There’s one persistent question that both the new landlords and tenants have. It’s about who is responsible for property maintenance in Dubai.

While a quick query on Google shows us that the landlord is responsible for property maintenance in Dubai, things aren’t exactly as simple as they sound.

This article contains a complete overview of who is responsible for property maintenance in the emirate under different circumstances. Continue reading!

Who is Responsible for Property Maintenance in Dubai

According to Law

Article 16 or Law 26 of 2007 states the responsibility for property maintenance in Dubai lies with the landlord. However, the landlord may pass on this responsibility to the tenant by mentioning it as a clause in the tenancy contract.

According to Tenancy Agreements

In most cases, the tenancy agreements state that the landlord holds the responsibility for major maintenance work while the tenant has to take care of minor maintenance work.

Now, what exactly is included in major and minor maintenance? Here are a few examples to explain it further for you:

Major Maintenance Issues

Generally, issues related to appliances, such as air conditioners, water pumps, water heaters, etc. fall under major maintenance problems, and as stated above, the landlord is responsible for them.

Minor Maintenance Issues

Smaller issues, such as leaking faucets, faulty light bulbs, blocked drains, etc., are considered minor maintenance problems.

According to the Cost

In many rental agreements, property maintenance is defined according to the cost of repairs. For instance, if the maintenance cost falls under AED 1,000, it may be considered minor, which makes it the tenant’s responsibility. On the other hand, if it exceeds AED 1,000, it is called major maintenance, and therefore, becomes the responsibility of the landlord.

Maintenance Issues Arising Tenant Negligence

While it’s clear that the maintenance arising due to normal wear and tear is mostly handled by the landlord, what if the property in Dubai needs repair work due to tenant negligence?

Holding the landlord responsible in such a situation is deemed unfair and unlawful. Therefore, it’s the tenant who is considered responsible to bear the cost of any damage, whether it’s intentional or unintentional, to the property, provided it’s not caused by normal wear and tear.

For example, the tenant must fix the window glass if it shatters due to an impact. Similarly, if an appliance stops working due to incorrect use, they hold the responsibility to get it fixed.

Conflicts Regarding Maintenance Issues

Despite clearly outlined tenant rights and responsibilities, it’s not uncommon for conflicts to arise between landlords and tenants in Dubai. They can be different in terms of nature. For example, the tenant may not agree to the annual increase in the rental amount if they think it is not according to the RERA calculator.

Similarly, taking responsibility for the cost of property maintenance can be another major reason.

Such conflicts mostly arise when the rental agreement doesn’t contain clauses pertaining to maintenance responsibility. In such cases, the ideal solution is to reach out to the rental committee for conflict resolution.

After reviewing the situation, the committee will pass the appropriate judgement, which both the landlord and tenant must follow.

Steps to Take to Reduce Property Maintenance Conflicts

The following steps must be taken in order to reduce property maintenance and other conflicts between landlords and tenants:

  • The rental agreement must be detailed. It must include all the clauses pertaining to property maintenance.
  • If both parties have settled for the major and minor maintenance clause, both these types of maintenance issues must be properly defined.
  • Tenants and landlords must be aware of and fulfil their respective responsibilities.
  • Tenants must follow effective tips for property maintenance in Dubai to keep the house in a better condition.
  • If the landlord is not a foreigner or owns multiple properties in the emirate, it’s recommended for them to hire a property management firm that will deal with all maintenance-related and other issues.

Wrapping Up

To sum it up, if not outlined clearly, property maintenance in Dubai can land both the landlord and the tenant in a troublesome condition. Therefore, it’s important to know which party holds the responsibility for property maintenance in Dubai before signing the tenant agreement.

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