When is the property available?
This may seem like an obvious question, but it is certainly one not to overlook. Your agent will most likely be showing you a property which suits the time frame you are after, however, if you are viewing a lot of properties or the agent has maybe decided to show you a few other options on a viewing tour - make sure to ask the question and make a note of the availability dates. If you are viewing multiple options, all dates and properties can get muddled, so it’s good to be clear.
What facilities do I have access to?
When on a viewing, ask your agent exactly which facilities are available for your use. If you are viewing a property in an apartment block, you are most likely able to access all facilities within the apartment complex; the gym, pool, parks. However, if you are renting a villa or a townhouse within a community, there may be some facilities in the community that are not accessible without paying extra fees. For example, golf communities do not offer membership to tenants, however, some tenants can use the community pool within the golf club but not every sub-community will have the access. Bear this in mind and get your agent to clarify exactly what you can use.
How many parking spaces and access cards can we have
If you are renting a townhouse or a villa, this question may not be at the forefront of your mind but gated communities still may require proof of residence to get in and out easily. These can sometimes come in the form of an access card or sometimes a sticker on the windscreen of your car. In some cases these come at a small charge.
If you are renting an apartment, ask your agent how many car parking spaces will be allocated to you. Also ask your agents how many access cards they will need and the cost to replace if they get lost.
Is the property managed?
It is wise to ask your agent if the landlord has a property management contract. A property management contract will ease the stress for you from the moment you sign the lease on a property. Managed properties will have inventory checks before moving-in and on move-out to ensure that every detail of the property is looked over and flaws are documented so when it comes to getting your deposit back, it is clear and organised. If you have a maintenance problem, if a property management contract is in place all you will need to do is get in contact with them and they will liaise with the contractor and the landlord to get the problem fixed as soon as possible. As a rule of thumb, any maintenance problem costing AED 500 or less is payable by the tenant and anything more costly is paid by the landlord.
What does the neighbourhood have to offer?
You should ask the agent what amenities are in the neighbourhood. Perhaps there are hidden gems you weren’t aware of. Local shops and their distance from the property is always a very advantageous fact, as is the location of healthcare facilities, schools and other interests. Make yourself aware of available community groups that take place in the area to get a feel for whether you would like to live there.
There may be a very popular question missing from this list – Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) bills. It is a question that is most commonly asked, however, it is a very niche answer. DEWA bills vary from household to household and all depend on individual usage. A tenant already living in the property may use less DEWA than the new tenant and therefore cannot give an accurate answer to the question of how much to pay for this service. Some people may leave A/C on all day and lights on all night whereas others might take a more cut-back approach. The same can be said for water usage. The more people living in the house – the more showers and baths are being had. A tenant can always ask about DEWA bills but must take into consideration that they may differ from the current residence of the property.