A questioner asks: A month ago, I paid a deposit to one of the real estate developers to buy a property in Dubai. For reasons beyond my control, I asked the developer to return the deposit amount since I did not want to buy, but the developer refused to return the deposit on the grounds that the deposit is not refundable in law.
My question is, do I have the legal right in this case, and according to Dubai real estate law, to request a refund of the deposit, and what are the legal procedures that I must follow to return the deposit amount if the law allows me? Please advise.
I would advise the questioner the following:
Article 148 of the Civil Transaction Law states that "(1-In the absence of a clause to the contrary in the contract, the payment of earnest money is evidence that the contract has become final and may not be relinquished.
2-Where the parties agree that the earnest money paid is the sanction for withdrawal from the contract, either party may withdraw. If the payer of the earnest money is the one who withdraws, he shall lose it and the person who has received the earnest money and withdraws from the contract shall repay double the amount received.)"
Which means that if there is no agreement about the earnest money in your purchase contract, your payment is considered an evidence that the contract has become final and in case you want to cancel it, then you have to file a suitcase in front of the real estate court based on the general provisions of law in its Article 267 which states that ("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 the event that you agreed in the purchase contract that the money paid is an earnest money, either party may withdraw and the one who withdraws, shall lose the money.
After all, the court will estimate the matter and shall have the authority to understand and gather the facts as long as its conclusion is justified, and it has absolute authority to examine the contract and to interpret it as long as its interpretation of the contract does not contradict what is established in it and does not deviate from the apparent meaning of what is stated in it.