How to resolve real estate disputes in Dubai, Building Design Profession Tips, Online Advice

How to Resolve Real Estate Disputes in Dubai

16 Mar 2021

The Dubai government has over the decades facilitated the implementation of robust real estate laws in Dubai, thereby ensuring the positive growth and development in its real estate sector.

This article will seek to discuss the various dispute resolution mechanisms for real estate disputes in Dubai.

Dispute Resolution Authorities in Dubai
Resolve Real Estate Disputes Dubai

The following are the most prevalent authorities empowered to adjudicate upon real estate disputes in Dubai:

Dubai Land Department Amicable Settlement Centre (DLD Amicable Settlement Centre)
The Centre aims to facilitate the amicable and affordable settlement of disputes via mediation. Any decision made by the Centre will be enforceable and binding upon the parties.

DLD Legal Affairs Department
Pursuant to Dubai Law 19 of 2017, a real estate developer may terminate the Sale and Purchase Agreement (“SPA”) in instances where a purchaser has defaulted in terms of the SPA. This termination process is finalized online and is subject to the payment of a fee. Purchasers who wish to appeal the DLD’s decision to cancel the SPA may do so by approaching the competent Courts.

Judicial Committee for Projects cancelled by Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA)
Article 11(5) of Law No. 13 of 2008 Regulating the Interim Real Estate Register in Dubai, as amended, empowers RERA to cancel a real estate project based on a reasoned technical report. The Judicial Committee was established to adjudicate disputes arising from such cancelled real estate projects.

Judicial Committee for Returned Cheques
The Judicial Committee was established in accordance with Decree No. 56 of 2009 in response to the large number of returned cheques submitted by purchasers and tenants of properties in order to hear matters related to such cheques.

Rental Dispute Settlement Centre (RDC)
In terms of Decree No. 26 of 2013, the RDC was formed to facilitate the resolution of rental disputes relating to leased properties in Dubai. The RDC may only hear matters in respect of leases which do not exceed ten years, property located within the mainland or free zones which do not already have a regulatory authority. The decisions issued by RDC can be appealed before its appeal committee.

Arbitration before Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC)
Certain property disputes may be referred to the DIAC for arbitration if both parties agreed thereto in terms of a prior written agreement.

Dubai Courts
The Dubai Courts have jurisdiction to adjudicate property disputes, which must initially be referred to the Court of First Instance followed by Court of Appeal and Cassation.

Arbitration for Real Estate Disputes in Dubai
If an agreement entered into between the Parties makes provision for dispute resolution by means of arbitration, then the Parties will be bound by the terms of the agreement and any dispute between them must be referred to arbitration.

Therefore, the dispute resolution clause will be treated similarly to any other contractual clause included in an agreement.

Whereas, the agreement may also provide the Parties with the avenue of referring the matter to Court should the need arise. In such instances, the Parties will have the option of referring the matter for arbitration before the relevant authority prior to submitting the dispute to Court for adjudication.

The benefit of including these types of dispute resolution clauses in agreements is because arbitration is generally less costly and time consuming than the litigation process and it is therefore wise to provide the Parties with an alternative solution to litigation.

Resolve Real Estate Disputes Dubai

Time Limitations
Although the UAE Civil Transactions Law of 1985 (the “Civil Code”) does not make specific provision for time-limits to file cases in respect of real estate matters, Article 473 thereof does state that the limitation period for any contractual claim is 15 years from the date on which the dispute arose, or the claim arises.

Furthermore, in respect of matters of appeals, the Civil Code provides that an appeal before the Appeal Court must be filed within thirty (30) days from the date the judgment is received from the Court of First Instance and the further time limit of sixty (60) days, from the date of the Court of Appeal’s judgement, is permitted within which to file an appeal before the Court of Cassation.

Notwithstanding the aforesaid, Article 880 of the Civil Code prescribes that if the subject matter of the Agreement is the construction of buildings or other fixed installations, the contractor and architect shall be jointly liable for a period of 10 (ten) years for partial or total collapse of the construction, which period shall commence from the date of delivery of the work.

Further, the DLD Legal Affairs Department is silent in respect of the time limit for filing an appeal against the decision to terminate the SPA.

However, the purchaser has 30 (thirty) days to remedy the breach after the developer has submitted the matter to the Legal Affairs Department for hearing. You can also take help from property disputes lawyers in Dubai UAE.

Comments on this Resolve Real Estate Disputes in Dubai article are welcome.

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