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Dubai: An investor from a Gulf country has been refunded over Dh1 million by a property developer following a court ruling.

He had filed a lawsuit against a real estate company, in which he requested the termination of the purchase agreements for three property units, to oblige the company to return the amounts paid. The investor accused the real estate company of refusing to refund the amounts while also refusing to hand over the completed units.

The real estate company relied on some of the clauses contained in the contract signed between the two parties, allowing it to deduct the full amounts paid and not to hand over the units to the investor, which was the matter to which the first instance court had responded and the appeal court did not accept it.

Ali Khalaf Al Hosani

The lawyer, Ali Khalaf Al Housani, the representative of the appellant, from Ali Khalaf Al Housani Advocate and Legal Consultants, explained that the buyer was late in paying the last payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic and because of the lack of completion of the construction percentage required for those units to be built within a commercial tower, as the real estate company (the seller) had delayed the completion of the project for more than a year.

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Handover delay

In his defence before the Dubai Court of Appeal, Al Hosani affirmed the buyer has complied with all the terms of the contract, and has the right to postpone the due instalments until the developer commits to completing and handing over the housing unit.

Regarding the failure to pay the last payments by the buyer, Al Hosani told the court that the situation resulting from the pandemic in the period from April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021 was a period of financial crisis. He also noted that the developer also breached the agreement when it unilaterally cancelled the contract and refused to hand over the housing units upon completion of construction.

Based on the pleadings of Al Hosani, and the evidence he presented to the court, the Dubai Court of Appeal ruled to annul the previous judgment of the Court of First Instance and oblige the developer to refund to the appellant an amount of Dh1,040,844) and obligated the developer to pay fees and expenses for the two levels of litigation, and an amount of Dh2,000 for attorney’s fees, with the confiscation of the insurance amount.