Pay your Dubai rent by direct debit rather than cheque

The new system is a "critical milestone in the real estate sector"

The annual rent cheque could soon be phased out with the introduction of a new digital payment service that lets Dubai tenants pay by direct debit.

Property services company Asteco has revealed the new service in partnership with the National Bank of Fujairah.

The company's executive chairman Elaine Jones said it will “contribute to creating an efficient and secure financial environment in Dubai for long-term residents and newcomers”.

Under the system, tenants sign a "direct debit authority" rather than a post-dated cheque, with the payments taken from their account on the agreed dates. Of course, you can only do this if your landlord signs up – but more are doing so by the day.

So far, there are 20,000 people using the service, which has been branded a "critical milestone in the real estate sector".

Asteco added: “Allowing tenants, especially those who are new to the UAE or have an outstanding bank loan, to pay their rent in multiple instalments makes the process simple, convenient and safe.

“Smaller and more frequent rent payments also ease the cash flow for tenants that currently often resort to taking out loans to meet their rent commitments.”

As the city prepares to welcome swathes of new expats, and with Expo 2020 looming on the horizon, rent is becoming more affordable.

Areas ranging from Dubai Sports City to the popular Palm Jumeirah are experiencing some of their most attractive prices all year, meaning it’s the perfect time to consider upping sticks and finding a new place to live.

According to PropertyFinder.ae’s August trends report, rents in Dubai have become 5.8 percent more affordable in the past six months and reduced by a cash-saving 18.2 percent over the past two years.

Among estate agents, the sentiment has been that prices are close to the end of their cycle and will increase in the lead-up to Expo 2020.

Right now, the best deals for renters can be found in Jumeirah Village Triangle, where median asking rents have reduced by 8.9 percent because of a rise in similar mid-range projects across the city.

Popular areas like Downtown Dubai are now opening up to more renters’ budgets, having become 14.1 percent more affordable over the past two years, so your dream apartment with a view of the Burj Khalifa might not be far out of reach.

However, it’ll still ultimately cost you Dhs110 per square foot on average, compared to Dhs42 in Al Nahda, which is the cheapest community in which you can rent an apartment in Dubai.

Meanwhile, villa rental prices have remained relatively static, with some areas witnessing a price increase.

The popularity of the affordable and family-friendly area Jumeirah Village Circle – with its proximity to Dubai Marina, Internet City and JLT – has seen an uptick in prices of 5.9 percent to Dhs39 per square foot in the past six months (although year-on-year prices are lower by 11.4 percent).

For more information, go to asteco.com.

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