Dubai poised to introduce standard property contract

All property deals to use standard contract drawn up by the Dubai Land Department.
Dubai poised to introduce standard property contract
By Joanna Hartley
Mon 25 May 2009 07:40 AM

A universal property contract that clearly sets out the terms for both buyers and sellers is to be introduced to Dubai to stop disputes over misleading small print, it was reported on Monday. The standard contract, which will be used for all property sales, has been drawn up by the Dubai Land Department and is waiting for approval, according to Emmad Eldin Farouq, senior legal advisor at the body.

The move would reduce the incidence of buyers and developers back-tracking on signed deals, as the contracts would be more transparent prior to signing, he added in an interview with UAE daily Gulf News. "The contract is ready and we are waiting for directions," said Farouq said.

"The contract will not be changed if it is completed or uncompleted. For any contractual agreement, it must be simple and clear and transparent. There is too much small print in contracts now.“

However, although the main points of the contract will be the same, ther will be room for other clauses, assured Mohammad Sultan Thani, assistant director-general of the land department.

"In any contract, there is a chance a developer can add to it because different developments have different rules and regulations but the basic contract will stay the same."

Lawyer Michael Lunjevich, partner at Hadef and Partners, added: "The standard contract is for finished properties between the buyer and the seller, so the secondary market. But you can't legislate everything, you need an element of freedom in a contract.

"So it will have standard terms in line with market norms and then any changes will go to a separate [section] to make it fair," While having one basic contract will certainly make life easier for buyers and developers, it will also reduce the number of disputes in the market.

Despite the tightening up of contracts the land department and Dubai's Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera) say the onus rests with the buyer to make sure they read the contract in full before signing.

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