x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 25 November 2017

Homefront: Can a property in Dubai be sold using the raffle ticket method? 

The reader compares the scenario to Dubai Duty Free selling tickets to win prizes such as cars

Selling a property via raffle tickets is possible in the UAE says property expert Mario Volpi. Getty Images
Selling a property via raffle tickets is possible in the UAE says property expert Mario Volpi. Getty Images

Can a property in Dubai be sold using the raffle ticket method in the same way as Dubai Duty Free “sell” cars, motorbikes etc? If yes, has it been done before? MM, Dubai

Your question is very interesting and quite topical given we are in the midst of Cityscape Global. One particular developer is offering exactly this type of promotion during Cityscape week. To answer your question, the answer is obviously yes, a property can be sold using a raffle ticket method but there are some limitations. The first being requesting permission from the relevant governmental body (normally the Dubai Municipality) to offer such a promotion. The second would be dependent on who is able to promote such an offer, be it a company or an individual. My understanding is that an individual would have more issues in getting the permit than a firm.

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I'm going to buy an apartment that has been rented out for the last three years and currently has 18 months left on the contract. I intend to move in but understand that I need to give the tenant one year's notice from the date of transfer. Does this option work given that his original three-year contract will still have six months to go even after the one-year notice? SM, Dubai

The 12 months' written notification requesting the tenant to leave should be sent upon expiry of the current tenancy agreement not from the date of transfer in your case. The notification has to be sent either via notary public or registered mail. Sending the notice this way at this time will ensure that the tenant vacates after the 12 months have elapsed. Sometimes people send the one-year notice at any time (not upon expiry) and then find themselves involved in litigation if the tenant files a case at the rental committee. The outcomes have varied from the 12 months being upheld and on other occasions, the judge has requested the tenant be allowed a further 12 months beyond the initial year's notice.

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What avenues would be open to a Dubai-based tenant wishing to hand over a rental cheque to their landlord and receive an executed rental contract in return (to avail an all important Ejari) when their overseas landlord is seemingly missing in action? Would the land department be able to receive the rental cheque on the landlord's behalf and provide an executed rental contract or ideally the Ejari? It's quite a unique situation I'm sure you'll agree, but one which poses a number of challenges given the dependency on a valid Ejari for visas etc. JL, Dubai

For cases such as yours, the Dubai Land Department does indeed allow for rental cheques to be deposited with them. They then get in touch with the landlord or representative to effect the tenancy. I'm not aware that they actually produce the tenancy contract though. For this, I suggest you engage the services of a qualified Rera-registered agency who will produce all the required paperwork for you. I'm sure they will charge an administration fee so be prepared for this. Typically charges can be approximately Dh1,000.

Mario Volpi is the chief sales officer for Kensington Exclusive Properties and has worked in the property industry for over 30 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@kensington.ae