Better Homes runs false claims on property ads

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Top Dubai estate agent Better Homes has been running false information on a number of its property advertisements, an investigation by Arabian Business can reveal.

The advertisements – all appearing on the company’s website – make a number of  claims regarding the Palm Jumeirah development, including non-existent shopping centres,  access to leisure facilities that were never built, and even claims that the Dubai Metro runs through the development.

One advertisement, for the property on the Palm Jumeirah’s Oceana development, claims the property “is also within walking distance of the Village Centre shopping mall via a pleasant and safe underground walkway.”  In fact, the Village Centre project was halted five years ago, and has remained as a large hole in the ground. No underground walkway exists. Nakheel announced late last year that it is looking to restart the project this year.

Another advertisement, also for the Oceana development, claims “residents may also access the Palm Jumeirah’s 60,000 square metre luxury retail complexes via a bright pedestrian underpass.” Again, no such complex or underpass exists.

An advertisement for the Tiara development says the Palm Jumeirah contains “the exclusive Palm Anantara Hotel & Spa”. In fact, the nearest currently open Anantara Hotel & Spa in the region is located roughly 100km away in Abu Dhabi.

A fourth Better Homes advertisement, for a property on the Golden Mile, says “the metro now runs along the Palm making access to the facility easier.” In fact, the Dubai Metro has never been part of the Palm Jumeirah, the closest station being around 3 km away.  The existing Palm Monorail is not accessible from outside the development.

Each of the advertisements contains the names and details of the agent responsible for selling the property.

Last night the company began taking down the advertisements after being contacted by Arabian Business. However, a spokeswoman said the company said it would not be making any official comment.

Founded in 1986, Better Homes is one the largest and most successful estate agents in the region, and has expanded to 25 offices across the Middle East and Asia. The company says its website – on which the advertisements appear – that it receives 1.2 million page views each month and that it has “the UAE’s largest dedicated, opt-in database of real estate customers of over 100,000 up-to-date contacts.”

Last May, the company began publishing ratings online for its agents.

The company said the move gave customers the ability to vet and select an agent to work with, based on their service and performance credentials.

"Our objective is to deliver great customer service every single time," CEO Ryan Mahoney said at the time, adding: "Honest and open customer reviews will enable new customers to find the best agents.”

In 2011, Dubai said that the world's first governance charter for real estate developers - aimed at improving transparency in the sector - would be implemented by January 2013.

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) said it had launched the draft document with the blessing of ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

It said real estate companies will be educated about what the charter means, prior to putting the final touches on the final draft.

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Posted by: Mr&Mrs B Peters

we visited better homes in march of this year and arranged for them to sell or rent our property in sports city when the key became available. after being told the key was ready for collection we have been trying to contact them by e mails letters and phone calls to no avail since june. how can such a so called professional body treat their clients with such contempt. can anybody suggest a
RELIABLE estate agent?

Posted by: Jan

Over the last few months I have had the need to use real estate agents here in Dubai and like many agents here i have found Betterhomes both unprofessional and inflexible.

Posted by: DXBHeadhunter

The Better Homes team who mange the residents apartments where do I start... Beavis and Butthead would be more effective and professional! Low paid admin staff who are not held accountable for their poor performance. They do not even put the correct phone numbers on their email signatures.

About time renters had some legal recourse to withhold payments or claim compensation for non delivery of maintenance and support services...

Posted by: Unhappy with Better Homes

I rented what was advertised as a "serviced" 2 bedroom "villa" on a short term basis in Springs 10, marketed and managed by Better Homes. What a disaster! Upon arriving from overseas (in August) the air conditioner upstairs didn't work and there was black mold growing around the air ducts. The air conditioning was fixed after two days, but why wasn't this done before I arrived? After I cleaned the rest of the house it seemed liveable - until the smell of gas - yes, GAS - started coming from under the sink. After a series of visits by different maintenance people (of varying competence....) the problem still isn't fixed and my family have been eating take-out for 10 days as it isn't safe to use the cooker. All this for AED18,000 per month and an 1,800 agents fee. I have requested 10 days rent as compensation which I believe more than fair. BH marketed and manages this property and so it is their responsibility. I sincerely hope they have the courage and integrity to do right.

Posted by: Chris

How do we know which Real Estate agents we can trust?

Chris ,UK

Posted by: david

That's easy Chris . . . none of them!

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