Toby Young is the Managing Director of www.propertyrights.ae. The company strives to help both Tenants and Landlords understand their rental rights. The company provides information on Rent Increases, Evictions and other legal notifications directly to the subscriber’s inbox.
When did You start Your business?
I set up www.propertyrights.ae in 2014 after a number of years battling Landlords. I suddenly realised there was a gap in the market for an information service that could help both sides of the tenancy contract understand their rights.
What kind of problems with landlords You had ?
I have lived in the UAE for the last seven years, in that time I have had four different landlords and have had problems with each of them.
The first one wanted to use my second bedroom for his own purposes, the second had not paid the service charges on the apartment, the third refused to refund the deposit and the fourth, well he tried to evict me on an annual basis (illegally) and try to increase the rent beyond the legally permissible limits.
Of these four landlords I have taken one to RERA and won, and another took me to RERA, again, I won. Whilst also receiving my deposit back each time too.
It became clear there is a complete imbalance between what the perception of the law in Dubai is and what the law actually says. I realised after speaking to friends and acquaintances that there was a gap in the market to educate people on their rental rights. I was regularly told that people were moving apartments having had a months’ notice of eviction, or a rent increase.
Very rarely would either be delivered correctly, but the very nature of them would scare people and make them feel uncomfortable in the very place they should feel the most comfortable and ultimately the safest too.
How much money are we talking about ?
Often people believe that by moving property they make the various issues go away, only to find the hidden costs, and the same problem cropping up a year later. Agent’s fees, DEWA deposits and moving costs all add up. Once considered these can amount to as much as 10% of the annual rent. So often renting a cheaper property still ends up costing the same amount of money.
How can You help Your subscribers to deal with these issues?
The administration side of the website ensures that each subscriber is sent a series of emails throughout the course of their tenancy contract without overloading them with information and ensuring that we send no unnecessary inbox clogging spam either.
Each of the emails goes into detail about the various laws surrounding evictions and rent increases in Dubai, while also ensuring that people are kept informed of what the RERA Rent Index says, as well as the maximum rent increase and maximum rent chargeable as per Dubai law.
Everything is written in simple English and we have removed all legal jargon that can often lead to further confusion.
With many people not realising they have rights we ensure that by subscribing they will know them all, with each inbox hitting email giving exactly the information our subscribers need, just when they need it.
What fees are involved?
I have been asked in the past why we charge a small fee (100AED). The simple answer is that to maintain the website, pay our costs and continue investing in research and development to make our service better, we have to charge.
The subscription fee is small, but ultimately our service could save a subscriber thousands of Dirham’s, and to a greater extent, a lot of stress.
We are looking to change the way tenants and landlords interact with each other and helping both sides understand that they have rights, and how to apply them correctly.
If needs be, we will do it one tenant or one landlord at a time, and we will revolutionise the way in which we all feel secure in our homes.