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What documents are needed to rent a property in Dubai


What documents are needed to rent a property in Dubai

From the basic documents required to prepare a tenancy contract to everything you need to register with Ejari and connect your DEWA and district cooling services, we’ve got you covered.

Dubai real estate is in hot demand. Once you’ve decided on a property, it’s essential to have your documents in order to finalize your application and offer. Here’s a list of all you need as per Dubai Tenancy Laws. 

Basic Document Checklist:

  • Passport copy
  • Residence Visa copy
  • Emirates ID copy
  • Security deposit cheque; typically, 5% of the annual rental amount for unfurnished, or 10% for furnished properties
  • Agency fee cheque; typically, 5% of the annual rental amount

To secure a property:

  • Refundable security deposit (5% of the annual rental amount)

To secure a property, you are required to pay a refundable deposit to the landlord. Ask your agent to confirm the property ownership before issuance of deposit

Once you have paid the security deposit, be sure to request a receipt and a copy of the landlord’s passport.

To prepare a tenancy contract:

  • Passport copy
  • Residence Visa copy
  • Emirates ID copy
  • Confirmation of payment of security deposit

Remember, before signing a contract, you should thoroughly read through each clause, making a note of anything you do not fully understand. Never leave room for ambiguity, as this means a clause may be open to interpretation later down the line, and potentially not in your favor. 

Upon signing your tenancy contract:

  • Agency fee payment (typically 5% of the rental amount)
  • Post-dated cheques for rental payments

Ensure you receive a receipt of payment for the agency fee, as well as copies of each rent cheque.

For registering your tenancy contract with Ejari

  • Original signed tenancy contract (by tenant and landlord)
  • Confirmation of payment of security deposit and rent cheques
  • Copy of Title Deed (obtained from landlord)
  • Passport copy
  • Residence Visa copy
  • Emirates ID copy
  • Passport copy of landlord
  • If the landlord resides overseas, the contract can be signed under Power of Attorney (POA). In this case, you will require a copy of the valid POA and a passport copy of the POA
  • 9-digit DEWA Premises Number
  • AED 220 Ejari Registration Fee at typing centre (or AED 172 Registration Fee registering online or via the mobile app)

In English, Ejari translates to ‘my rent’. The Ejari system is a contract registration platform administered by the Dubai Land Department (DLD) to authenticate rental contracts and agreements between tenants and landlords. 

Ejari Registration is mandatory — the system is in place to make sure all private rental contracts are drafted into legally binding documents and structured in the government-approved format.

Who is responsible for contract registration: landlord or tenant?

Registering the tenancy contract with the Ejari is the responsibility of the landlord. Typically, the landlord will assign this to the real estate agent. However, in practice the tenant will complete the process and pay the required fees.

You must be sure that all deposits, contract duration and rent amounts are clearly stated in your Ejari.

Where can I find an Ejari Typing Centre?

Visit one of the approved Ejari typing centres with these documents:

There are Ejari typing centres in Al Manara Centre, Al Barsha Mall, Oud Metha, Port Saeed or Zabeel. 

The general Ejari desk timings are from Sunday to Thursday between 8am to 8pm, on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm and during Ramadan from 8.30am to 4.30pm on weekdays only. 

However, always double check your preferred locations business hours.

Register Ejari via the mobile app

Alternatively, you can register your tenancy contract and upload your documentation using the Ejari official app.

To use this method, your landlord must be registered on the Ejari also. 

Once registration is complete, you will receive the official Ejari contract which includes a unique Ejari ID number. This number is used to register for your DEWA account, which you can now conveniently complete online.

NOTE: Ensure previous Ejari is cancelled

Ejari certificates must be cancelled by either the former tenant, the landlord, real estate agency or property management company. They do not cancel automatically on tenancy expiry. If this has not been done, it will prevent and delay your registration and certificate.

For getting a DEWA connection

Newly integrated systems between Ejari and DEWA mean you will receive a DEWA connection process electronically once your Ejari contract has been registered.

