x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Emaar investors will have to pay double to register their homes

Two per cent of the original price had been the standard fee to register a property with the Dubai Land Department, Emaar will no longer split this amount with its homeowners.

Investors in projects by Emaar Properties will have to pay double to register their homes with the Dubai Land Department after the developer stopped contributing. While 2 per cent of the property's original price has been the standard fee to register a property with the Dubai Land Department, Emaar used to split the amount with its homeowners.

The company's property transfer department was notified of the change on March 18, although the move came as a surprise to property owners. "Everyone now has to pay a flat fee of 2 per cent," said a customer services representative. "Only those who have a specific clause contained in older contracts related to transfer of title deeds will be able to revert to the old system." The owner of a Dh3.3 million (US$898,473) home at The Lakes, a villa community in Dubai, who recently went to pay his registration fee was told he would now have to pay Dh56,000 instead of Dh33,000.

The homeowner, who asked not to be named, bought the property in 2008 but was unable to register it at the time because Emaar had not released the title deeds for homes at The Lakes. "I received a letter from HSBC with whom I have my mortgage in October asking me to register the property, but there was no mention of an increase in fees," he said. "So when I went to Emaar with all the documents and cheques a couple of weeks ago, I was told it's now 2 per cent.

"I can pay it, but I don't like having to pay it. "They changed the percentage without notification. The deal you sign when you buy your house is what should remain." The homeowner has tried to fight the increase but received an e-mail, seen by The National, from Emaar's property transfer department on Wednesday. It said: "The decision is final that the 2 per cent fee has to be paid towards the land registration of your property.

"Hence, I regret to inform that we will be unable to accommodate your request on this occasion and we strongly recommend that you submit your application at the earliest to avoid any further penalties that might be incurred by the Land Department." Emaar was unavailable for comment when contacted yesterday. agiuffrida@thenational.ae