Ejari in Dubai

Long-term rent is rather typical in Dubai due to its fast development and numerous free business zones. Foreign residents comprise about 90 percent of the city’s population. A lot of them came first for a short period to stay forever. And most of them started with a rental property, as it has a minor advantage – it does not tie you to one place. If you are not sure whether you are willing to stay in Dubai for a long time or you are going to stay for no longer than a year, renting a property is the best solution.

If you are planning to rent a property in Dubai for the long term, you should be aware of its specifics:

  • Contracts are mostly signed for a year to be renewed afterwards.
  • The short-term lease regulation was introduced in UAE only in 2015 and it is still very rare. Usually, short-term tenants get charged more.
  • Security deposits are a common thing for a lease practice. In Dubai, they are regularly 5% from an annual rent for a furnished property, and 10% for unfurnished. It will be returned after the rent is finished if all requirements are met.
  • The lease is paid in a one-time payment or dated checks for specified periods. To sign a bounced check in UAE is a crime.

There are more details, all of which should be specified in the contract. But how to make sure that you are signing a good deal? Rental procedures in Dubai are well-developed, and all parties are well protected by the relatively new system – “Ejari”.

What is Ejari?

“Ejari” in Arabic means “my rent”. Whenever you sign a lease in the UAE, it must be registered with the Dubai Land Department, which oversees all matters related to real estate.

Initiated by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RЕRА), it is аn оnline rеgistrаtiоn systеm thаt rеquirеs аll Dubаi rеntаl or lеаse cоntrаcts to bе reported on the website. This system’s primary goal is to legalize the relationship between landlords and tenants in Dubai that can sometimes be unpleasant. RERA has made it mandatory from 14 March 2010 for landlords to enter the necessary details like terms of the tenancy agreement and property details online. The system for future reference assigns each entry a unique bar code. Ejari will put an end to malpractices in the rental sector by making the whole procedure transparent for all stakeholders. Tenancy contracts, which are not registered at Ejari, will not be protected by any of Dubai’s regulatory authorities.

Ejari system protects all sides of the deal: landlord, tenant, and property management company when involved.

Is Ejari registration mandatory?

Yes, it is mandatory. Ejari is the official confirmation of the registration of your Rental Agreement by the Government of Dubai. It is your official confirmation of residence in the UAE and is required in cases where an application is made for any service type.

Without registration in Ejari system it is not possible to get:

  • Company license.
  • Identity card (ID).
  • Contract with the utilities and communication providers.

Moreover, without registration in Ejari system, it is impossible to resolve any rental disputes and protect your interests in court. Those who do not have an Ejari tenancy contract have no legal rights to appeal to judicial and government authorities to protect their interests.

The registration process and fees

Registration is made at any of the Dubai Land Department typing centers or through Ejari online.

It’s relatively easy to add all the documents in the app or online. However, to use this method, your landlord must be registered on the Ejari too. You get everything done in two days after they approves the documents on the app.

If you pay this fee in person, it will cost AED 220, but though the mobile app it is AED 172. It is a one-time fee and sometimes it can be thought of as not essential, because of the small price. But remember that only Ejari fee makes you an official tenant in the eyes of the UAE government.

The contract should be registered in the system within a month after it has been signed. Otherwise, violators may be fined. Note that the contract must be canceled manually upon finishing the rent agreement; it is not done automatically. And it may delay future Ejari registrations.

Who is registering?

Technically, the lease registration is the property owner’s responsibility, and the tenant pays the registration fees. However, the tenant can also register a lease and could be asked to do so. These moments should be specified in the Tenancy Contract; if they are not, ask to add them. Typically, the landlord will assign this to the real estate agent. However, there is a practice for the tenant to arrange all the processes. Later, it facilitates the communication with providers of utilities and communication, as their providers will require a unique Ejari ID number when signing the contracts.

How long does the process take?

In most cases, after you have completed the application and submitted the necessary documents, you should receive your Ejari in one to two days. A quick turnaround time is more likely if you and your landlord have used the Ejari app before.

