From real estate agents to cleaning companies and everything in between!
A new home might be mega exciting (just think of the decorating, the trips to Ikea, the Pinterest boards and make sure you check out our guide to the best furniture stores in Dubai for kitting out your crib, our list of where to get things made if you need anything from new curtains to stair-gates and the best at-home services, because you won’t want to leave your lovely new pad) – but moving house is apparently the third most stressful event in life, particularly when you have little kiddos on board. Whether you’re relocating to Dubai or moving within the city, we’ve put together a handy guide to get you packed up and on the move Sassy style, mamas!
Whether you’ve got to get your old property ship-shape (don’t want to risk losing that deposit, right mamas?) or your new home isn’t quite up to scratch – it’s time to call in a cleaning team mamas!
Clean & Shine
These guys do exactly what it says on the tin – they clean and they shine (and they have a deep cleaning steam machine that gets rid of anything really yukky). Oh and they can also clean your outside space, steam upholstery and rugs, polish your marble – and they also do yachts if you happen to have one of those.
Tel: (+971) 55 613 6007; www.cleanandshine.ae
Molly Maid is one of the original part-time cleaning agencies in Dubai and are experts at getting the house (or apartment) spic and span mamas.
Tel: (+971) (0)4 339 7799; www.mollymaidme.com
A Swiss-owned company (and isn’t Switzerland the cleanest place on Earth?) that specialises in all things cleaning – from one-off deep cleans to regular visits – these guys will have your new abode or old home looking sparkly.
Tel: (+971) (0) 52 725 7587, www.swisscleaning.ae
And lastly… Editor Kaya isn’t ashamed to admit that she is ever so slightly obsessed with her new cordless LG vacuum cleaner – the CordZero™ Handstick (err, really Kaya?!). Having recently moved home she put this little baby to the test, sucking up the dust and grime without having to plug it in (handy since DEWA wasn’t yet connected).
Available at Sharaf DG.
Moving is an excellent opportunity to get rid of the old, to make way for new – just don’t tell the other half.
A locally created app that brings you a secondhand marketplace with a huge difference – mainly that the payment process is entirely handled by them (hooray) and pickup and delivery of items is also arranged (double hooray) AND items are promoted on multiple platforms so are being seen by more people (triple hooray!). This is the ultimate secondhand buying and selling experience that allows you to get rid of clutter without the stress – plus make a little spending money for doing so. We love.
Take My Junk
If you haven’t heard of this awesome company before then listen up mamas. Take My Junk will collect any of your unwanted stuff – from clothing to furniture to half used bottles of shampoo to toys to appliances to broken bikes to cardboard (frankly almost anything – we think you get the picture) all for free and recycle it among lower income communities. They’ll even sometimes pay you (if your items are really super duper) and will only charge if they need to dispose of whatever you’ve cast aside. All you gotta do is visit the site, send an email describing your stuff and they’ll pick it up at a convenient time. Quick, efficient, friendly and just brilliant. Because one mama’s junk is another mama’s treasure.
Real Estate Agents
There are literally 100’s of property brokers in Dubai but let’s just say that not all of them are qualified (despite RERA’s best efforts) and there are nightmare stories of rentals-gone-wrong a plenty. Beware of fraudsters and scams, mamas – if a deal sounds too good to be true then it most probably is, avoid dealing with brokers without RERA certification or a trade license, question agents with no landline or physical office address and check out The Dubai Land Department’s ‘Dubai Brokers App’ that’s available free of charge on Play Store and App Store. Oh, and check out a few of our real estate faves…
Tregoning & Stockwell
Mamas, breathe a huge sigh of relief, British guys Harry Tregoning and Nick Stockwell are 2 (very lovely) superhero agents who set up shop in 2014 and are now taking the city by storm, saving us from all the agent (and landlord) villains out there. With a particularly strong knowledge of Jumeirah and Umm Suqeim (but with partner agents in other areas if you’re looking elsewhere), both guys have lived and breathed Dubai for years and are all about cutting through false promises and delivering quality properties. Great at negotiating on your behalf (Ed Kaya recently got new bathrooms installed in her new home thanks to Nick’s persuasive skills) and always cool as cucumbers (even when the clock is ticking), this dynamic duo is ultra professional and totally charming. Follow them on Facebook to check out some of their properties before they officially come on the market – just prepare to get house envy often mamas.
