Essential expert property care in the UAE

Property care expertDouglas Ralph, CPI, CEO, Snag & Inspect

Douglas Ralph of Snag & Inspect shares his knowhow on this important but usually overlooked process.

Documents and fees
The snagging/inspection process can be initiated by a property buyer, seller, developer, tenant, landlord, agent or community manager. That’s basically any party with interest in the property, but it often falls in the hands of the buyers or would-be-tenants to engage the services of independent professional property inspectors.

The process is simple. It starts when the client decides to get the property checked for faults prior to handover and employs snagging professionals.

The snagging process summarized
The client and the professional inspection company agree upon the terms of the service to be done. A written contract ensures that the scope of work, the terms of payment, and the delivery timings are clearly defined. The client can choose from among different snagging services such as handover inspection, move-in/move-out inspection, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing inspection, or a special service, whichever best suits their needs.

A certified property inspector then goes onsite as scheduled. The client has the option to supervise the inspection but, usually, clients leave it to the inspectors and simply ensure that the place is accessible, and that water and electricity are available. The inspector proceeds with a thorough inspection of the property. He identifies and documents any issues and faults found.

After the onsite inspection, the inspector prepares a detailed report to be submitted to the client. The issues are listed and described in detail, and the inspector includes his professional recommendations. Most clients find our inspection reports informative, and it gives them a solid basis for coordinating the rework with the contractor or developer.

The documents required are usually minimal. We usually only need the client to sign the snagging agreement; sometimes, depending upon the developer or owner of the property, the client needs to give passes so that the property inspectors can enter the premises.

The professional fees involved depend upon the built-up area of the property, as well as its location and the facilities to be inspected. The cost is usually far less than 1 percent of the purchase price of the property, a very small amount relative to potential savings in rework.

Villa or apartment snagging
With experienced property inspectors, thorough snagging of a typical two-bedroom flat can take as short as two hours. On the other hand, a complete inspection of a 20,000-square-foot villa can take two full days; if it is equipped with a home theater, pool and Jacuzzi, that means additional hours. It primarily depends upon the built-up area of the property and the facilities present.

Demand for snagging services in the UAE

We have noticed a steady increase of clients over the past years but there is still a need to actively disseminate information to drive awareness. Most western and European expats consider professional inspection a standard part of the process of buying/leasing a property. On the other hand, although not yet a big percentage, more Emiratis and other residents now greatly appreciate the value and benefits of property inspection services.
The real estate market in the UAE is still young, but it is flourishing fast. While some people forego property inspection to show their trust in the seller or developer, many hands are at work in the entire process of construction. Sometimes, even with the developer’s best efforts, issues arise or faults are seen. Some developers appreciate this, and they take the initiative to get their building projects inspected through different phases of construction. That way, faults are avoided and they get to improve upon their standards as a company.

Source: Claire Dangalan, Special to Freehold

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