The UAE has one of the most well-regulated real estate industries in the world. There are laws and regulations to protect both landlords and tenants, particularly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. To regulate tenancy contracts with the same efficiency as the Ejari system in Dubai, a system called Tawtheeq was mandated in Abu Dhabi in 2011 as part of the government’s Vision 2030.
Let’s take a look at exactly what Tawtheeq is, how you can register for it, and the charges you can expect to pay.
What is Tawtheeq Abu Dhabi?
Tawtheeq is a system under which the government regulates tenancy contracts for rental properties in Abu Dhabi. It helps formalise tenancy agreements in Abu Dhabi and ensure transparency between landlords and tenants to avoid future disputes.
Whenever a new rental agreement is signed in Abu Dhabi, a Tawtheeq contract must be issued following all the necessary procedures. This registration process is usually done by either the property owner or the real estate consultants managing the property in Abu Dhabi. This is different from Ejari in Dubai, which is usually taken care of by the tenants.
Why was the Tawtheeq contract introduced?
The Tawtheeq tenancy contract was introduced to streamline all rental transactions in Abu Dhabi. It will act as a state-of-the-art digital system with a bilingual (English and Arabic) repository of all the information regarding villas and apartments for rent in Abu Dhabi. The new tenancy contract system in Abu Dhabi will simplify the leasing procedure and ensure the quality and accuracy of information to avoid unnecessary conflicts.
How To Register for Tawtheeq?
To initiate the process, the landlords and property managers can go to the Tawtheeq online portal or visit any other one of the approved Abu Dhabi Municipality Tawtheeq centres like the Customer Service Centre at the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City (Head Office).
If you choose to go forward with the online registration process, you will need to open an account on the Abu Dhabi Municipality website and submit the requisite details.
There is a standard format for Tawtheeq contracts to keep things simple, which needs to be filled with details about the leased property. These details are then submitted to a digital repository which acts as the official supporting documentation for all property transactions, including the setting up of water and electricity.
Once you fill in the forms and open the account, you will receive an account number, username, and password to manage your online account.
If the information listed in the form does not match that in the Municipality’s database, or there are any discrepancies in the documentation, the Municipality will contact you to provide the missing information and documents and resubmit the account opening form.
If you want to register in person, you can go to the Customer Service Centre at the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City. There are also various customer service outlets affiliated with the Municipality that offer leasing contract registration services.
Documents required for Tawtheeq Contract registration
As is the case with most legal procedures, some documents need to be submitted for those registering online. This list changes based on who is attempting to register their accounts to the system, i.e. the homeowner or the property management company.
Here is a list of Tawtheeq documents required for homeowners in Abu Dhabi:
- Account opening form
- A valid passport copy of the owner and the authorised signatory or representative
- A valid copy of Emirates ID for the authorised signatory and the representative
- If the owner is a UAE national, a copy of the owner’s family book
- A copy of a power of attorney for the property owner’s legal representative
- A copy of your trade license if you are a company
- A copy of the property owner’s notarized signature (in cases where the property owner has opted for that option).
- A copy of the chamber of commerce and industry membership (for companies only)
- For companies: A notarized power of attorney for signature authorisation or the company’s article of association or signed authorisation letter
- Soft copy of the property owner’s own tenancy contract and special terms and conditions, with a hard copy of it, signed by the authorised signatory.
Here is a list of documents required for property management companies:
- Account opening form.
- A copy of the trade licence
- A copy of the chamber of commerce and industry membership
- A copy of the notarised power of attorney for signature authorisation or company’s article of association or a signature authorisation letter
- A valid passport copy of the authorised signatory (company’s legal representative)
- A valid copy of residence permit for authorised signatory (company’s legal representative)
- A copy of the national ID card for the authorised signatory (company’s legal representative)
- Soft copy of the company’s own tenancy contract and special terms and conditions with a printed hard copy of it signed by the authorised signatory
Once the account is opened, additional documents need to be submitted, including the tenancy forms, details of the tenant, copies of valid Emirates ID, etc.
It’s important to update Tawtheeq contracts for renewals, cancellations and all amendments and it must always be up to date in terms of information.
Tawtheeq Contract fees
Unlike the Ejari in Dubai, which has a one-off cost for renters, the fees vary slightly. There are no fees to open a new account or registration of the existing tenancy contracts. However, for the new registration of a leasable property contract, some charges are applicable.
Here is the list of Tawtheeq fees based on their services:
- AED 1,000 to initially register data of a leasable property plus AED 5 for each leasable unit.
- AED 100 for issuing a new tenancy contract in Abu Dhabi
- AED 100 for renewing the tenancy contract in Abu Dhabi
- AED 50 for updating, modification of contract details, cancellation, and termination of the tenancy contract in Abu Dhabi
The Tawtheeq contract is required to connect your electricity and water with the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC), similar to DEWA in Dubai. This usually happens automatically once the registration is completed. There are several approved typing centres for completing the Tawtheeq contract, which can be found on the Abu Dhabi Municipality website.
What’s the Tawtheeq Contract Renewal Procedure?
Tawtheeq renewal is essential to avoid any service disruption of water and electricity. Two months before the expiry date of the tenancy contract, tenants will receive a notification from the municipality regarding the renewal.
To renew your contract, all you need to do is open the Tawtheeq account from the online portal and update the status of the tenancy contract from there. A charge of AED 100 will be applicable when going forward with the renewal process.
In the scenario where property owners do not intend not to renew the contract with the previous property management company, they must notify the Abu Dhabi Municipality before the end of the contract. Following this, property owners can either request a new contract with another property management company to open a Tawtheeq account as owner and manager of the property.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I cancel a lease contract in Abu Dhabi?
You can easily cancel the lease contract. Visit the Smart Hub by Abu Dhabi Municipality website and submit the lease agreement and the application form.
Who is responsible for Tawtheeq registration?
It is the responsibility of the landlord or the management companies to register the tenancy contract with Tawtheeq. After the registration, a fee of 5 per cent of the annual rent value, levied equally across 12 months, will be added to the monthly water and electricity bill.
How long does it take to get Tawtheeq?
The review of the tenancy contract generally takes around five days. The process duration depends if the property is being registered for the first time or is there is already some information about the property in the Tawtheeq system.
What is Tawtheeq registration fees?
The Tawtheeq registration fee is AED 1,000 per property, whereas the fee to register the grant of a tenancy contract is AED 100.
Are tenants required to register the property for Tawtheeq?
No, tenants are not required to register. According to Resolution No.4 issued by the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City, the landlord is solely responsible for registering a property for Tawtheeq.
Where can I rent cheap apartments in Abu Dhabi?
As a general rule of thumb, residential neighbourhoods on Abu Dhabi’s mainland tend to be cheaper than island communities. For instance, the apartments for rent in Mussafah, which are located close to notable industrial areas, start from AED 18.5k, as per current listings on Bayut.
Attestation of the lease contract through ‘Tawtheeq’ is an essential requirement in obtaining many services provided by government entities, such as water and electricity, internet, Mawaqif residential pass, among other services.
This system has undeniably helped to formalise all real estate transactions in Abu Dhabi. The tenancy laws in Abu Dhabi have also been revisited to make things fair to both tenants and landlords in the emirate.
For more information about the new tenancy contracts in Abu Dhabi and any issues relating to it, contact the relevant authorities at the Abu Dhabi Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities.
We recommend that you contact the Abu Dhabi authorities for accurate information on any specific scenarios as the solutions can vary on a case-by-case basis.