Once received, here’s the next steps:

  1. Download the DEWA Smart Application and follow the prompts to apply for a new connection
  2. Provide your Ejari contract number, Emirates ID and passport copy
  3. Make payment of the refundable DEWA deposit amount (AED 2,000 for apartments, AED 4,000 for villas) through the online payment gateway
  4. Make payment of the non-refundable connection fee (between AED 110 to AED 300) through the online payment gateway

TIP: Be aware of pending DEWA payments

In some cases, previous renters may not have settled their DEWA bill before leaving the premises, meaning you will be unable to obtain your connection until the outstanding payment is settled. 

Be sure to confirm with the landlord that all final bills from the previous tenant have been paid before signing your contract. 

For connecting district cooling services

  • Copy of signed tenancy contract
  • Passport copy
  • Emirates ID copy
  • Signed registration forms
  • Refundable security deposit (approximately AED 2,000 for apartments, AED 3,000 for villas)

District cooling, or chiller, refers to the centralized production and distribution of cooling energy in the building. Emicool and Empower are the main providers in Dubai. 

Landlords and building owners are legally required to include chiller fees in the total rent, as the law stipulates they are responsible for service and maintenance charges of district cooling. However, in some cases, landlords will allow you to pay the chiller fees in exchange for negotiating a lower annual rent. 

Be mindful of move-in forms…

Some popular communities in Dubai, such as Downtown Dubai, Arabian Ranches, The Springs, The Meadows and Dubai Marina, require tenants to produce a move-in permit before they occupy an apartment or villa. 

Check with the real estate agent or landlord whether this is a prerequisite of your area, and where to obtain the necessary forms – typically, they will be available on the developer’s website. 

Documents required in addition to a move-in form are:

  • Signed tenancy contract copy
  • Property ownership copy (Title Deed or Oqood)
  • Passport copy
  • Emirates ID copy
  • Copy of the property’s most recent service charge receipt (obtainable from your real estate agent or landlord)

An essential part of the approval process to obtain your move-in permit will include a review of service charges, and if there are any outstanding payments, your move-in request may be denied. For buildings, the service elevator needs to be booked and a refundable deposit to protect against damages may be requested by building management. Again, always best to check these details with your real estate agent or landlord.


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Before you finalize and sign your tenancy contract, you need to agree on the frequency of rental repayments, commonly referred to as number of cheques. Most landlords will accept two to four cheques. Typically, less cheques come with the bargaining power of negotiating lower rent. 

One cheque

In more popular or upscale communities, such as Downtown Dubai, landlords can insist on one or two cheques.

Multiple cheques

More commonly, it is the trend for landlords to accept multiple cheques.

As an added layer of protection:

  • Ask your landlord for their passport copy and the Title Deed copy before handing over the cheques.
  • Always write your cheques to the landlord, per the Title Deed
  • Request the property management agreement in place between the landlord and the agency (if applicable).
  • Review the trade license of the real estate or property management company to ensure they are licensed for “Leasing and Management of Other People’s Property”. You should not make cheques payable to a company that is licensed for “Supervision Services”, as they are not permitted to accept payments on behalf of owners.
  • Verify the real estate agent’s registration number and license on the Dubai Land Department’s website.

How to write a cheque

To ensure perfect completion of cheques make sure you use your best handwriting as this is the number one reason for cheques being rejected, then follow the simple instructions below:

  1. Date

Date format is MONTH/DATE/YEAR.

This can be written as either 09/21/2019 or September 21, 2019

  1. Payee first

Note the name of the person, or company, to whom you are making payment.

Double check if spelling and information is correctly stated.

  1. Amount in numbers

In the small box on the right, clearly write the amount in numerical format. For example, AED 20,000.

  1. Amount in words

Express the amount written in step 3, in words. For example, twenty thousand.

  1. Signature

The most important step in writing a cheque is signing at the bottom right-hand corner. It confirms your agreement to pay the stated amount to the payee. 

You must ensure your signature matches the signature provided to the bank when you first opened your account. If these signatures do not match, many banks will reject the cheque.


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