Ask the Law: Can developer amend property purchase agreement and terms of contract?
Question: Two years ago, I bought a property from a developer. According to the purchase contract, there were five payments remaining until the date of receiving the property in May 2023. However, based on the current percentage of completion, delivery will be delayed. The developer is now asking me to amend the property purchase agreement due to increase in the construction cost and to amend the property delivery period for two years. My question is, does the developer have the legal right to amend the property purchase agreement and change the terms of the contract, and am I legally entitled to terminate the property purchase agreement for this reason.
Answer: The developer does not have the right to amend the contract by his own wish unless you accept to amend it. This is stipulated in the UAE Civil Transactions Law (Article (267) that says: If a contract is valid and binding, none of the contracting parties may revoke, modify or rescind it, except by mutual consent, order of the court or a law provision.
In general, any party in bilateral contracts has the right to request for cancellation leaving the matter to the court to decide about it as per Article 272 of the same law which states that: In bilateral contracts, if one of the parties does not perform his contractual obligations, the other party may, after serving a formal notification to the debtor, demand the performance of the contract or its rescission. The court will decide whether the developer is late or not in the implementation of his contractual obligations, and whether this delay exceeds the limits to the extent that leads the buyer to request for the termination of the contract, or not.
But in your situation, if you file your case to cancel the agreement now, the court might reject it for being not due as per what is stated in Article 69 of the UAE Civil law: “He who accelerates the happening of a thing, before it is due, shall be deprived of it.
We advise you to wait until the completion date is due because the developer did not amend the contract. He is still asking you for this and you can refuse. Completion date is not due yet. Even, as per your knowledge, there is not enough, but until now he did not violate his obligations as per the agreement.