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Sat 7 Jun 2014 10:47 AM

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Dubai's property watchdog issues fines for cold call tactics

RERA says real estate agents have been penalised over rise in complaints about unsolicited calls

Dubai's property watchdog issues fines for cold call tactics

RERA, the regulatory arm of the Dubai Land Department, has issued official notice to the city's real estate offices to request they desist from direct telemarketing.

The move follows repeated complaints from customers who have contacted the government body saying that they are being disturbed by unsolicited calls from brokers making enquiries about their property.

Investigations by the Real Estate Inspection Department into the complaints resulted in further warning letters being sent to 20 real estate offices in Dubai, a statement said.

Fines of AED50,000 ($13,600) were also imposed against three offices after they were found to be repeating practices they had been previously warned about and which breached RERA regulations, the statement added without naming the companies involved.

"RERA is keen to apply the highest standards of transparency in the market and this means both exercising control on transactions and regulating interactions between real estate agents and customers," said Yousif Al Hashimi, deputy CEO of RERA.

"As the regulatory body for Dubai's real estate sector, our aim is to ensure that every party undertakes its actions and activities in a professional manner that is consistent with the agency's laws and principles," he added.

The instruction from RERA came in the form of an official letter written by the organisation which was sent out to all registered property brokers in Dubai.

The letter informed the recipients that the practice of direct telemarketing violates RERA's rules and regulations.

RERA decided to take action following an increase in 'cold' calls to customers, with telemarketers apparently trying new ways to get around the existing rules that ban the practice.

It was brought to the organisation's attention that some real estate brokers are claiming a tenuous connection with owners during such calls in an attempt to legitimise their enquiries about their property.

RERA said it used its official notice to remind the brokers that unsolicited calls of any nature were against the department's regulations.

The letter also stated that brokers are not allowed to cause inconvenience to property owners by using such unprofessional tactics and warned them that they would face sanctions if they didn't desist from the practice.

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Sultan Omar 6 years ago

RERA give the agents and brokers the fines! wow is that there answer. While I suppose this might help, who are going to investigate where the brokers got the numbers from in the first place to cold call. It would not be right to blame just the brokers for the constant interference and sometimes abuse you get from the phone calls and relentless emails (since I brought my latest Emaar property in 2012 I have had 1165 emails from individuals and brokers - i have them all saved....). If only Emaar has my details and only Emaar know what properties I own, then how come all of Dubai's brokers do as well! RERA needs to clamp down on the illegal selling of clients details from individuals working in the developers as well as the independent brokers. The brokers are easy targets, I call on RERA to do its job properly and investigate the developers as well.

Twinkle 6 years ago

Sultan Omar, I have the same issue. Since buying a property I'm plagued with emails from consultants who know every detail of the property I bought (size, location). It should be a crime to sell client's details.

AYH 6 years ago

Completely agree with Sultan. Various real estate developers continue to on-sell their client datatbase to these brokers. This practice is illegal and goes against all norms of client confidentiality. RERA should address the root of the problem first.

Ahmed Saleh 6 years ago

This is A good step and is very much needed, sometimes I regret buying a property because of the amount of phone calls and emails I get. We need this to be done for emails as well and as mentioned by Sultan below, they need to find out who is selling the data and make it a crime to do this.

christimathews26 6 years ago

This is a good decisive move taken up the RERA. The more increase in the real estate agents has resulted in this. If the RERA imposes certain norms and conditions to all the new real estate firms and their approval of their firm if based on these then this scenario would be decreased drastically.