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Living in a transient city occupied mostly by expats, renting your home in Dubai has traditionally been considered par for the course. Yet as rental prices hike and more residents seek to lay down roots, real estate experts report that more of us than ever are getting our feet on the UAE’s rapidly expanding property ladder.

This market trend is highlighting an age-old debate when it comes to home maintenance. As higher numbers of renters move out (by choice or necessity) and swathes of new buyers move in, making old homes look fresh and liveable becomes an obvious priority. But whose responsibility exactly is painting a property when it comes to the switch over?

Legal stipulations relating to painting rentals in Dubai
Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) regulations stipulate that the cost of painting should not be deducted from a tenant’s security deposit and should not be charged. “Cleaning and painting of the interior walls completely after the tenant’s departure from the leased property shall be of a lessor’s liability”.

While legally, a landlord doesn’t have the right to enforce a repaint, some residents may decide going down a legal route is not conducive to an easy life considering the ambiguity surrounding what constitutes ‘everyday’ wear and tear. From a general legal standpoint, property maintenance is a joint process between the landlord and tenant, which varies depending on the size of the maintenance.

Why quality matters
Whether you are a landlord competing with the growing number of modern, clean-line homes going up for rent in Dubai, a tenant looking to maintain a good relationship with your landlord before exiting your property, or a home-owner with a vested interest in quality, it pays to remember that a professional paint job is the ‘big first impression’ on entering your home. Painting over cracks, even if not instantly spotted, creates a feeling of ‘impermanence’ that is hard to pass over because it alludes to underlying problems elsewhere in the home.

A good quality professional painting provider will:

• Prepare the area being upgraded, applying painters’ tape to all room edges and fully protecting floors and exposed furniture.
• Prepare and repair existing hairline cracks, holes and general damage to the wall.
• Use industry-grade durable paint designed to withstand high-traffic wear and tear.
• Carry out careful paint application with a minimum of two thin coats or up to 5 coats if the upgrade requires transforming dark colours into lighter hues.
• Apply final touch ups after protective materials and painters’ tape has been removed.
• Carry out inspection by a senior tradesman or company manager. WWFI typically spot & rectify 40-80 blemishes to make every paint job the best it can be.
• Conduct a final clean up to ensure the area is showroom standard.
• Carry out a customer walk-through.

How professionals maintain the quality of interior repaints
Most properties suffer with settlement cracks that are unsightly but have no structural implications. More serious crack damage needs professional repair using both grey & white cement for structural integrity. This kind of deeper structural wall damage requires flaws to be resurfaced with layers of cement before filler is used. If leakage is detected (early signs being a ‘bubbled’ paint surface) then an acidic preparation will be necessary. Never, ever should such issues be ignored or treated as hairline (minor) cracks, or you will be paying out more for proper damage repair in the very near future. If you are renting, it is worth noting that paying for a superficial repaint that doesn’t address underlying issues might mean you end up paying twice through loss of your security deposit. We advise customers to have an open discussion with their landlord prior to carrying out any repainting on a rental property.

Exterior Paint Repairs should only be carried out by professionals
Dubai’s harsh sunlight takes its toll on outdoor paint surfaces, which is why exterior repainting should only be carried out by experts with the correct materials and knowledge. Exterior painting impacts the aesthetic of the surrounding community, therefore Dubai regulations require for development approvals to be obtained prior to any work of this nature being carried out.

Things to remember when hiring a company for exterior painting:
• Your community will have its own facilities management team who will oversee an approved selection of permitted paint colour for exterior use.
• Carrying out proper crack repair on exteriors is extremely important, as most properties in the UAE require textured finishes that are difficult to apply and even more difficult to blend into the original paintwork.
• Damaged exterior finishes require thorough priming prior to paint application, to prevent imminent issues.

Above all, do your research
If you are a tenant looking to reverse damage in your rental, a landlord looking for a high-quality finish, or a property owner with a clear vision for your new home, call on WWFI for answers to your painting and home maintenance queries. Our teams are on-hand to advise while you consider your options and with 15+ years’ experience repairing homes throughout the Emirate, our knowledge of Dubai’s communities both old and new is unrivalled.