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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

UAE legal Q&As: can I be refunded for a flat I bought for which construction was never completed?

A reader asks if they can claim a full refund over a flat they bought more than 10 years ago and was never completed and another asks if the family of a person they accidentally killed in a car accident can file a civil case against them

I invested in a construction project by purchasing a flat for myself in UAE in 2008. Construction of the building halted in early 2009. Am I entitled to get a refund for my money under the terms of the contract?

If construction stops for longer than six months, which seems to be the case for you, and if the anticipated completion date and the grace period have expired, you should have the right to request termination of a signed contract with a seller and request a full refund of the amount paid by you along with 9 per cent interest estimated from the date of filing a case until the date of the full payment is made by the seller.

Prior to deciding if you should file a case, it is advised to check the jurisdiction clause in your contract to find out if it is agreed between both parties whether the dispute, if any, shall be considered by Arbitration or through the local courts.

It could be worth checking with the Land Department if the project has been cancelled as, if it is cancelled, you might not be able to file a case at all. You may submit the request for refund of your amount through the proper legal channels then.

I have a traffic case against me. I unintentionally hit somebody and the person died. The court decided that I must pay full blood money besides the judgment. I am afraid the family of the deceased may file a civil case against me. May I ask for your guidance?

The deceased’s family has three years to file a compensation claim against you. The case could be filed against you and the insurance, if you had a valid insurance policy at the time of the accident. The compensation amount is not precisely defined in the law and depends on many factors including: the total cost of medical bills, the age of deceased and the period they suffered from pain, their income and the loss of the income that the deceased would generate for their family, the moral pain the family after the person died and many other factors.

The court may consider all of these while they are evaluating the amount. Common practice indicates that civil cases normally take between six months up to three years, depends on the strategy followed by both parties, type of claim, arguments used by the parties lawyers and so on.

The judgment shall be ruled by the First Instance Court (operating in terms of civil cases) with the right for you to appeal it within one month. After the Appeal Court judgment you have the right to object the same in Supreme Court within two months. You do not have to attend court and can be represented by your lawyers.

If you have a question for our lawyer, please email it to media@professionallawyer.me with the subject line “Know the law”.