Nearly all tenants in Dubai face maintenance issues


Most common problems are faulty air conditioning units, bursting water pipes, defective water heater

Dubai: Eight in ten tenants in the UAE encountered maintenance problems, such as faulty air conditioning units and water heaters, in their rented apartment during the first half of the year, a new survey found.

Online portal has recently polled 150 tenants in Dubai and the majority (83 per cent) said they have experienced issues with their villa or apartment.

The most common cause of complaint is air conditioning (AC) unit, with 50 per cent of the households claiming to have faced the issue in the last six months.

Another commonly reported maintenance problem is bursting water pipes, at 24 per cent, followed by issues that have to do with sewage, electrical connections, thin walls and water heaters, each at 20 per cent.

The research also found that, on average, each tenant in Dubai dealt with two maintenance issues during the last six months, but only less than 60 per cent tried to get professional assistance, while 40 per cent either fixed the problem themselves or did not do anything at all.

When it comes to paying for maintenance costs, a significant number of the tenants (40 per cent) said they take care of all the expenses themselves,  50 per cent said their landlords take full responsibility, while 10 per cent split the bill with the property owner.

Preeti Bhambri, managing director of personal finance site, said that for tenants to avoid incurring hefty maintenance costs, they need to inspect the apartment and watch out for defects and faulty appliances before signing the tenancy contract.

The contract should also contain a provision that clearly states who will shoulder the maintenance-related expenses and that the faulty appliances should be replaced or fixed.

“Before starting the contract, there should be a thorough inspection of the house with the landlord to ensure all appliances including AC units are in good working conditions,” said Bhambri.

She said it would be a good idea to ask a lot of questions, such as how long the AC unit has been used or when was the last time the maintenance and cleaning were carried out.

“There should be a clause that states that any malfunctioning unit will be replaced/ repaired and there should be a predetermined amount as curtained beyond which the landlord has to pay for repair. It is advisable to distinguish between routine maintenance and repair work,” Bhambri pointed out.

“Maintenance fees with regards to cleaning and routine checks is usually paid for by the tenant. Any charges related to repair and replacement of parts should be paid by the landlord.”

The survey was conducted in partnership with Imdad, a provider of integrated facilities and waste management solutions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.


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