Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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Investors rush to developer offices for NOCs

Dubai: Property investors in Dubai are in a mad rush to developers’ offices to get their no-objection certificates and get their units registered with the Dubai Land Department before the October 6 deadline for the hike in charges from 2 per cent to 4 per cent comes into effect.

Market sources reported huge queues at the Emaar and Nakheel sales offices on Tuesday morning. “Clients have to wait for a couple of hours for their turn and many are being turned away,” said an investor.

According to Chandrakant Whabi of Acrohouse Properties, Emaar is “requesting clients who applied for their NOCs today [Tuesday] to collect them on Thursday morning instead of 24 hours”. What this means is that many clients who apply for their urgent NOCs on Tuesday or Wednesday might not even be able to get their NOC on Thursday. “We are not sure if developers’ transfer centres will be able to manage the rush for transfer over the next two days. We are expecting very high volumes looking at the rush with these developers,” he said.

Meanwhile, investor sources said that Emaar had sent out an e-mail to all owners to register their property before the new rule comes up. The e-mail from Emaar read: “We would like to advise you to complete the transfer of title of your property within this week.”

“That gives the impression the registration of property will also be impacted by the new fee hike,” said one investor, who has just bought a Dh5 million unit and is now scrambling to collect funds to put up for the increased registration fee hike.

“The impression has been that those properties bought directly from a developer will still be charged at 2 per cent for the title deed registration as opposed to 4 per cent. There are multiple opinions on this, with many suggesting that the status quo remains on direct registrations,” Elizabeth George, an investor and on the board of a homeowners association at one high-rise in Dubai, said.

But many investors believe that the Dubai Land Department should have provided a longer window of opportunity for recent buyers to get through the registration without an additional funding burden.

“I think the government agency should have given enough time to buyers to adjust to the new charges. I signed an agreement to buy property two weeks ago and it will be impossible for me to do the transfer before October 6 due to bank formalities involved from my side and from the seller’s side,” Shantanu Jain, an overseas investor who has just bought in Dubai, said. “So I have no choice, but to pay the extra charges I had not provisioned for. “For finance buyers this amount is quite substantial, and I run a serious risk of losing my entire security deposit if I cannot arrange these funds before my MoU [memorandum of understanding] expires.”