the landlords to landscape the garden, and maybe include plants and trees. Properties that come without any add-ons or have some of the appliances, you can ask for props to be included,” he adds.



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