Looking to rent a pricey apartment/villa in Dubai, better carry your salary certificate or an attested bank statement.
In order to reduce the possibility of prospective tenants issuing dud cheques, property agents are asking for salary certificates to bank statements to ensure their bank accounts are active.
Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director, Harbor Real Estate, says: “Yes, we do ask for salary certificates or bank statement from prospective tenants to gauge their financial stability. We even take on the onus of checking with the banks on whether the person issuing the cheques has an active bank account… this service is offered to our large clients.”
Alwadiya, who is also a certified property management trainer for Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency, says: “In some cases, we have seen that the renter opens a new bank account just to issue rental cheques. Thereafter, he closes the account and his cheques bounce. And to evict a tenant takes a long time so it is better to verify details before letting.”
He adds: “Besides, when leasing to a company we state in the rent contract the names of the people who will be residing in the leased apartment. And we do go and verify if the same people are residing or not.”
Although Better Homes, a Dubai-based real estate consultancy too advises landlords to vetting the tenant before renting their apartments, landlords may ask the question on why take the burden when cheque bouncing is a criminal offence?
Zubin Firozi, Head of Property Management, Better Homes, asserts: “The single most important piece of advice for landlords is to spend the time and effort to vet the tenant before signing the contract. This is because once a tenant is occupying the property, it becomes a difficult matter should that tenant not meet their obligations.”
He adds: “A solid contract should be in place, outlining all agreed terms, and include a ‘no subletting’ clause. The contract should then be registered with the Ejari. Upon the tenant occupying the property, the landlord should inspect it to ensure it is not subletted.