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Dubai Land department had been adding more features to its DubaiREST portal. Helping property owners get NOCs electronically is the latest value-add. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: No-Objection Certificates (NOC) for a property transfer in Dubai can now be done electronically – a step that will speed up the process and, potentially, reduce cost for the seller.

The e-NOC system went live at Dubai Land Department on Sunday. Currently, these NoCs are issued by the developer or the concerned owner association (OA) management company. And they typically charge between Dh1,500-Dh3,000 for the same. In some instances, getting the OK cost the owner even Dh5,000.

“Whether it’s a one-year old property or 10 years, developers/OAs are still demanding – and getting – a fee for the NOC issue,” said a property owner currently selling a unit at Dubai Silicon Oasis. “I was asked for Dh1,500, even though I had no outstanding payments of any sort with the developer or the property management firm.

“It’s an unwarranted charge and should not be added as a burden on the seller.”

The Land Department has not prescribed any fees that property sellers should be paying for the e-NOCs, and that's what is giving owners a lot of hope.

Do it electronically

According to some market sources, with the Land Department launching eNOC, the need for the seller to involve the developer is cut off. If that’s the case, there is also no need for the seller to make the obligatory payment to the developer/OA.

The Land Department - and RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Agency) – have been pushing more of the transaction process involving property buying and selling onto online channels. This includes valuation and registration checks and a lot more. The launch of eNOC is the latest in the online evolution.

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Go through ‘REST’

These are the steps to be done in the transaction:

• Login to DubaiREST as an owner;

• Go to the dashboard;

• Select the property to apply for the eNOC service;

• Click on the service menu then select eNOC request;

• Submit the request; and

• The owner will be notified once the request is approved or rejected by the OA management company.

Now, the OA company is still involved in clearing the transaction. But since all these processes are conducted through the Land Department’s DubaiREST portal, industry sources suggest much of the leeway OAs enjoyed in charging for NOCs is reduced.

Next steps

Once the approval for the eNOC is received, the owner must contact the registration trustee office to conduct the property sale.

“No effort should be spared to remove “hidden” – or not so hidden – charges in the property market,” said a market source. “If there are no dues left, why should it cost a property owner any additional sum just to get a certificate from the OAE firm?

“The Land Department is doing the right thing adding more features to their portal and making the whole transaction experience as transparent as possible.”