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Sun 28 Jan 2007 12:00 AM

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Land department begins real estate crackdown

The UAE government has passed a tough new law to crack down on unprofessional real estate agents.

The UAE government has passed a tough new law to crack down on unprofessional real estate agents.

In the future industry professionals will need to register with the land department, regardless if they operate as a company or individual.

Starting in a few months, the land department will launch training programmes and intense testing for brokers, who, once they have passed all stages — will receive registrations and governmental approval and can begin working.

“There are many people out there who are working as brokers without any training or formal qualifications. It is an important profession and we want to keep it as a profession,” Mohammad Sultan Thani, director of development and marketing for the Land Department, told Arabian Business.

The new law has been welcomed by established agents who often suffer from the bad reputations of other less trustworthy colleagues.

Andrew Chambers, managing director of Asteco Property Management, said that it was “imperative” for Dubai to develop a credible regulation system backed by a sound legal framework – especially given the level of interest from buyers in developed markets.

“The Dubai Land Department’s recent initiative to certify property agents will add a new safety net to real estate trading. This is an important step forward, and reflects the growing maturity of the market,” he said.

“Cases involving misrepresentation should see a decline, and investor confidence should increase,” he added.

Brokers, both individuals and those working within a real estate company, currently pay AED500 for a registration card, while agencies themselves must pay a AED5000 registration fee, and will be subject to annual inspections to renew the card.

“Placing a legal fine print in place is definitely not a money making tool, but a step in the right direction to tackling dodgy real estate agents. The certification process could be taken a step further, with separate licenses for individual property agents, companies, owners, employees and sub-brokers,” Chambers suggested.

The Land Department will introduce a black points system that punishes companies or individual brokers who do not follow the new regulation. A certain amount of black points will then lead to registration termination.

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