Urban introduces flexible contracts to remove penalty clause for tenants

The flexibility clause kicks in six months from the contract start date, at which point the tenant is free to leave the unit

Urban introduces flexible contracts to remove penalty clause for tenants
Urban
Urban introduces flexible contracts to remove penalty clause for tenants

UAE-based proptech company Urban, which takes the entire rental journey online, is offering tenants across Dubai some relief by introducing its Flexible Contract initiative on select listings to ease their mind when searching for a new home.

Traditionally, tenancy contracts expose tenants to a penalty worth two months’ rent should they wish to end their lease before its due date. This places a significant financial burden on tenants, often to the tune of thousands of dirhams depending on the value of their rental agreement.

Urban’s Flexible Contract initiative removes this burden by allowing tenants who rent select homes to exit their contracts without incurring hefty fees.

The flexibility clause kicks in six months from the contract start date, at which point the tenant is free to leave the unit upon giving one months’ notice.

As COVID-19 continues to impact household budgets, the new feature has been well received by tenants navigating the increasingly uncertain economic climate.

Commenting on the initiative, the general manager of Urban, Tala Nsouli, said: “Penalty clauses have been standard in contracts for decades, despite never being mandated by local law. This rigid practice causes undue hardship on tenants, and ultimately impacts their commitment to renting a home in the long run.

“By introducing our Flexible Contract feature, we are helping create a new paradigm in the Dubai rental market. Together with landlords, we can pave the way for a new trend that introduces convenience and encourages empathy for tenants, both of which are much needed during these trying times.”

While the new feature is applicable on select listings, Urban will continue to expand the offer as landlords and tenants begin to see the value in flexible contracts.

The move is the latest in a string of initiatives that Urban has developed to help cushion the financial impact caused by the COVID-19.

In May 2020, the start-up waived its 5% service fee for healthcare workers and recently partnered with landlords to offer renters working on the frontline between one- and two-months’ worth of rent for free.

Urban, in partnership with Emirates NBD, also helps tenants manage their cashflows by allowing them to pay their rent in 12 monthly instalments.

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