Renegotiate Rent with Landlord in COVID-19

How to Renegotiate House Rent with Landlord in UAE in the Age of COVID-19

The COVID19 pandemic has made life difficult for all segments of people across the world. Apart from the fear of sudden infection with the Coronavirus, economic destabilization is one of the negative impacts of the pandemic globally, including the UAE. It has become necessary to keep your financial status in mind before looking for a UAE rental property.

During the pandemic, employers in the UAE have cut many professionals’ salaries and asked many employees to go on unpaid leave. Simultaneously, many employees also have lost their jobs. It is needless to say that the UAE-based professionals are facing hardships in paying their rents timely. The resultant concern that haunts every tenant in the country is how to manage the next rental payment. And for professionals staying in the UAE, rent accounts for the most significant financial commitment during the month.

Then what could be a good solution? It is perhaps the best idea for tenants to be transparent to their landlords about their financial constraints. It is not a legal obligation for landlords to accept tenants’ relief requests, but there are chances of landlords lowering the rent or taking it in installments if they think so. Tenants can also furnish proof of a change in financial circumstances from the employer.

If you are a tenant in the UAE and face financial hardships due to the pandemic, you can show your landlord a letter from your employer that substantiates salary-cut, unpaid leaver, or job loss. In case your landlord feels that you are a victim of financial constraints, he might come down to flexible rent payment terms. Offering you a flexible rent payment way will not be a problem for your landlord as all landlords in the country are getting a six-month deferral on their mortgage installments from banks. It will also help if you try to maintain an excellent personal relationship with your landlord. The ties will come in handy in such situations as your landlord is likely to pay heed to your requests. You can also submit to your landlord a rent reduction request letter.

When Your Lease is Up for Renewal

If the renewal of your lease is due, then you can convert it into an advantage. When you see that your lease is up for renewal, check the prevailing market rents for similar properties on property portals like TopLatest, a dependable platform for you to search for a house for rent in the UAE.

The online platform also lists apartments for rent in Dubai, villa for rent in Sharjah, fully furnished apartments for rent in Abu Dhabi, etc. You can also get to know about the nitty-gritty of renting a house in the UAE.

During the renewal, your landlord can match the prevailing rates. At the same time, you will also get an opportunity to ask your landlord to waive the rent for 30 and 60 days. It will also depend on how steady you were in rent payments with your landlord. If you have been a good tenant, the landlord can consider matching the new rent as advertised on property portals and allow one to two months of free rent to retain you.

How to Search Property on Portals?

When you search properties on property portals, do not go for the cheapest property listings. It is a good idea to look for properties equivalent to the unit you are currently occupying as it will give you a fair idea of how much money you can negotiate with your landlord. There will be a 5 to 7 percent flexibility on property prices listed on portals.

Go for a Flexible Monthly Rental

A long-term lease is undoubtedly not the best option with the job-uncertainty in place. If your existing contract is about to expire, then you can opt for flexible monthly rentals instead of renewing your contract.

With the pandemic, all holiday home operators have opened their properties to short-term rentals as there is a stoppage of tourist inflow. The rentals range from one month to six months. The properties are fully furnished, and the owners provide a cleaning service once or twice a week for a small fee.

Want to Terminate Contract?

If you are in a harsh financial condition, then there will be no alternatives other than terminating your contract with your landlord and find an alternate place to live.

However, a tenant cannot terminate a contract in technical terms. Consultation with the landlord is necessary.

If your financial status has degraded beyond a point of repair, then there will be no other way other than telling your landlord that you want to vacate the property as you are no longer in a position to pay the rent.

Keep in mind that the landlord is not bound by the UAE’s tenancy contract to accept your contract termination request. It would help if you negotiated with your landlord, and the nature of negotiation varies from case-to-case.

There are multiple possibilities. The landlord may straight away accept your termination request, understanding your financial condition, with no cost to both parties.

He may not return your security deposit or demand 15 days’ worth of rent as compensation. Whatever be the situation, you should be honest and transparent with your landlord.


The tough times posed by the COVID19 pandemic will make your life difficult if you are a tenant. The best thing to do to deal with the challenges is to maintain a healthy relationship with your landlord. Ensure that you do not hide your degrading financial status from your landlord, instead be transparent and remain honest. Let him know that you are no longer in a position to pay the rent.

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