Expat ‘homeless’ after broker cashes rent… goes missing

No sign of apartment promised; Dh70,000 paid in one cheque which has cleared

Syed Farid, a Pakistani expat, is in a state of shock after he rented an apartment in Dubai Marina, paid the entire rent in a single cheque, but can’t live there.

He claims he was cheated by a real estate company out of the Dh70,000 that he paid as rent for the apartment in the Emaar Six Towers in Dubai Marina.

Farid started his search for an apartment and scanned properties though a popular online listing portal.

“I got in touch with a person who had posted an online advertisement for a unit in Emaar Six Towers.

“The guy took me to meet an agent working in a registered brokerage firm, who showed me the apartment and subsequently, we finalised the deal.”

Emirates 24|7 has withheld the name of the brokerage firm, as the victim is yet to lodge a complaint with the authorities.

On September 1, Farid issued a cheque of Dh70,350 — Dh67,000 rent in a single cheque along with a refundable security deposit of Dh3,350, in favour of the company.

“I gave them the cheque on September 1 and it was cleared the next day.

“They told me they would clean, paint and sanitise the apartment and then, hand it over to me.

“But I never got the keys.

“I tried calling them over the phone, but no one answered.

“I went to the company office on Sheikh Zayed Road on Saturday, but it was shut,” he contends.

Farid states the brokerage firm did provide him with a copy of their license from the Dubai Department of Economic Department and the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) registration as well.

“They even gave me a copy of the authorisation letter that allowed them to rent the apartment on behalf of the landlord and collect cheques in their names from the tenant.”

Emirates 24|7 called on the company landline several times, but it went unanswered.

On Friday, Rera chief told this website that that property owners and renters should deal only with licensed companies.

"Let them make sure with whom they are dealing and check out the licence of the company before they deal with them," Marwan bin Ghalitha said.

Last week, we reported that at least two companies, one of them Shamyana Entertainment, are accused of duping hundreds of landlords as the post-dated cheques issued by them bounced.

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