We asked Harry and Nick to answer a few frequently asked house move questions and this is what they said:
Q: If you are already renting but want to terminate your lease early – what are your rights?
A: This varies as per your contract. In the first year the standard contract will state you need to give a month notice and then you forfeit two additional months. In reality, depending on your landlord and the length of time you have spent there as well as the number of cheques, landlords can be much more flexible, particularly if a replacement tenant can be found However it must be noted that RERA rules state that the landlord is not under any obligation to return any rent of the contract is broken early by the tenant.
Q: How far in advance should you start looking for a property?
A: The key fact that tenants should be aware of is that upon agreeing (verbally or by email) to take a villa at an agreed upon price, landlords as a rule give 10 days grace period before starting the contract, however this can go up to a month. The contract start date can become a negotiating factor. In an ideal world, and it depends on market conditions, you would allow one week to find and negotiate on a property and allow two weeks for any maintenance, snagging and cleaning to be carried out. However, there is a risk that you won’t find your dream home in this time frame!
Ultimately if you can risk it you should start three weeks prior to moving as that allows a week to find a houses and then one to two weeks till the contract starts and you move in. It is all very quick in Dubai and like any landlords in the world they do not want their villas to be empty for long.
Q: Do all estate agents make the same commission? Is it legal for a landlord to ask for commission too?
A: All real estate agents charge the Industry Standard of 5% for finding a rental and 2% for a sale. This is often split with other agents, property managers and landlords subsequently. Some property management companies charge a service or maintenance charge on top and this should be declared prior to signing of contract. There is no law on charging additional or varied commission but it is most usual to charge the Industry Standard rates.
Q: What do you need to have in place in order to secure a property?
A: For new arrivals you will need to have a Resident’s visa and Emirates ID in place as well as a bank account and cheque book. Now some landlords know that a new resident won’t immediately have these documents but as long as they arrive in a timely manner then they will deal with you, however you can’t sign an EJARI registered contract until the necessary documents are in place.
Once the paperwork is in place you need a deposit. Then your cheques for the year rent will be presented and the contract written and signed. For purchases I attach our ready reckoner for the process.
Q: What are the landlords obligations before you move in?
A: Quite simply to get the house into a habitable and tidy state. We work with the landlord and the tenant to make sure that the property is ready and snagging has been completed so you are ready to move in. The main things you should ask to happen are AC cleaning and pest control as well as a full deep clean of the property.
Tel: (+971) (0)55 3364111 (Harry) or (+971) (0) 55 3365111 (Nick); www.facebook.com/TregoningandStockwell
The Property Shop
Owned and run by gorgeous British mama Catriona, this agency refuses to work with unscrupulous landlords (hoorah!) and actually listens to your requirements (i.e if you want a 3-bedroom apartment, they won’t show you a 10-bedroom house). Catriona and her team cover the city – from Mirdif to the Ranches, Dubai Marina to Satwa and are reliable, friendly and most importantly, honest.
Tel: (+971) 4 345 5711; www.propertyshopdubai.com
Set up at her dining table in the late 1980’s by Canadian mama Linda Mahoney, Better Homes now has a huge presence across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the GCC. Whether you want to buy, rent or short stay there are offices in most major locations all over the city including the Arabian Ranches centre, JBR, Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Park.
Tel: (+971) 600 52 2233; www.bhomes.com
This British led real estate agency caters to all your property needs – be they to buy, sell, rent or re-locate, particularly in the newer communities such as Dubai land, Victory Heights and JVT. Helpful and knowledgeable, the huge team of property consultants here are super keen and fully trained – check out the website for their latest rentals, properties to buy or just to have a look at all their lovely faces!
