Considering all the rental options available these days, some residents are able to maintain their lifestyle, even with a tighter budget.
With rent taking up a considerable chunk of households’ budgets, residents have been on the lookout for cheaper options amid the pandemic. And the real estate market has been responsive: Some landlords agreed to cutting fees, while others offered flexibility in payments. The best options are now out there, experts said, so choose wisely – instead of jumping on to the next available deal.
Considering all the rental options available these days, some residents are able to maintain their lifestyle, even with a tighter budget, industry experts said.
“The market has changed and you can see that there are more payment options now than before,” said Fathi Akram Skaik, managing director and business owner, Noble Empire Real Estate.
“Tenants can now pay rent in 12 installments depending how big the unit is and the location. Some landlords are giving a month free. And we can see that Airbnb and holiday homes now also offer a monthly payment option.”
Some tenants are able to negotiate their contracts, with some getting up to 30 per cent in rent cuts.
“The government and some landlords have taken great steps to postpone or waive payments to help the tenants through these times. Some property owners, however, did not take any action and that has resulted in clients leaving and looking for other options,” added Skaik.
Babar Ali, co-founder, Home Smith Estate Brokers, agreed that today’s property prices are favourable to tenants.
“Tenants, who moved into new properties during this phase, managed to secure very good deals in terms of prices and number of cheques in payments in key areas in Dubai,” said Ali, who has been in the realty business over more than a decade now.
“Landlords, who were previouls very firm on one-cheque payments, are now showing flexibility, even accepting multiple cheques at reasonable prices.”
Brokers help in negotiations
Now, more than ever, brokers have been working hard to negotiate the best possible deals between landlords and tenants.
“Brokers are playing a big role nowadays to reach an agreement between clients and property owners,” said Skaik.
They take the time to hear out a tenant’s case and try to come up with solutions that would benefit them, said another broker.
Krishma Gehani, senior client manager for Homes4life Real Estate, said: “We talk to the landlords and explain that being flexible and reducing rents are better options than losing tenants. This way, relationships are built and landlords have a continuous stream of income coming in to save or pay off their mortgages, if any.”
SOME GRAB THE CHANCE TO MOVE FROM FLATS TO VILLAS
A number of families have grabbed the opportunity to move to villas and townhouses as rents become more afforable.
Farooq Syed, CEO, Springfield Real Estate, who personally owns five properties in Dubai, said they have seen residents shift to bigger homes in new communities, such as Dubai Hills, Damac Hills, Serena and Town Square.
“In most cases, prices have been over 20-30 per cent less than their current rents, which dwarfed their commission payments and moving costs and allowed a lifestyle upgrade,” Syed said.
Pakistani resident Saher Iftikhar and his family are among those who have said goodbye to apartment living and now enjoying a more spacious home.
“The outbreak of Covid-19 restricted children’s movements and, hence, we thought why not opt for a villa which would help us to at least reduce the need to take them out for leisure? Besides, realty prices are much affordable, so we took the decision to purchase a villa.”
Whether you’re buying your first home, doubling your investment or simply moving to a new unit, this the best time to make a decision, experts said.