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Leasing vs Renting a Property: What is the Difference?

Posted by Kelt&corealty on May 19, 2024

Leasing normally refers to a longer-term agreement, while a short-term agreement is called renting a property. A lease is basically a long-term agreement between a lessor and a lessee. It enables a lessee to use a particular property for an extended period. On the flip side, renting a property involves a short-term contract between landlords and tenants. This is usually a short-term contract that can be renewed upon the completion of a term. 

One may think that renting and leasing a property in Dubai are the same thing. They have similarities, and they are often used interchangeably. However, there is a subtle distinction between them. It is imperative to understand both concepts and their differences, whether you are seeking a rental property or looking for a client.

Leasing vs Renting A Property:

In the real estate sector, both concepts are used and applied in various cases. The living arrangements between both parties determine whether it is leasing or renting. Leasing agreements last for an extended period (typically one year), and rental agreements are short-term contracts between landlords and tenants. It is important to understand the difference between lease and rent.

Similarities Between Leasing And Renting:

  • Leasing and renting have the following similarities. Based on similarities between both concepts, they are often used interchangeably.
  • A tenant or a lessee both have to submit a security deposit at the time of agreement. This security deposit is returned at the end of the agreement. However, it can also be used to cover the damages caused by the tenant or lessee. 
  • Both leasing and renting involve an occupancy agreement between both parties. Thai agreement outlines the terms and conditions that are agreed upon by both parties
  • Whether it is leasing or renting a property, a lessee or tenant has to pay a decided payment in exchange for the right to occupy the property 
  • The tenant and lessee enjoy an exclusive use of the property and are responsible for its care and maintenance
  • Both landlord and lessor retain certain responsibilities related to property maintenance, repairs, and compliance

Lease vs Rent? What Is A Lease?

A lease is a long-term contract or agreement between two parties called lessor and lessee. It is an extended or long-term contract that outlines the decided terms and conditions and the agreed-upon length of the timeframe that a lessee will spend on a particular property. During this decided tenure, a lessee will be bound to pay agreed payments to the lessor. The duration of a lease contract can be a year or more.

Lease vs Rent What Is A Lease

Pros Of Leasing A Property

There are several compelling reasons that can incite one to consider leasing an apartment or property. 

Long-term Stability

We have just learned that leasing a property involves long-term contracts or agreements. These agreements lead to long-term stability because they create a consistent income stream for a longer duration and lower the risk of vacancies and income fluctuations. This sort of agreement also keeps the property maintained because a lessee or tenant treats the property as their own.

A Cost-Effective Option

Leasing a property is often deemed as an economical choice because it reduces maintenance costs that are mainly incurred upon landlords or lessors. This type of contract also lowers tenant move-in and move-out, allowing people to stay in a specific property for an extended period.

Community Integration

A longer stay in a property allows tenants to integrate into the local community and establish relationships with locals. Such agreements generally enable tenants to become a part of the community fabric and participate in community engagement programs. 

Rent Remains The Same

In a lease agreement, a landlord is not entitled to increase the rental payment of a property during the tenancy period. A tenant has to pay the same rent that both parties agreed upon during the tenancy contract. A landlord can only increase rent at the time of contract renewal. This option also gives tenants the luxury of rent-controlled renewal. More often than not, tenants renew extended lease agreements at the same rental value.

Cons Of Leasing A Property Or Apartment

Limits Flexibility

Generally, it is a long-term contract, and an agreement is signed for a fixed term, limiting the flexibility for tenants who may intend to relocate urgently because of family or job-related matters. In these circumstances, a tenant may end up breaking a leasing agreement, causing him to face consequences.

Less Control Over Property

A lease may allow tenants to stay in an apartment or house for a longer term and treat the property as their own home. However, they are not entitled to make any considerable changes, as they are not allowed to make major renovations or modifications to the property. 

Risk Of Disputes

Though everything is usually written in the lease agreement, the possibility of disputes over issues such as property maintenance, lease terms, and rent increases cannot be neglected. These sorts of disputes may lead to legal proceedings.

What Does It Mean To Rent A Property?

