Handling Real Estate disputes

By Brian Etemad


We often find landlords and tenants negotiating various leasehold and purchase contracts, however neither party gives much consideration to consequences if few years down the line a dispute or disagreement arises from the aforementioned contracts. 


For high-end luxury properties that we handle, a dispute can have expensive implications for both parties and we make sure that all eventualities are taken into account when offering advise to new property owners.


While handling multiple contracts relating to real estate on a daily basis, we advise our expat clients that disputes are governed under the jurisdiction of Dubai rules and regulations, except for few exceptional cases.


Leasing disputes in Dubai, with the exception of DIFC is handled in the Rent Disputes Settlement Centre (RDSC) and the procedures are easy with set at 3.5% of the claimed amount (minimum AED 500); here, the parties are given the opportunity to agree on a settlement before the dispute proceedings commence.


Tenants and developers can also engage with private arbitration entities instead of the public courts system.  For instance, the Dubai International Arbitration Centre or DIFC-LCIA can handle proceedings that are private and are not open to public scrutiny through a process familiar to international companies and in English if specified ahead.


Hence, clients should always be advised of their options so that the process of dispute resolution should be expressed in the leasehold or purchase contracts. When investing in real estate, it is important to seek the assistance of experts and ensure one’s rights are protected in case of unforeseen disputes.



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