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Protection at last, but too late for many
Investors in the Dubai property market aren’t legally protected half as much as they should be. You could say it is about time something was done, but is it too late?
February 15, 2011 4:02 by Eva Fernandes
“Too late” was the thought that came to mind when I read an article in Emirates 24|7 about the possible introduction of a law that would protect property investors in Dubai. Notice the use of the word ‘possible’. Because the law is still in the speculation phase, and knowing how legislation works in Dubai, it will be a considerable amount of time before I can write a piece about the way the law has been implemented.
But don’t let me get ahead of myself. The law that the article describes is one that aims to provide investors a ‘complete and comprehensive legal support’ to protect their purchase of properties in Dubai, or so says Director-General of Dubai Land Department, Sultan Butti bin Mijrin. As such the laws would allow for an investor to cancel their contract with the developer, if the developer refuses to link payments to construction milestones or if he makes material changes to specifications. In addition it promises to deal with providing the investor with a refund or replacement in the event that a developer is responsible for a delay in delivery.
Mijrin promises: “The law will provide the grounds that give the investor the right to resort to cancel the sales and purchase contract with the developer and even recover dues in full.”
Sounds long overdue, doesn’t it? But if you are anxiously hanging your hopes on the implementation of this law; I don’t mean to be callous, but don’t. According to Emirates 24|7, the law is ‘due for release this year’ which can mean anytime from tomorrow to the 31st of December. Even if I try to remain positive about this well intentioned development, I recall the difficult implementation of the strata law. The Strata Law, which was and is a welcome attempt to give joint-owners more rights for their property, was first introduced in 2007. The particulars of the law were kicked around for three years, until eventually in April 2010 owners were told they would have 6 months to register. The deadline for owners to register (October 13th) came and went without a single registration. The National reported that even a month after the supposed ‘deadline’ not a single owners association had been registered.
And even if it all went swimmingly, sadly the introduction of this law comes far too late for many.
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