What documents are required to register in the Ejari system?

  • Original Tenancy Contract.
  • Security deposit receipt.
  • Copies of the tenant’s passport, visa, and Emirates ID.
  • Copy of the owner’s passport.
  • Copy of Title Deed or Affection Plan.
  • DEWA (Dubai Water and Electricity Authority) number or copies of latest DEWA receipts.
  • Previous Ejari documents if you are renewing.
  • For commercial premises – Company license.

Can the registration be done through the real estate broker?

Yes, it can be done through the online platform or mobile app. For that, a broker needs to have all the documents mentioned above. A broker also must go through one-day training at RERA to get their account.

Ejari registration is landlord and tenant’s responsibilities, so if the broker is doing it for them, it’s an extra fee or an act of goodwill. However, this always must be specified in the contract.

What documents do you get upon registration?

  • Ejari tenancy contract. It’s the transformation of your Tenancy Contract into a standard format accepted by Ejari. It will have a unique Ejari ID number that is used to register in the DEWA system.
  • Ejari registration certificate. It serves as evidence that the rent has been successfully entered into Ejari registration system and gives the terms of the contract legal validity.
  • Ejari fees payment receipt

Do I need to register in Ejari system if I have a long-term rent in a hotel?

No, it is not necessary, but possible. The Ejari registration system is for the landlord and the tenant. The tenant then can use the property as their own: conduct business, apply for connections of the utilities and communications. The first is not possible in the hotel. The second is not needed since it’s provided by the hotel services.

The tenancy documents, in this case, are submitted to the GDRFA instead of the Dubai Land Department. The hotel should provide the tenant with a letter stating that they intend to pay the annual rent in this particular hotel. It also should include the hotel manager’s signature and the hotel’s official seal.

Renewal and cancellation process

When does Ejari need to be renewed?

Ejari registration does not have an expiration date, so you need to cancel it when the rent period is finished. If the tenant changes the property, or when the landlord is about to get a new tenant, Ejari registration needs to be renewed. Usually, it’s done once a year.

It is done in the same way as the initial procedure of registration. There is only one exception: in addition to all the papers, the original Ejari registration documents must be provided.

How to cancel Ejari?

Suppose you want to cancel your rental agreement earlier or renew the contract at the end of the lease. In that case, you should cancel Ejari as there is no such thing as expiration or automatic cancellation of Ejari. To do it, you need the following:

  • Emirates ID of both parties.
  • Ejari Certificate.
  • Tenant’s passport.
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) by the landlord.
  • The last DEWA bill issued to the tenant.
  • In case the tenant is a company, you need to provide both the Emirates ID and trade license of the owner and manager.

Ejari cancellation fee is AED 30.

How else can the system be useful?

Ejari contains historical data on property and landlords. On request, future tenants can look up the information related to a particular unit or specific landlord (past renewals, transfers, cancellations, and terminations of previous contracts). Such knowledge can help the tenant to be sure that he is dealing with a trustworthy owner.

Conclusion

Ejari is a rent registration system initiated by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RЕRА) to create a standard in a long-term lease and protect the interests of all the parties involved.

Remember that registration in Ejari system is necessary not only for residential rent but also for commercial. Without it, it’s not possible to get a business license to operate in UAE.

Without Ejari registration, it is impossible to make a contract with DEWA (Dubai Water and Electricity Authority) and TV and internet providers, as everywhere you must have a unique Ejari number.

Benefits of the Ejari system:

  • Standardized contracts, approved by the government system.
  • Protection of all sides of the deal: landlord, tenant, and property management company when involved.
  • All parties have access to the same documentation in the case of disagreements.
  • Standardized rental receipts.
  • Access to all the historical data of the property and the landlord.

Any party can do the registration. It is the responsibility of the landlord and the tenant. However, it can be done by the real estate agent. In any case, the responsible party should be specified in the agreement.

There are two ways to register: online, via the website or app, and offline at one of the typing centers.

The procedure should be renewed when the tenancy contract is renewed and canceled when its terminated.

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