The renewed interest in the property market comes with concerns about a repeat in history. The buyer and seller can take an equal piece of the responsibility of what has gone before and both sides have learned painful lessons that should not be repeated.
We hear of “agents” who lease property, pay the first instalment to the landlord and leave town with the balance. This is not a new story, we have tales of the like from the early 1980s... the nature of man has not changed. Surprisingly, despite increased awareness, media scrutiny and highlighting of the incidents, they still occur.
When acting as a developer or making a property purchase, the involvement of regulated professional property service providers can enhance the offering. A professional property company will provide expertise, have professional insurance and act within the culture of fairness and transparency.
Developers are by nature concerned with the business of planning and building their project. The real estate management professional is concerned with the operation of a property and the people within it. Two distinct roles and the buyer or tenant of a property benefits from the interacting with the most professional.
As standard rates apply for property services within the Emirates, there is no financial value to a client to use an unregulated small company or individual as opposed to an internationally regulated professional company; in fact it is the opposite. The risks in dealing with those who cannot be held accountable can cost a great deal.
The development of RERA and a concerted effort to regulate brokers and real estate managers as well as developers and set parameters within which each is in progress in Dubai. RICS has a growing network of individual and corporate members within the region who are regulated and their conduct and practice are judged against set standards and guidance.
Transparency is the key. This applies to the information about the property, the terms and conditions surrounding the transaction, the adherence to local regulations with regards to planning consents and infrastructure requirements, the set up and use of escrow accounts, and clear provisions within the sale and purchase documentation with regards to default remedy.
Lease agreements in Abu Dhabi Dubai and Sharjah should be recorded in the designated system so as to ensure that the party who represents themselves as the landlord either is or has through registered contract empowered a third-party to do so on his behalf. This simple registration was, in part, created so as to protect the parties entering into a lease agreement. The fee is low and the benefits substantial.
Housing, whether for rent or purchase, is the most important element of all our lives — it is possible to protect yourself against problems by engaging with the right service providers.
As part of its continuous commitment to raising standards in the business of land, property and construction, RICS has launched the Real Estate Management Guidance. The publication provides best practice guidance for residential and commercial real estate managers so that clients can be confident in receiving objective advice, delivered to a consistently high professional standard.
The guidance includes 12 core principals called the “Real Estate Management Code”. This is a clear straight forward approach to the business of real estate management.
— The writer is a real estate management professional with 33 years experience in the UAE.