Expats renting their homes in Abu Dhabi will now have to pay a 3 per cent municipal fee on the value of their annual lease.
Details of the new charge were published in the February edition of the Official Gazette following a decision by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, in his capacity as chairman of the Executive Council amending the regulations and procedures for the registration of tenancy contracts in the emirate. It is effective from the end of February.
According to the details of the decision, the fee will go towards Tawtheeq and registration costs for tenancy contracts. Emiratis are exempt from the fee.
The charge will not be levied directly but will be collected by the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority via utility bills on a monthly basis unless the tenancy contract stipulates a different payment schedule.
“It was just introduced recently. For all the rent, the government will take 3 per cent,” said an official from the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport.
“This percentage, you will find it in your electricity bill. Also, it’s not taken one time. Each month, we will get a portion. It will make it easier for people to pay,” said the department’s executive director of land and property management, Dr Abdulla Al Bloushi.
The new levy would bring Abu Dhabi in line with Dubai, which currently imposes a 5 per cent housing tax through bills issued by the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority every month.
Courtesy: The National