Maintenance And Repair Tips For Landlords And Tenants
Stepping into tenancy relationships, you should be familiar with both parties’ responsibilities regarding the safety of the other party’s property and goods. Thus, you can avoid or prevent most of future troubles. At BSO, we always recommend landlords who act on his own to study carefully all possible pitfalls. And, of course, we emphasize the need to study how to file a case against tenant before the trouble strikes.
In this post, we will discuss several issues concerning the landlord’s and tenant’s repair responsibilities and options that are helpful in case of damage to their belongings.
Do landlords or tenants need insurance?
Before we get started talking about insurance, we would like to mention no law in Dubai obligates a landlord or tenant to have it when signing a tenancy contract. However, insurance is a powerful tool to secure your budget and time in case of damage. As there are two parts in tenancy relationships, let’s discuss insurance faucets for a landlord and tenant in separate.
Insurance for a landlord protects his property against the damage caused by his tenants, burglars, or other risk factors excluding natural disasters. Here is the list of coverage a landlord can claim for his insurance company to pay:
- Property repair and restoration costs in case his insured property is damaged;
- Repair or replacement costs of heating, cooling, cooking, washing, and other appliances the property is equipped with in case they get broken;
- Furniture and other chattel loss if damaged or stolen.
- Extra expenses that arise due to his tenants staying in a hotel or other temporary housing the insured leased property are being repaired.
To sum up, landlord insurance deals only with landlord’s property and chattels. That is to say, it doesn’t cover any damage to tenants’ belongings. Therefore, if tenants want to protect their belongings, they need to insure it on their own. With insurance at their hands, they can claim for damage or loss of their gadgets, clothing, appliances, etc in case of fire, flooding, theft, or breakage. However, pay attention that, typically, this insurance doesn't cover damage to the leased property or its equipment. In other words, a tenant still has to compensate for the damage he caused from his own pocket.
How quickly you should fix the issue about the damage?
And again, here we will start with stating no law in Dubai regulates a remedy period. That is to say, the Government doesn't prescribe the exact number of days when a landlord shall carry out necessary maintenance and repair works to ensure proper living conditions. Likewise, the government doesn't regulate how quickly a tenant must remedy the damage he caused. Still, Law No. 33 of 2008 says a landlord shall maintain his property in good conditions while leasing it. Therefore, all required repair works should be completed as fast as a repair company schedule allows.
As for the remedy period related to the tenant’s responsibilities, the normal practice is the following. A landlord (or a property management company acting on his behalf) can have 14 days after his tenants move out to refund their security deposit. During this period, he (or his property manager):
- Inspects his property;
- Checks it for damage as well as for the compliance with its original condition;
- Repairs it.
Then, he subtracts the amount spent on repair and restoration works or other compensation out of the deposit. At last, he refunds the deposit remains to his tenants.
Of course, here we described the common practice. To clarify, there could be another refund period for a security deposit specified in your tenancy contract. So, read it carefully to be familiar with all its terms and conditions.
The Dubai Rental Disputes Center can help resolve any problems
If you failed to negotiate the issue, you can always file a complaint with the Dubai Rental Disputes Center (RDC). Most common examples of rental disputes concerning repairs and maintenance responsibilities are the following:
- Landlords overcharge their tenants with compensation for the damage caused;
- Tenants don’t plead their guilty to causing damage and refuse to pay for the damage they caused, partly or fully;
- Landlords don’t fulfill their maintenance responsibilities and thus worsen their tenant’s living conditions;
- Tenants refuse to pay rent for the period it took the landlord to complete repairs and fix the issue;
- Landlords want to charge their tenants for property maintenance or normal tear and wear.
Of course, when filing a case with the RDC, you shall provide documented evidences that prove your proper notification about the issue, incurred expenses, etc.
To conclude, we know how hard and time-consuming it could be for you as a landlord to handle your repair and maintenance tasks if you have no one to help you. Moreover, it could be even harder to deal your tenants in case they damage your property. In contrast, if you hire BSO, you can sit back and relax as we take all the tasks and problems to our shoulders.