New regulations covering off-plan sales of real estate are to be issued soon to prevent developers imposing registration fees. Dubai Lands Department said the rules would set out clear mechanisms and procedures – and officials hope they will reduce the number of disputes between developers and buyers.
« Some off-plan projects are not executed for a number of reasons, which leads to disputes, » Director-General of the Department, Sultan Butti bin Mijrin, told Emirates Business. « Buyers complain to the Lands Department but we do not have sufficient data on the project, which means a loss of rights for the buyer. »
Mijrin said the regulations, currently being drawn up by the Dubai Government’s legal advisers, would prevent real estate developers from imposing registration fees on customers when they buy a property or sell it. But developers would still be allowed to charge administrative expenses when ownership is transferred from one person to another provided the fee was fixed rather than a percentage of the value of the property. Most real estate developers in Dubai charge buyers around two per cent of the property value when ownership is transferred. Some, however, charge as much as six per cent.
Hundreds of property transfer requests are waiting for approval by some major developers who have received letters from the Lands Department telling them they should not charge a percentage.
The regulations will, in addition, set out the procedures that developers should follow before offering their projects to the public.
Mijrin said Dubai’s real estate market had matured but was still growing at an accelerating pace, offering many promising opportunities for both developers and buyers.
« The department is keen to be at the forefront of efforts to organise real estate procedures and to urge workers in the sector to provide more professionalism and transparency. The sector has recently witnessed several legislative developments, » Mijrin said.