x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Keep our lights on, victims of Dubai property con ask

Victims of a real-estate scam met at The Greens on Saturday night to discuss their next step - including making sure their lights stay on.

Victims of a real-estate scam met last night in Dubai to discuss their next step - including making sure their lights stay on.

About 50 people who fell victim to a property con by Haitham Al Kouatly attended the meeting in The Greens to discuss what they should do when landlords ask for their rent.

Of most pressing concern, however, was making sure the utilities were not switched off. According to one tenant, some landlords and real-estate companies are attempting to cut off utilities without the permission of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa).

The residents agreed to file a police report to stop Dewa from disconnecting their utilities while they consider what to do.

Hundreds of tenants face losing their homes after paying a year's rent in advance to bogus property agent Kouatly.

They claim the 34-year-old Saudi national illegally sublet homes in The Greens, Views, Burj Downtown and other areas, after claiming to tenants he was the owner.

A number of tenants have also sought legal advice, and were told it would take at least four to six months to complete the documentation. "I asked a legal firm if they would represent some of the victims, but they said that this was a lost case for them." said one tenant.

malkhan@thenational.ae