Thirty families face eviction for paying wrong broker

Brokerage firm claims false ownership, leaving over 30 families without a home.

More than 30 families living in an apartment block at Discovery Gardens fear they will be evicted because a brokerage company falsely claimed it was the landlord of the building.

Tenants of Building 219 in the Moghul cluster say they either paid cash or handed over a single cheque to pay their rent to Corporate Business Solutions (CBS). On October 1, they received a notice from Dubai Municipality's Rent Committee saying Meraas Real Estate – which owns the building – had filed a case against CBS. "I paid my rent through a single cheque," said one tenant. "The contract is attested by Dubai's Real Estate Regulatory Agency and named CBS as the landlord. From day one, I believed CBS was the landlord – until I got the notice from Dubai Municipality."

The tenant, who gave Emirates Business a copy of the contract, moved into his property in August after handing over a cheque for Dh45,000. His rent contract expires in July 2010.

"We received the notice from the municipality asking us to come in on October 4. We were asked to submit certain documents when we went there. Later, we were told to return on October 18 for a final hearing."

The 34 families involved are trying to hire a lawyer to represent them at the hearing and help them to stay in their apartments until their contracts run out.

The tenants are unsure about how they should proceed if they are evicted. "We don't have the resources to challenge the verdict in a higher court," said another tenant. "I can't afford to pay more for legal action. I hope they let us stay until the current lease expires."

Emirates Business tried to call the mobile number on CBS's website but it was said to be temporarily out of service. The office landlines did not work, and the number of a CBS Managing Director, Alejandra (first name), which was given to the tenants was temporarily disconnected.

The lawyer for Meraas Real Estate refused to comment, saying: "The case is being heard."


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