Guide to Tenancy Contracts: The Ultimate Checklist

signing a tenancy contract

Tenancy contracts are undoubtedly the most important element of the rental property market. Before proceeding with a rental lease or agreement it is essential to ensure that you have adequate information in order to make an informed decision. Often errors and ambiguities occur when a tenant or landlord does not fully familiarize themselves with the terms of the contract or the laws and regulations of the country. So here are a few tips for ensuring you have all your bases covered.

signing a tenancy contract

Tenants’ rights and Obligations

Prior to the tenancy contract, the tenant needs to ensure that the following documents are being provided:

  • Emirates ID (i.e., he must be a resident)
  • Passport copy
  • Visa Copy
  • A cheque for agency fee
  • A cheque for security deposit

Prior to signing the agreement, both parties along with the landlord’s power of attorney must be present as well as a licensed property management company (when applicable).

EJARI registration

Furthermore, in the case the property is under management, the agent must ensure that the registration of the EJARI contract is done. In cases, that the property is not under management landlords or tenants can complete the process OF EJARI registration with the following details:

  • Tittle Deed
  •  Emirates ID and or/ Mobile number.

Tenants and Landlords can also find the unified tenancy contract used as a standard practice here.

Initial Deposit

Once the tenancy agreement is fulfilled, the tenant is required to pay any safety deposit for a property that the landlord may require including the first installment of rent prior to handover.

DEWA Activation / Deactivation

When making arrangements within your new property, DEWA or Dubai Electricity and Water Authority is a fairly simple procedure to ensure that your utilities are up and running. In order to proceed with activation, as a tenant you will be required to present the necessary documents i.e., a

  • Emirates ID
  • Passport
  • security deposit of 2,500 AED for apartments/ AED 4000 for villas.

Provided that all of the above are set in stone, you can have your electricity and water running within just a days’ time.

For cancellations, residents can just present the above documents along with any pending payments. 

Much to the benefit of the tenant, any other maintenance and restoration activities need to be undertaken by either the Landlord or the property management.

Termination of the contract

  • Tenants are protected for up to 1 year from the date of agreement provided that both parties are in agreement.
  • Any changes or amendments to the contracts including rental increments must be done, after providing a 90-day notice period to the tenants’ registered email.
  • Breaking the tenancy contract is only possible if BOTH parties agree to it.

In the case, that tenant would like to terminate a contract early, all they need to do is make sure that they honor the break clause mentioned within their agreement i.e., the required notice period and/ the penalty fee.

The standard penalty fee is often, the payment of two months’ rent however, this may be subject to the terms of the contract. Whereas, the notice period usually follows a period of 90 days.


In most cases, eviction of the tenant usually occurs in cases when the due rent amount is not provided within 30 days of receiving written notification. Furthermore, illegal or immoral activities or damages could lead to tenant eviction.

Landlord Rights and Obligations

Every landlord is protected by the law to a set of rules while also being responsible for their own set of obligations.

In a brief overview:

  • Landlords have the right to receive their rent at the agreed due date
  • They are also given the right to eviction, in cases where they would like sell the property
  • The landlord has the right to receive the property in the same condition as the time of handover.
  • Landlord are responsible for providing any property licenses required for reconstruction/redecoration
  • Landlords are also responsible for any maintenance or restoration processes/costs.

Given the above, a tenancy agreement can have many variables that need close consideration. In the case, you have a lot on your plate or find this to be quite overwhelming it may help to hire a real estate agent. For more information and professional advice, feel free to give us a call.

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