Nine questions to ask if you’re considering renting or buying a property

Visiting a property is an essential exercise before signing any rental lease or sales agreement.

This helps potential tenants and buyers identify potential snags and assess the condition of the property before seriously considering living there.

In a booming real estate market, it’s essential that end users – the people who will live there – do their due diligence before committing to buying or renting a home, agents say.

The UAE real estate market has rebounded thanks to government initiatives such as residency permits for retirees and remote workers. Its expansion of the 10-year golden visa program and the economic boost from Expo 2020 Dubai also helped boost prices and sales.

Dubai apartment prices for May 2022 — in pictures

The market also benefited from the country’s extensive coronavirus vaccination program, which kept cases relatively low.

The Dubai property market saw 25,972 real estate transactions in the first three months of this year.

This is the highest number of quarterly transactions since 2010, according to Mo’asher, the emirate’s official selling price index published by the Dubai Land Department in partnership with Property Finder.

We asked real estate professionals about the key questions people should ask when visiting.

1. When is the property available?

Your estate agent should show you which properties will be available when you’re ready to move, says Lewis Allsopp, managing director of Dubai-based brokerage Allsopp & Allsopp.

When you are viewing a large number of properties or the broker has chosen to show you a few options that you did not ask for, note when they will be free.

“If you’re viewing multiple options, all of the dates and properties may be confusing, so it’s good to be clear,” says Allsopp.

Prospective tenants should check to see if the landlord lives on site and will be available if there is a problem, says Connor Manning, regional manager at real estate broker Better Homes. If he lives abroad, would he consider handing over the management of the property to a company to give him peace of mind?

2. What is the running cost of the property?

It’s important to ask about general running costs, such as utility bills, says Ayman Youssef, vice president of real estate agency Coldwell Banker.

“Some areas charge for district cooling, which is a higher cost than Dewa’s typical charges,” he says.

“In such cases, the buyer should have a fair idea of ​​the average cost, especially during the summer. Tenants should find out if the property is chillerless and if the landlord will pay for air conditioning costs.

If you’re considering renting a property, you should ask if it has a maintenance contract, he adds.

In the meantime, if you’re renting a villa, find out if you’ll have to pay any additional maintenance costs such as gardening or pool cleaning, and if so, how much you’ll have to pay, Manning says. .

Prices for villas in Dubai for May 2022 — in pictures

Understanding if maintenance is outsourced is crucial, and if so, both parties need to come to a mutual consensus on the payment amount and process, he adds.

If you are considering buying a villa, you need to know if preventive maintenance activities such as air conditioning cleaning, inspection of water pumps and compressors have been carried out regularly, says Youssef.

Faulty or irregular maintenance usually leads to long-term problems, which can lead to big expenses, he adds.

“For villas, check the age of the property and structural integrity, as older units have associated issues due to wear and tear, which can increase your longer-term maintenance costs.”

3. How many parking spaces and access cards can you have?

If you’re renting or buying a townhouse or villa, this question may not be at the forefront of your mind, but gated communities may require proof of residency to get in and out easily, Allsopp says.

“These can sometimes take the form of an access card or a sticker affixed to the windshield of your car. In some cases, it costs little,” he says.

If you are renting an apartment, ask the broker how many parking spaces you will be allocated, if any. Also ask your broker how many access cards you’ll receive and the replacement cost if lost, Allsopp says.

4. Are pets allowed?

If you have a pet, or if you think you will have one in the future, it is important to ask about it early on. Many landlords don’t allow pets into the home, says Better Homes’ Manning.

“Also, some developers won’t allow pets in certain buildings or communities,” he adds.

5. What facilities do I have access to?

Ask the broker what facilities are available to you, says Allsopp.

“If you are visiting a property in an apartment building, you will likely be able to access all of the facilities in the apartment complex, such as the gym, pool and parks. However, if you are renting a villa or townhouse in within a community, some facilities may not be accessible without paying an additional fee,” he says.

For example, golf communities do not offer tenant memberships. Some tenants will be able to use the clubhouse’s community pool, if it has one, Allsopp adds.

You should also ask the broker what amenities are in the neighborhood. There may be hidden gems you weren’t aware of, he says.

“It is always advantageous to know the local shops and their distance from the property, as well as the location of health establishments and schools. Find out what community groups are available in the area,” says Allsopp.

6. How long has the property been on the market?

If a property has been on the market for a long time, it indicates that it was priced too high to begin with, Manning says.

Buyers may have more bargaining power because the seller may be willing to compromise on price, he adds.

7. Is the property mortgaged?

Before buying a property, check with the seller if the property is mortgaged, says Youssef of Coldwell Banker.

If the property is mortgaged, it must be settled before the unit can be transferred to the new buyer.

8. What are the service charges?

Buyers often forget to ask for the service charge for a property.

Building service charges range from a few thousand dirhams a year to Dh100,000, so they should be factored into initial cost calculations, Manning said.

9. Have there been any upgrades or expansions?

If any alterations or extensions are made to the property, the developer will require the seller to have the relevant no-objection certificate, Manning says.

“It is important for the buyer to ask the agent if the seller has NoCs in place. If not, the seller may have to remove the extension or pay the cost of the NoC once the deal is done.

Updated: May 27, 2022, 6:02 p.m.

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