Renting a property requires arrangements that enable a tenant to live in a particular property for a relatively limited period. Renting involves a contract between landlords and tenants, which allows the tenant to occupy the property of the property owner for a decided term against decided monthly payments. Renting is basically a short-term contract or arrangement between both parties. Rents are regular payments that a tenant pays to the landlord on a monthly basis to live or use the property owned by the property owner or landlord.

What Does It Mean To Rent A Property?

Pros Of Renting A Property

Provides More Freedom

Renting a property does not bind a tenant for an extended term. Tenants can quickly quit the property if they are required to do so. People who often have to relocate for their personal matters or requirement purposes can get advantage of this option as this choice extends more freedom and mobility. It means one does not need to be worried about the consequences of breaching an agreement in case of renting a property. 

Better Living options

Renting a property also gives the luxury of living in an expensive property because rental payments are quite low as compared to leasing or owning a property. Visitors and tourists can choose to live in posh areas of Dubai at economic rates if they consider renting a unit in that specific area.

Maintenance Responsibilities

Landlords and property managers are normally responsible for repairs and maintenance of rented properties in Dubai. Issues such as structural damages, plumbing and appliance malfunctions are to be addressed by the property owner. Tenants are not responsible for repairing and managing problems of such magnitude, freeing tenants from the financial burden and hassle of upkeep. 

Amenities And Facilities

Rental properties also offer high-end facilities and amenities to tenants that may not be available in leased properties. People living in rented properties in Dubai often enjoy facilities such as gymnasiums, swimming pools, on-site laundry facilities, and fitness centers.

Cons Of Renting A Property

Increase In rent

Rental costs may alter frequently, adding a financial burden on tenants. Frequent rent changes might make it difficult for tenants to manage long-term finances. The RERA rental calculator is used to determine the requirement for an increase in rent for a particular property in Dubai. A change in rent can make it challenging for tenants to manage their other financial obligations.

Termination Risks

Renting a property, though, offers the luxury to move whenever you desire. However, it may also put you at risk of losing your rented property or a place to live in an unknown area at the end of the rental term. You may lose your favorite living place at the end of a rental term.

Limited Control Over Property

Renters have limited control over the property they rent. They are bound by the rules and regulations and must follow certain procedures set by the property owner or property management company in Dubai. Their activities are also restricted, and they are not allowed to make alterations to the rented property.

The Bottom Line:

There is not much difference between lease and rent because they are alike in many ways. Both are often used interchangeably. However, there is a difference between both concepts. A lease is an agreement or contract between two parties or lessor and lessee that lasts for an extended period. The duration of a lease agreement typically goes from a year to many.

On the other hand, the duration of a rental agreement is quite less than that of a lease agreement. A rental agreement can last for a month to a number of months. Given that, the main difference between both lease and rent is the duration of the contract or agreement.

Seeking A Temporary Residence In Dubai? Let Us Assist You:

Kelt & Co Realty is a real estate agency that helps people buy, sell, and rent properties in Dubai. Whether you are looking for a property for your brief stay or want to start a real estate business in Dubai, Kelt & Co Realty can help you find the most viable and desired option based on your specific interests. Get our services, take advantage of our professionals’ expertise, and find your desired place to live and work in Dubai.


Which is the best, rent or lease?

The main difference between leasing and renting is the duration of the agreement and contract. A lease is a long-term contract between a lessor and lessee, and the renting is a short-term contract between a tenant and landlord. Both options have some advantages and disadvantages. An individual should choose the most viable option based on his personal preferences. If he wants to stay for a longer period, he should consider leasing a property. Otherwise, renting must be your choice.

Is rental property a good investment in Dubai?

Yes, it is deemed a good investment mainly because of the rising population of Dubai and influx of people visiting Dubai for various purposes. Rental properties in Dubai include apartments, villas and commercial spaces. Property owners usually generate high ROI from their rental property business.

Can I buy the property and rent it out?

Yes. As a foreigner, you can buy a property in a designated area called a freehold zone and rent it out. Foreign nationals are allowed to purchase properties in freehold areas of Dubai and rent them out to generate ROI.

Are the costs different for leasing vs renting?

Yes, the cost factor varies. Leasing often requires a lower monthly rate because it is a long-term arrangement or contract. However, renting is deemed slightly expensive because of its flexibility and lack of long-term assurance for the landlord.


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