Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Around two thirds of Abu Dhabi's leasable properties are now registered with the municipality's Tawtheeq programme.
Around two thirds of Abu Dhabi's leasable properties are now registered with the municipality's Tawtheeq programme.

Abu Dhabi winning the battle against property fraud, say officials

According to the municipality, more than 200,000 units in Abu Dhabi are registered with its Tawtheeq programme created to regulate the market and protect the rights of tenants and landlords.

ABU DHABI // The municipality believes awareness is key to the success of its Tawtheeq programme, whereby landlords register their properties.

The purpose of Tawtheeq is to regulate the market, reduce fraud and protect both tenants and landlords, and officials believe once landlords are aware of the benefits they will be more likely to participate.

Ali Khaled Al Hashmi, Tawtheeq project manager, said a majority of problems between landlords and tenants are due to fraud.

"First is the transparency, the majority of disputes between tenants and landlords because of unclear agreements, changes in the terms and conditions that happens after signing the contract, uncertainty about the legality of the tenancy agreements," he said.

It is not unusual to find fraud anywhere in the country. Tenants pay brokers to find legal properties and on occasion the brokers abscond with the funds.

Tawtheeq requires the registration of all leasable properties in Abu Dhabi emirate, including residential, commercial and industrial units.

The municipality is aware there are illegally partitioned villas and commercial ventures being run out of residential spaces. But the intent is not to penalise but to help all those involved in a real estate transaction.

"So with Tawtheeq, we protect the rights for tenants and legitimise the rights of landlords," he said.

Since the implementation of the programme in November 2011, there has been a significant reduction in the number of fraudulent activities involving leasable property.

In less than a year, the municipality registered 45 per cent of leasable properties.

"Our target is to complete 100 per cent," Mr Al Hashmi said. "It's a long-time benefit project. In our three-year strategic plans we hope to achieve our objectives."

According to the municipality, more than 200,000 units are registered with Tawtheeq. There are approximately 280,000 to 300,000 leasable units in Abu Dhabi.

Mr Al Hashmi said it was the agency's intent to register all properties.

He cautioned that not everyone who claims to represent a landlord does so legally, and the agency has reduced fraud by requiring registered contracts.

"We have advertised heavily and will continue to advertise heavily. In a change management it's important to engage the people. We are trying to engage them by telling them its importance," Mr Al Hashmi said.

The municipality received plenty of breach of contract complaints before Tawtheeq was introduced, but they are not "the party of resolving or receiving disputes", he said. There is a rental dispute committee that is affiliated with the judicial department that handles disputes.

But transparency at the time of an agreement would help to reduce the number of rental disputes overall.

The municipality does not issue a tenancy contract, but instead deals with landlords or their legal representatives.

"Many landlords who know they did not get appropriate permits from the municipality, they lease their properties to people who are willing to live without getting a registered tenancy contract." Mr Al Hashmi said. "This is why it's very crucial to educate tenants."

Some villas, he said, may not have the proper permits.

"For instance, my permit is to build a villa but I have divided it into multiple units without taking the legal permits from the respective entities of the municipality."

All tenants have right to ask for a registered contract from the municipality.

"If a landlord says, I can not give a registered legal tenancy contract, it's definitely an indication for the tenants that something is wrong with this property," he said.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Shah Rukh Khan performs at the IPL Gala dinner to open IPL VII at the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi.

In pictures: Shah Rukh Khan stars at IPL Gala dinner in Abu Dhabi

The superstar entertainer Shah Rukh Khan on stage last night at a gala dinner to launch the Indian Premier League cricket tournament.

No words can describe this April 17, your captions will

Have a catchy caption for this picture. Share it with us and we might publish it and reward you.

 When this 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta stamp goes under the hammer at Sotheby’s in New York on June 17, it is expected to attract a world record bid for a single stamp of up to $20 million (Dh73.4m). Courtesy Sotheby’s

Rare 1856 stamp up for auction at Sotheby’s

This is one of the world’s rarest stamps and when it goes up for auction in June it should fetch $20million. Its history since it was issued in 1856 is fascinating – and includes one murderous chapter, as Jonathan Gornall reports

 This Dh17,000 Miele system can prepare your choice of coffee - from capuccino to espresso - at a touch of a button. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Miele puts art in coffee making

Miele has devoted itself to the art of preparing the black liquid with its beautifully designed coffee machines, living up to its mantra of turning kitchens into cafés.

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National