Homefront: 'can I arrange the sale of an apartment for my non-resident son?'

The Dubai resident has a bank account in the UAE and needs the buyer's cheque issued in his name

Durable power of attorney documents
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I am the power of attorney for my son who is selling his apartment in Dubai but he is a non-resident and does not have a bank account. I do, however, have a local bank account. We have found a buyer through a reputable real estate agency, who is proceeding via bank finance. Can I arrange for the mortgage amount and buyer's residual cheque to be issued in my name?  JS Dubai

The trustee offices throughout Dubai follow the rules and regulations of the Dubai Land Department in that the name on the cheque is always the same as what is written on the title deed.

There are many non-resident owners in Dubai, so this problem can be quite common. The solution can come in several forms; firstly, the buyer would have to be cooperative; secondly, it is important that your agent informs the buyer's bank as early as possible that the mortgage cheque needs to be in the name of the Power of Attorney.

For this to stand a chance of actually happening, you need to go to the DLD in person, along with your original POA document and passport.  If your POA document originated abroad, it needs to be attested by the UAE embassy of that country and also by the Ministry of foreign affairs here in Dubai. If it was issued here in Dubai, there is no need for further attestation.
At the DLD, you will be requesting a no-objection certificate or letter stating that the final sales cheque is payable to you. Please note that this Noc is valid only for a short period, normally only a few days.

Once the DLD Noc is in hand, it needs to be forwarded to the buyer's bank in order for them to finalise the sales cheque in your name and present it at transfer when the deal is finally concluded.

There is an alternative but similar scenario for sellers, who do not have a local bank account here in UAE. This involves presenting the final sale manager's cheque along with documents that prove a sale has taken place such as the memorandum of understanding or sales contract, any receipts from the trustee's office, your passport copy, Noc from the developer etcetera, to the issuing bank. Then you need to request them to cash it. Some banks will do this, so it’s worth a try.

My final comment is that technically a manager' cheque is a legal form of payment the world over. The seller can present the cheque to his local bank in the country of residence, that bank with then get in touch with the issuing bank here in the UAE and arrange for the transfer of money. This process would also require all the necessary paperwork and documentation to prove where the money has come from. In addition there will be charges from the banks and a period of four to six weeks is needed to finalise the transfer of funds.

Mario Volpi is the sales and leasing manager at Engel & Volkers. He has worked in the property sector for 35 years in London and Dubai

The opinions expressed do not constitute legal advice and are provided for information only. Please send any questions to mario.volpi@engelvoelkers.com