A questioner from Dubai asks: A year ago, I bought a real estate off-plan from one of the developers. According to the purchase contract, delivery is after two years, and I paid approximately 50 per cent of the value of the property, and I was committed to making all payments according to the said contract. However, it has now become clear to me that the property is not registered under my name but under the name of another buyer. My question: what is the appropriate action to take against this developer, and can he be forced to register the property in my name, and am I legally entitled to claim compensation? Please advise.
To answer this question, I would advise the questioner that: You have to file a complaint against him in the Land Department to register the property amicably under your name in the initial register in which, according to this registration, a certificate is issued proving the purchase process.
The developer as per Article 3 of the Law No. (13) of 2008 Regulating Initial Property Registration in the Emirate of Dubai, shall register the purchase in the initial register or else he will be committing a breach by law (“All actions on off-plan sold property units shall be registered in the initial property register. Sale and all other legal actions that transfer or restrict ownership and any right based thereon shall be deemed null and void unless registered in said register.”) Moreover, the developer as per Article 7 of the same law may not (“resale or perform any other legal actions on the fully developed property or off plan sold units”).
The ownership certificate (title deed) is not issued to the buyer until the full payment process is completed and the property or land is handed over.
The department in this case, as per Article 8 of the same law, may upon the request of the buyer or of own volition, register in the property register, the property units sold as off-plan registered in the initial register, provided that buyers have fulfilled their contractual obligations.
In case the landlord refuses to register, you have to file a civil suit against him in front of the court either to terminate the purchase agreement or to oblige him to register it under your name in the initial registry and, in both cases, you may request material and moral compensation.