A view of the Remraam community Image Credit: Supplied

DUBAI An apartment owner in Remraam, a mid-rise community off the Dubai Bypass Road, said he is being asked to take possession of a unit declared "not ready for handover and occupation" after 144 defects were found.

Madhu Krishnan, 35, said he has taken out a 20-year mortgage for Dh9,500 a month for his Dh1.3 million two-bedroom unit, but was horrified to find mouldy walls inside the brand new apartment, unsealed windows that allowed in dust and a damp issue even before utilities were connected to the unit.

"These are not minor issues," said the Indian IT executive. "I would like to move in, I've waited long enough, but I can't take possession until these problems are sorted. I want to live in it or rent it out. But if it's unlivable, this is impossible."

XPRESS saw a report by snagging company Realpoint which conducted the checks on April 11 of Unit 205 at Remraam's Al Thamam 47 building, listing numerous defects.

A majority of the defects listed in Krishnan's two-bedroom unit may be cosmetic, but the report said it was a result of sloppy execution - and that the total number of defects was a "concern".

A "snag list" is a list of defects in a newly-built home or any new construction or renovation. Defects marked yellow and red must be addressed immediately "to prevent any further defects occurring to the building", the report stated. The 17 defects marked red mean these major issues need to be fixed - such as loosely-installed smoke detectors or doors that won't lock.

"The sliding door to the balcony suffers from the same issue as the windows … the installation of the doors is incomplete as the frame is propped on timber packers," it added.

Hassan, a young Arab accountant who bought a studio at Remraam, faces a similar dilemma. "I'll move in anytime if the property is ready. They promised us a build quality that is the same, if not better, than The Greens. Remraam was down-scaled and the promised 70 to 80 per cent greenery is nowhere. Meanwhile, the financiers are charging me the full amount."

Hassan, 29, said he gave a Dh100,000 down payment for his unit. "I had offered to pay another Dh100,000 to give up my rights and clear my name - but the financing company won't take it. Now I'm told that whether the snagging is good or bad, I must take the unit. Then they will start encashing my monthly cheques. My future is ruined."

DPG responds

A DPG spokesperson said: "There is steady progress at Remraam every day. A community usually takes time to mature, and it is standard market practice for investors to take handover of units whilst the master community is still in development."

While they cannot comment on individual cases, the spokesperson added: "Prior to hand-over, all units comply with strict regulatory approvals from Civil Defence and Dubai Municipality and our own inspection of hand-over readiness, so the rectification takes place before possession. Contractors are subject to a one-year defect liability period and the items mentioned above are covered within this liability period. Should an issue arise within the first year of residence, investors should contact the property management company, who will then liaise with the necessary agents and proceed from there."