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There are risks and rewards in buying off-plan property. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News

There are risks and rewards in off-plan real estate.


Three years ago, I bought an off-plan property from a developer in Dubai, and now the developer asked me to pay the last installment and receive the property, but it turned out that the actual area of the property is much less than the area mentioned in the purchase contract. My question: Do I have the legal right to request the developer to change the property or to request compensation for the difference in area? Please advise.


To answer such question, I would advise the questioner that.

This matter will be estimated by the court which will take the decision as per the documents submitted and, in such cases, the matter will be transferred to an expert who will check the exact area of the plot unit.

But you cannot oblige the developer to give you another property unless he agreed amicably.

UAE Civil Transactions Law in its Article 523 emphasizes that “when the quantity of the thing sold is fixed in the contract and, in the absence of an agreement or custom, a deficiency or increment in it shows, the following rules shall apply:

If the thing sold shall be adversely affected by severance and the price is fixed per unit, the seller is entitled to the value of the increase and the deficiency charged to his account.

If the increment or deficiency add to the obligation of the purchaser beyond what he has intended to purchase or change the nature of the transaction, he may opt for the cancellation of the sale unless the difference is trifle and it does not contradict the purpose sought by the purchaser.

In case the purchaser takes delivery of the thing sold with knowledge of the deficiency, he shall forfeit his right to the cancellation option mentioned in the preceding paragraph”.