Ann Susan Paul | 25 March 2021
Dubai property scams are not new. With the advent of technology, the opportunities for scammers have also increased. As a result, investors and homeowners are falling prey to property fraud in many parts of Dubai. In this scenario, it is always wise to practice precaution and deal only with trustworthy agencies.
Dubai attracts a large number of investors from around the world annually. For entrepreneurs to real estate investors, many consider this city a safe place for business. Moreover, the real estate industry in Dubai has been witnessing steady growth over the years. As a result, Dubai has also become a magnet for scammers, especially in the property sector.
It is more than ever necessary to identify Dubai property scammers and avoid falling prey to their hoaxes. Let’s find out how you can stay safe from people working to extort money from you through illegal and unethical means.
Dubai Property Scams – 5 Tips to Avoid Them
Look for RERA Registration
The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) of the Dubai Land Department oversees the industry in Dubai. All brokers and developers are required to be registered by RERA. You can check for RERA registration on its official website. Remember that unless your agent is on the website, it is wise to not engage with that person for any property deals. Scammers might even have fake IDs.
If an offer seems exceptionally good, it probably isn’t true. A common tactic that scammers adopt is luring investors and homeowners with unrealistic deals. Hence, it is always wise to consult a trusted RERA-licensed real estate broker. They will be able to estimate the value of your property. If you are looking to buy, understand the market and the average price in the area for the type of property you want.
Another way to avoid a property scam is to ensure to legalise your contact. If you are renting a property, you should register your lease with Dubai Land Departments’ Ejari. If you want to buy a property, ensure to make an officially recognised and legitimate contract between you and the agent for the service the brokerage is providing. You may also need a format contract between you and the developer in some cases.
Many real estate scams have one thing in common – making cash transactions only. Scammers will not want to leave any trace that would lead back to them. Hence, most of them will ask you to pay by cash. There is nothing wrong with insisting that you want all transactions paid through cheque or bank transfers. Likewise, make sure that any advance payment you may have made is always documented and acknowledged by the agent.
If you are looking for a property by yourself, ensure that you use only trusted listing portals, such as houza. They will have regular checks on their listings to avoid property rentals scams and fake listings. As a result, you can have initial filtering on the portal itself. However, ensure that you check for any red flags in the listings as well. Always assume that scammers are clever. In this way, you will learn to outsmart them.
A perfect way to ensure that you do not fall prey to any Dubai property scams is to ensure that you have a trusted real estate agent by your side. A RERA-licensed broker with a good reputation and industry knowledge will certainly guide you through the right path.