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Dubai: property registration deadline inches near

Thursday, 08 October 2015

According Gulf News all owners must meet the October 31 cut-off date issued by Land Department

On March 19, Dubai Land Department issued a circular to all developers, purchasers and owners of properties in Dubai requiring mandDubai Marinaatory registration of the units in the register maintained by it before June 30. This led to a huge rush from individual purchasers wanting to register directly, not forgetting the hundreds of purchasers who tried to register with the help of developers.

As the deadline approached, the numbers seeking to register were still high. So the Land Department took the sensible decision to extend the deadline by three months. The new deadline is October 31 and applies to all properties. We understand that this registration deadline is both imminent and final.


What does this mean for new investors/purchasers of incomplete properties?

If you have purchased an off-plan property which has not been registered in the interim register (Oqood), you should immediately Dubai Business Bayapproach the developer and ask him to register your interest and make payment of any appropriate fees. If your property is registered in Oqood, but fees have not been paid yet, you should review your SPA (sales purchase agreement) to see if you are required to pay these.

What does this mean for owners who are in possession of a property but do not have the title deed?

You should immediately approach the developer to find out the reasons for the delay in obtaining a title deed and whether your interest is registered with the Land Department. If the developer cannot be contacted or is not cooperating, you should approach the Land Department directly to secure the title deed.

What are the consequences of not registering the property under the new directives?

Dubai law requires all legal disposition in respect of real property to be registered in the register. Any sale or legal disposition which transfers or restricts ownership or any ancillary rights will be void if not registered. It is equally imperative that the developer and investors/purchasers should come forward and ensure that all sales are registered with the Land Department to secure the rights of both parties.

Dubai Marina Princess TowerAre there any penalties for not registering properties?

Yes, if the circular was to be strictly adhered to. The Land Department could take action against defaulters by levying fines or suspending all transactions relating to those individuals/companies until the situation is rectified. It is not clear if penalties will be applied to individuals who fail to pay the fees, or to developers who fail to collect the fees from purchasers and remit these to the Land Department.

If the latter, then it is probable the penalty will be passed on by the developer to the purchaser if the purchaser delays submitting documents or fees because most SPAs explicitly require the purchaser to pay the fees.

A possible reason for an increased rush to register the properties before the [earlier] deadline of June 30 were the unfounded rumours the Land Department will increase registration fees to 8 per cent instead of the existing 4 per cent. Indeed, those who failed to register when the fees were 2 per cent have already incurred a penalty of sorts when the fee was doubled.

Registration is clearly in the property owner’s interest and all should make it a priority to ensure such interests are registered as soon as possible.