Homefront: ‘Is it cheaper to rent an Airbnb apartment rather than sign up for a


I recently moved to the UAE for a one-year work assignment. I have been staying in a hotel for a few days but my employer has asked me to look for an apartment with a one-year lease.

I am not keen on signing up for a traditional one-year apartment lease with a real estate broker. Instead, I have been told that several Airbnb holiday homes are now being offered on long-term residential leases.

What are the pros and cons of renting a holiday home for the long term with a management company? Are there any hidden fees that I need to watch out for? Will I have to pay a commission to the management company?

I am also considering hotel apartments or serviced apartments. Do these come at a rental premium to a traditional residential lease? Please advise. KV, Dubai

If you use an agent registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency, there are many advantages associated with the services of a real estate broker. Contrary to belief, brokers have the knowledge and expertise to offer any prospect the benefits that will lead to a successful rent or sale.

A one-year rental is regarded as a long-term tenancy, therefore limiting yourself to only using management or holiday home companies for your search could prove to be a mistake in terms of diversity of inventory.

The only advantage I see to use a management company for your search would be that the property will most likely be managed by them. This will help if there are any maintenance issues in the future. Being able to get hold of the landlord to resolve any maintenance issues can be a pain when they don’t reply quickly.

If you rent a property through Airbnb, you will be charged a service fee, a damage deposit fee and the owner will also collect local taxes (if any). The owner can also set the charge for cleaning their property and charge for extra occupants, so please check any small print.

Hotel and service departments come at a premium due to the services offered, which are sought-after by busy working individuals

Mario Volpi

Using a management company (assuming they have a real estate licence from the Department of Economic Development) or a real estate broker will attract a commission of approximately 5 per cent of the rental contract amount.

Hotel and serviced apartments come at a premium due to the services offered, which are sought-after by busy working individuals. Often, these apartments come with many extras included, such as all bills, internet and media packages including TV, maid, cleaning service and access to a gym and pool.

Keep all options open to select the right property after speaking to all concerned.

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