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Buying Off-Plan Advice and Disputes

Many expatriates choose to buy property in the UAE off-plan.   We can assist you with purchasing property off-plan and deal with any disputes which may occur during the process.

Our team comprises of internationally trained and experienced lawyers who handle all aspects of conveyancing including drafting contracts, negotiations, and title registrations.

Our multi-lingual real estate lawyers are registered with the UK Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the Dubai Legal Affairs Department. They have vast knowledge of the UAE real estate law. TWS Legal Consultants is a fully digital law firm.  We can organise appointments via video conferencing if this suits your needs.

Although buying property off-plan is normally less expensive than purchasing an existing home, frustrations and disputes readily occur.  Projects can be delayed, your home may have defects, or your financial circumstances may change prior to your house build being completed.  It is, therefore, crucial to seek legal advice from our experienced conveyancing lawyers before you sign a contract with a developer.  We will make sure your interests are fully protected, ensuring your off-plan purchase is smooth and stress-free.

What is an off-plan property purchase?

Buying ‘off-plan’ simply means buying a property before it is built.  Off-plan properties are usually less expensive, with developers charging less than they would for a completed home.

What are the risks when buying an off-plan property in the UAE?

The most common frustration faced by people who buy off-plan is a delay.  It is estimated that since 2008, up to 50% of housing projects launched in the UAE have been completed 12 months behind schedule.

In some cases, projects are cancelled entirely.

This can result in a financial loss for purchases, as they would have had to pay a registration fee and other costs such as an agent’s fee and VAT.

When you buy off-plan property, a comprehensive Sale and Purchase Agreement must be entered into with the developer.  A signed copy of this contract will be recorded at the interim real estate register at the Land Department.

We will ensure that all the necessary terms protecting your interests are included in the Sale and Purchase Agreement.  This will include a completion date with a reasonable extension and clear guidance as to what should happen if the extension date is missed.  We will also include terms relating to dispute resolution, including references to non-litigious methods such as mediation and arbitration.

How can I ensure that the UAE developer I have chosen is reputable?

If you are an expatriate looking to buy an off-plan property in the UAE, it is natural to feel nervous about being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous developer.  However, regional laws around developers have been tightened considerably.  UAE banks will not lend to all off-plan projects; the decision to provide finance is based on the developer’s credentials.  Furthermore, in October 2016 regulations came into effect, which require developers and brokers to get approval from Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) before they advertise property in the media.

Instructing us to advise you on buying an off-plan property in the UAE drastically mitigates your risk.  We have been advising and representing clients in real estate matters in the region for over a decade and are well-acquainted with reputable developers, lenders, and regulators.  Our team will conduct comprehensive background checks on your chosen developer.  We will also run searches on the ownership of land, provide guidance on your mortgage contract, and examine any rental guarantee agreements to ensure your best interests are always protected.

Please contact us at TWS Legal Consultants to make an appointment to discuss your off-plan property purchase:

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