Are Tenants Obligated To Pay Service Charges And RERA Registration Fees In Dubai?

Awatif Mohammad Shoqi Advocates & Legal Consultancy


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In Dubai's dynamic real estate market, tenants often contend with questions regarding regulations, contracts, and financial responsibilities.
United Arab Emirates Real Estate and Construction
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In Dubai's dynamic real estate market, tenants often contend with questions regarding regulations, contracts, and financial responsibilities. One common query revolves around the payment of service charges and RERA registration fees. Are tenants mandated to bear these costs, or are there exceptions? Let's explore the legal framework to shed light on this relevant issue.

Dubai's land and real property leasing fall under the governance of Dubai Law No. 26/2007 on the organization of the relationship between landlords and tenants in the Emirate of Dubai. This law defines the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants. Additionally, Dubai Law No. 6/2019 on the Ownership of Jointly Owned Properties in the Emirate of Dubai applies to main real estate development projects and jointly owned properties, including special development zones and free zones.

Article 4 of Dubai Law No. 26/2007 underscores the significance of a comprehensive tenancy contract. It mandates that such contracts thoroughly detail aspects such as the leased real property, its purpose, lease term, rental amount, payment method, and property owner's name if different from the landlord. All lease contracts subject to this law must be registered with The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA).

According to Article 22 of Dubai Law No. 26/2007, payment obligations towards government entities regarding fees and taxes are typically determined by the terms of the tenancy contract. Unless specified otherwise, tenants are responsible for paying all fees and taxes related to the leased property to government authorities and RERA registration fees.

RERA registration fees are compulsory charges payable to a government entity. Tenants are obligated to pay these fees unless exempted by specific provisions in their tenancy contract.

Service charges, as defined in Article 2 of Dubai Law No. 6/2019, include annual fees collected from property owners to cover management, maintenance, commissioning, and repair expenses of jointly owned properties. Property owners may contribute to service fees based on the proportion of their unit's area to the total area of the jointly owned property. Developers typically cover fees for unsold units and may pay on behalf of buyers for sold units.


Any additional charges during tenancy contract renewals must align with the initially agreed-upon terms. Contractual agreements play an important role in defining financial responsibilities. Clear communication and thorough review of lease contracts are essential for tenants to understand and negotiate their obligations effectively.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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