Ask the Agent: When is it advisable to sell my property with the holy month of Ramadan coming up?

Ask the Agent - When is it advisable to sell my property with the holy month of Ramadan coming up?Irfan Zafar

- Question of the Week: When is it advisable to sell my property? With the holy month of Ramadan coming, will the price of properties slip down? Should I sell my units now or should I hold on to them for some more time?

During the holy month of Ramadan, the property market does slow down but the value of properties being quoted at the market price will not necessarily experience a slump.

This is a very wrong concept which has been making the rounds, that is, that the values of properties would reduce during these months. The prices of properties which have been over-marked by sellers always reduce irrespective of the market trend as buyers will always get better options in the market, and will not make offers for overpriced properties. If you have a good project and it is reasonably priced, we would advise you to hold on to the property until the time you get the best offer on it. It is also advisable for you to tie up with companies which would provide you with a true evaluation of the market.

Deal only with licensed real estate specialists with solid market experience, and who can provide clients an unbiased and clear picture of the property market as it will help clients set the right value, which will then help them sell their properties in a shorter span of time, and with the best returns on their investment.

- I am an overseas investor and have recently purchased units in freehold areas. I am not confident about providing a POA to any individual to manage the property. What would be a safe method to secure my investments?

Your concern is very genuine and something which all investors should think of and analyze before investing overseas.

We advise you to tie up with a reputed company which does property management or brokerage services for a long period with a secure contract to ensure that your properties are managed and leased on your terms, and that no individual will try to take advantage of your absence.

The other alternative would be to assign a lawyer from a law firm which deals with properties to manage and confirm transactions on your behalf.

In both scenarios, contracts have to be legally bound and proofread to ensure your rights are protected.

- I am planning to purchase an offplan unit from a brokerage company. The project was initially stalled, and has now been restarted. Would it be advisable to purchase in such projects or purchase from the developer directly?

In the last year, the government has taken the onus to restart some of the stalled projects, and brokerage companies/developers have underwritten such buildings or projects. These projects have been supervised by the Land Department and escrow accounts have been opened to ensure the monies are properly monitored, and the rights of the endusers and construction companies are ensured in every step until the projects are completed.

While investing in such projects is safe and advisable, and you get good value for money, please make sure the documentation of the new management companies are in place and that you will immediately have the necessary documents as an owner.

- I have recently rented an apartment in Discovery Gardens, and the landlord has not issued me all the access cards and keys yet. He has some payments outstanding with the developer; hence, he cannot issue the access cards. Where do I stand?

In this situation, no real estate company can assist you as the developer has made it very clear to owners of their properties that unless their liabilities are cleared with the developer, access cards and other passes would not be provided.

It is advisable for you to speak to the owner and know the details of the matter, and advise him to clear the outstanding since signing the tenancy contract means that the owner has made a commitment to provide all the facilities due to the tenant.

You will need to clear this matter as soon as possible since days would be passing, and you are already putting up with this inconvenience which should not be happening at all.

- Has the rental cap on rental properties been taken off? With the prices soaring on rentals, what are the rules to help guide end-users, and prevent unscrupulous landlords from overpricing their units?

The rental cap has been revised for the market and it is now as per rental index. If your rent is below 10% the market price of apartments or villas in the same area, the rental increase is not allowed.

If the price is below 10-20% of the average price, a 5% increase is allowed; below 21-30% of market price can be brought up to 10%; between 31 and 40%, you can expect a hike up to 15%; and if the current rate is less than 40% of the average price, expect an increase of up to 20%.

Clients can always check on the Dubai Land Department rental calculator available on their website to get a good idea on the allowed possible increase in their area before renewal.

Source: Irfan Zafar, Special to Freehold

Irfan Zafar is CEO of REALCO


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