I want to buy an off-plan property from one of the developers. What are the precautions that I must verify before buying the property in my name and in the name of my wife, noting that my wife will pay the full price, meaning that the value of my contribution will be as a gift from her to me? In this case, is it possible for my wife to return the gift and ask me to pay the value of the land in the future?
To answer such question, I would advise the questioner that:
(1) Some of the requirements to buy a property are:
a) Make sure that the seller owns the property and can legally sell it.
b) Ensure that the property is free from any debts (mortgage, charges, etc) and that the developer gets all the required approvals from the competent authorities to start building.
c) Have the proper clauses in your sale and purchase agreement which should outline the terms and conditions, govern the relationship between the parties and provide their respective rights and obligations in order to understand your duties, your rights and, most importantly, if the project is delayed beyond the mutually agreed period. You should also check the termination clause carefully so as to avoid future legal hassles. Ensure that sale and purchase agreements clearly mentions the completion date and how the developers will handle the situation if they aren’t able to meet the handover date.
d) Research the developer company before buying off-plan property and make sure it is established and reliable. Look at their track record with previous developments: have the projects been handed over on time?
e) Make sure the developer, real estate project and escrow account are registered with DLD and RERA.
(2) As a general rule, the donor may revoke the gift before receiving payment without the consent of the donee. The donor may revoke it after payment with the consent of the donee. If the donee does not consent to the revocation, the donor may apply to the judge for rescission and revocation of the gift, whenever he has reasonable grounds in support, unless there is an obstacle to the revocation.
But if the gift is made by one spouse to the other, the donor spouse may not revoke the gift as per Article (649) of the UAE Civil Transactions Law which states that (“The following constitutes an impediment to revocation of a gift:
a) If the gift is made by one spouse to the other or to a cognate to a degree precluding marriage, unless the gift may unjustifiably result is discriminatory preference between them;
b) If the donee has definitely alienated the thing given; if, however, such alienation is only partial, the donor may revoke the gift as to the remaining part;
c) If there is an inherent increase of the thing given, involving an increase in value thereof; or if the donee transforms the thing given in such a manner as causing a change in its name;
d) If one of the contracting parties dies after receipt of the thing donated;
e) If the thing given perished while in possession of the donee; and in case the loss is partial, revocation may be for the remaining part;
f) If the gift has been made against valuable consideration;
g) If the donation constitutes alms or an act of charity;
h) If a creditor donated the debt due to him to the debtor.)