Fake distressed sellers cheating buyers

Picture used for illustrative purposes only. (FILE)

All property transfers need to be done through the Dubai Land Department, a senior government official has said.

His response came after industry sources told Emirates 24|7 that there have been transactions where some “fake” distressed sellers, owning a completed unit but without a title deed, had sold the same unit to multiple people by just signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and assuring completion of formalities within a certain time period.

A broker, who asked not to be named, said: “We did a transaction with a so-called "distressed" investor who agreed to sell his unit at a lower price to our client.

Only a token amount was paid after they signed a MoU. We, however, found out later that the person had sold the same unit to a number of people.”

He added: “We can’t ascertain how much money he made, but there was no police complaint filed since the amount paid was very nominal by our client.”

The broker also admitted that they had stopped advising their clients on entering such deals even if the distressed property was worth a buy.

In June, the Dubai Court of Cassation said any property is purchased in the emirate has to be registered with the Land Department for it to be deemed legal. The legal principle was issued after the court heard a case regarding a plot of land that was purchased, but not registered.

The Land Department website mentions that registering the property purchase with the department and being issued with a title deed is the only mechanism in place to certify ownership of a particular property and to guarantee rights as an owner of the property.

A title deed takes no longer than three days to be issued if all the necessary documents are submitted and the issuance fee is Dh250.

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