Question: This is regarding form F that I signed to buy a property in Dubai.
Although the form says that the property is freehold, later I understood that it is a leasehold for 99 years.
I don’t want to go ahead with this deal because I want to buy freehold property. How can I cancel the deal? SM, Dubai
Answer: Cancelling form F is fairly straightforward and can be done through the Dubai REST app.
However, there are legal implications to consider beforehand.
I suggest you read the sales contract carefully to avoid any legal obligations you may encounter in cancelling form F.
It is advisable that you also come to an agreement with the seller because you cannot unilaterally cancel the deal.
Obviously, if you feel you were misled into buying what is a leasehold property, it will add to your case for cancellation.
However, it can also be problematic if the other party doesn’t agree to cancel as there could be penalties to pay.
The key is arriving at a mutual agreement to cancel, the rest is easy.
I’m sure the real estate broker you are dealing with can help further on how to do it through the REST app.
Q: Our landlord issued us with an eviction notice, citing the reason as sale of the property.
We offered to buy, but the landlord later claimed that he plans to gift the property to his child.
However, he offered to renew the lease at the market value. We don’t want to be unreasonable, but the renewal rent he quoted is a 70 per cent increase. Is this legal?
If we vacate, can the apartment not be rented for two years as the reason for eviction was cited as property sale? Gifting would not constitute a sale. PM, Dubai
A: Even if the landlord sells the property or gifts it (in this case) to his child, the new owner takes over the rental lease with you in its entirety.
Any changes to a rental contract have to be communicated in writing (email is fine) giving 90 days’ notice of the same.
The new landlord cannot request a vacant market rent when there is an existing tenant as this is not allowed.
You will have to check what the Real Estate Regulatory Agency rental calculator states is the permissible increase, if any.
You are, of course, at liberty to agree a higher amount than what the calculator states because the agreement is between the landlord and the tenant.
However, if you don’t agree, the landlord cannot force his or her will on you.
With reference to your question on whether the landlord is forbidden to rent for two years after you vacate, the law states that if the eviction was for personal use, or use of next of kin by first degree, this clause will be valid.
But the law is silent on whether this point can be challenged when the reason for eviction is for sale.
If the child is an adult and wants to move into the property, he/she will most likely have to send you another 12-month eviction notice to gain vacant possession.
Q: We are suffering from noise caused by an engine installed on the building's roof by a cafeteria on the ground floor.
Our apartment is on the top floor, and the engine creates a the noise and vibration.
We have tried reporting this issue to the municipality, real estate company and the Dubai Economic Department, but haven't received a reply yet.
We have been renting the apartment for the past 17 years. IR, Dubai
A: If you have been with the same landlord for this length of time, I’m sure you have a good business relationship with him/her and, therefore, you should be able to discuss the situation and come to some sort of agreement over any potential compensation or perhaps another solution.
My other advice would be to continue to reach out to the municipality and/or the Department of Economy because they will have to investigate your complaint.
You have to be persistent in your approach.
Lastly, if all else fails or the situation becomes unbearable, you will have no other alternative but to give notice and look to live somewhere else.
Mario Volpi is the sales director at AX Capital. He has worked in the property sector for 39 years, in London and Dubai. The opinions expressed do not constitute legal advice and are provided for information only. Please send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org