Al Safar and Partners has more than 20 years of legal consultation experience in the UAE and beyond. The law firm has also been litigating property disputes since 2006 and the business has helped more than 4,000 individuals solve their property-related issues. Al Safar is listed among one of the top firms in the Dubai Courts for the number of cases registered.
In the real estate legal sector, Al Safar and Partners offer dispute resolution, property purchase and investment advice and well as sale and purchase services.
Real estate transactions are one of the most disputed legal issues in Dubai and Kavitha S. Panicker, Managing Partner of Al Safar and Partners, says that every measure is taken from the very beginning to avoid all future disputes. In the event that there are legal proceedings, she says that Al Safar and Partners work tirelessly and diligently to ensure that clients’ investments can be refunded with the least disruption.
“When the SPA clearly states the brand name of the property and at the time of signing the SPA that the property will be a famous brand name, on handover, if the brand name is changed, you have the right to request the court to terminate the SPA and get full refund as well as claim compensation.“Kavitha S. Panicker, Managing Partner of Al Safar and Partners
Panicker says that the majority of real estate legal services they provide are for sale and purchase agreements (SPAs) and also, in some cases, reservation agreements.
She says that due to the UAE’s highly transparent legal system, Al Safar and Partners can often help clients terminate SPAs on contractual grounds, especially when the delivery of property is delayed. “First we would need to review the SPA. If it stipulates the date of handover for a property and the extension period but if there was no notice issued to confirm a further extension of handover date, you have the right to request the court to terminate the SPA and ask for full refund and compensation thereof,” she says.
She also says that often disputes arise when clients are misled over the size of the property they are investing in and that this needs to be accurately stipulated in the SPA. “On review of the SPA, if the floorplan signed by both parties and the value paid in accordance to the sq. ft. on handover has a difference of more than 6 per cent, and that difference is officially authenticated by the court appointed engineering expert then, in the above case, you have the right to request the court to terminate the SPA and you will receive a full refund as well as the opportunity to claim compensation,” she says.
Another area of legal dispute can arise when clients invest in hotel apartments but on handover they receive a residential unit. “If the SPA clearly states that the property is a hotel apartment and both parties have signed the agreement and there is no addendum signed by both parties agreeing otherwise, you have the right to request the court to terminate the SPA and receive a full refund,” says Panicker. She says that Al Safar and Partners will also seek compensation in such cases.
Panicker says that fraud can be a common issue with property transactions in Dubai, so her and her colleagues work to study contracts and remove any discrepancies that could present a risk to clients. She refers to situations where investors believe they are buying properties associated with famous or prestigious brands, only to discover this is not the case on handover. Yet, with proper diligence and the correct paperwork, refunds and compensation can be obtained through legal channels.
“When the SPA clearly states the brand name of the property and at the time of signing the SPA that the property will be a famous brand name, on handover, if the brand name is changed, you have the right to request the court to terminate the SPA and get full refund as well as claim compensation.”
For real estate transactions, Al Safar and Partners take care of all the documents required for the legal and governmental procedures and the various governmental approvals required with respect to the real estate/property transactions.
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