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Cheque one, cheque two, cheque 12 – Dubai rents
Must hundreds more be robbed of thousands of their hard-earned Dirhams before we decide to put an end to the ‘one cheque’ culture?
October 7, 2012 9:23 by Muhammad Aldalou
How many more rental scams do we need before we wake up?
After a series of now infamous rental scams in the UAE, the Real Estate Regulatory Agency continues to urge all residents to ensure that their landlord’s title deed and broker’s registration are valid in order to prevent further fraudulent contracts. Registering their tenancy contract under the Ejari scheme online can go a long way as well but Kipp wonders whether that will ever be a strong enough preventative method or merely a temporary soothing.
And sure enough, Ludmila Yamalova, managing partner at legal consultancy HPL Yamalova & Plewka who spoke to The National, says that what Dubai’s subletting industry really needs is an offensive strategy instead of a defensive one, by removing incentives to cheat and rob.
“Rera’s plans are good but these are reactionary measures and what we need to put in are preventive measures,” she said, adding that these scams were unique to Dubai. They wouldn’t happen in the West because the idea of paying your entire year’s rent in one cheque is relatively unknown.
“Yes, it should stop. Does another place in the world even exist where you have to pay your year’s rent in one cheque? First & last please,” says Olya Moskalenko, a Dubai resident for the last 3 years.
Paying your rent on a monthly basis can, as Kipp would imagine, be a bit of a hassle, particularly for those fortunate enough to be able to afford an entire year’s rent in one cheque. It sounds like the easier choice and the voice in their head continues to chant ‘it happened to others but it won’t happen to me’. Still, keeping in mind the unique variety of expatriate residents that hail from all corners of the world, it could prove beneficial to follow a more international norm when it comes to rental agreements.
“It would be a progressive move for the UAE to emulate the rest of the world & establish 12 month rental contracts with monthly payments,” says Kelly Anne Smith, a communications strategist residing in Abu Dhabi.
Building on what Yamalova (legal consultancy) told the daily paper, not only is removing the incentive to cheat a strong idea but removing the incentive to pay the entire rent in a single go would be an even more effective approach, in an ideal world. The other current motive for tenants to pay their annual rent instantly goes further than the convenience of not having to doll out monthly payments. When paying with one cheque, the annual rent can be substantially cheaper.
Haitham Al Kouatly, chief executive of Shamyana Entertainment Services, fled with an amount of at least AED 6 million in annual rent from over 130 tenants. Similarly, in September, two agents from Marks Falcon Real Estate and FHS Properties fled with half-yearly payments that amounted to a staggering AED 80 million.