Tel: (+971) 4 455 0800; www.ere-homes.com
Espace Real Estate
Buy, sell, let – Espace do it all (you’ve probably seen their fleet of vehicles and billboards around town). Mostly present in the newer communities they can help with almost anything property related, from maintaining your property to insurance, mortgages to removals and storage.
Tel: (+971) 04 306 9999; www.espace.ae
Don’t fancy renting a van and doing it yourself? No, we don’t blame you mamas. Call in the experts and rest-assured that your stuff will be packed up and delivered safely.
You’ve probably seen the bright yellow Easy trucks and vans whizzing about town – we’re huge fans– not least because it’s one of the brainchild’s of amazing mama Natalie Humphreys (her others are Baby Bazaar and The Nursery Show) but also because they’re professional and reliable. Need to store stuff? Not a problem – they can do that too. Oh and they’ll buy you a pizza to scoff once you’re in your new abode – YUM!
Euro Movers International
Endorsed by many a moving mama, Euro Movers International can help you move locally (within Dubai) or Internationally in a totally slick and expert way.
Tel: (+971) 4 340 3920; www.euromovers-ae.com
Mac Pack Removals
The owner of this expat run business – New Zealander and dad of 2 Rick – is so charming that you’ll be won over after the first call. Rick and his team will do their very best to work around your schedule –napping babies and all, work relentlessly hard and can do all the extras like hanging curtains, mirrors etc. A great group of guys who have a laugh (but work hard at the same time) and clearly love their job – the only problem is that they’re very busy ALL the time so get in there quick for a quote.
Tel: (+971) 55 946 9222; www.macpackdubai.com
We’ve heard nothing but praise for the E-Movers gang whose method is to assign one person per room to pack and then unpack at the other end, meaning that your new house will feel like home instantly. They can also send an extended team to reassemble furniture, re-hang curtains and take care of any extras you need.
Critter Sitters Dubai
Founded by an animal loving mama of 3 (or 7 if you include the 3 dogs and 1 cat), Critter Sitters also offer doggie daycare (complete with pick-up if needed) plus daycare for other pets depending on availability and which other guests they have at the time. Call for advice and assistance with your furry friends for your house move and they’ll definitely help if they can. Purrr-fect.
Pet Sitting Dubai
Avoid doggie meltdowns by arranging for your beloved Rover to go stay with a pet sitter in their very own home (no kennels, cages or huge gangs of unknown dogs to deal with). These guys offer everything from doggie day care to sleep overs plus can pick up in a pet taxi, arrange for a pet bath and even soothe stressed doggie nerves with a pet massage.
Usually the responsibility of your landlord (hmmm) – if you’re not one of the lucky ones who gets this as part of your contract then the following companies can help with everything from faulty a/c to plumbing.
A British family owned maid and maintenance company, Howdra can take care of the regular maintenance of your home (with regular a/c, plumbing, pest control, water tank cleaning etc) and also sort your one-off needs (painting, DIY or any emergency work) – all in the most professional and efficient way. Hooray.
Tel: (+971) 4 238 0088; www.howdra.ae
Jim Will Fix It
Put away that toolbox, mama! Give this company a call and a handyman will come to your rescue, whether the problem is electrical, plumbing, painting or decorating, to do with the air conditioning, DIY jobs, or carpentry. The company only employs staff that are university graduates, with at least 5years of hands-on practical experience and excellent English language skills so there’ll be nothing lost in translation (who wants bookshelves on the ceiling anyways?).
Tel: (+971) 800 349 ; www.jimwillfixit.ae
Want to make sure your new home doesn’t come with any creep crawlie surprises? Of course you do mamas.
Bug Busters are an awesome pest control company founded by a very sassy mama of 2 whose team get to grips with everything from roaches (ahghgh!) to rodents. Using only the very best treatments possible (mostly non toxic and highly effective), the Bug Busters guys will make sure that your new home stays free of any uninvited house guests.
Treatments for a villa start at AED 500 and come with a follow up service and 3 month guarantee
Chances are you won’t be in the mood for cooking up a storm on your first night. So treat yourself and the fam to a takeaway mamas – check out our guide to the best food delivery options in Dubai.
Happy moving! xx
Featured image via Pinterest