Authority speak: Humaid Abdullah Al Shamsi, Deputy Director, Land Department

The Land Department (DLD) is imposing fines of up to Dh10,000 per unit on developers who have not issued title deeds to investors.

A circular to this effect (in Arabic) reads: “The escrow section of DLD carries a periodic review of its Oqood data base. In the case of projects which are completed 80 per cent and more and where the developer is not taking necessary actions to transfer this property registration from Oqood to the final registration system within 30 days from receiving this letter, the section will take necessary action to stop the validity of any transaction on these projects with the possibility of imposing financial fine of Dh10,000 on every unit.”

Humaid Abdullah Al Shamsi, Deputy Director, Land Department (DLD) told XPRESS: “We are imposing fines to developers who are putting off issuing title deeds to their investors. There is a procedure that we follow where we give them a month’s notice to put their act together. If they fail to do so, then we penalise them.”

A title deed is a must have document for protecting the rights of a property investor in Dubai.

Shahram Safai, Partner, Afridi & Angell legal consultants said: “Without a title deed, the property investor is at risk that his property could be claimed by a third party. It is also required when an investor applies for a family or a domestic worker visa.”

Susan Dinor, Managing Director, Dinor Real Estate Consultants said:“Buyers, particularly expats have an increased sense of security if their property has a title deed. Majority of the banks in UAE offer mortgages to only properties with title deeds. For those living in a unit without this legal document, there are limited options for a suitable mortgage. We have also noted that valuation of such properties has been negatively impacted. Tenants too are inconvenienced when they have to register their tenancy contract under the Ejari system or apply for utility connections. They have to obtain special letters from developers to facilitate these registrations. The recent program by DLD to ensure all completed properties get their title deeds is extremely encouraging and will bring further confidence into the market place.

Cost of procuring a title deed to an investor varies between 1 per cent and 2 per cent of the cost of the property purchased, depending on what is stated in their sales and purchase contract (SPA).