Tenants face eviction after paying rent to the wrong landlord
Thirty eight families will find out later on Sunday if they are to be evicted from their homes in Discovery Gardens after paying a year's rent upfront to a brokerage firm which turned out not to be the landlord.
The tenants of building 219 in Moghul cluster say they are scared to leave their homes to go to work in case the locks are changed and they cannot get back in.
One month after paying AED45,000 for a one-bedroom flat to Corporate Business Solutions (CBS) they discovered the building is actually owned by Meraas Real Estate.
Meraas has filed a case against CBS, but the firm is believed to have closed down and the owner disappeared.
Rent Committee General Secretary Mohammad Ahmad Al Shaikh told Arabian Business on Sunday the tenants would have to approach CBS to claim the money back.
"They rented from someone who did not own the property. If they want to continue living there they can deal with Meraas and will have to file a case against CBS to get their money back," he said.
One tenant said: "I can't concentrate at work anymore. It's always on my mind what's going to happen. There's no peace. I feel horrible."
"We've got all the possible proof that we've gone through the correct process. We've done nothing wrong, yet it's most likely that we'll be evicted," she added.
Her husband said: "We're scared at work that someone is going to come and change the locks so we can't get back in."
Dubai Rent Committee is set to deliver its final verdict on Sunday. Two earlier hearings were held on October 4 and 18.
The tenants say they rented the flats through property agents Palma Real Estate, Imperial Real Estate and Homeland, all registered with Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).
Palma has since offered to pay tenants back their Dhs2,250 commission if they sign a letter absolving the firm of any liability and preventing any "action, transactions or decisions done or taken during dealings with CBS."
Sarah Derbas, Palma marketing manager, told Arabian Business: "To be honest, that's all we can do. We can't offer them anything else.
"We told the Land Department and RERA about it and we need them as an authority to deal with this. We were tricked as well."
Tenants said they managed to register their contracts with RERA and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and at no point was the authenticity of the contract questioned.
"For them it's an apartment, but for us it's a home," another tenant told AB.
The father who has a three-month-old baby son said: "There's no one here who can afford that. We are salaried people who don't have that kind of money to move about Dubai.
"If there was one alarm raised we would have not gone through with this, but there never was. As far as we were concerned CBS were the landlords.
"What is the process to follow because we thought we were doing the right thing?"
A spokesperson for RERA told Emirates Business: "Tenants mostly use rental companies to rent units and they should ensure that the company is licenced and handles rental brokerage.
"Before signing the cheque, a tenant should ask for title deed and must ask the owner to register the contract with the agency."
Arabian Business tried to call CBS, but the office number was constantly engaged and the mobile number of owner Alejandra was out of service.
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waseem Nov 21, 2010 01:10 pm
am staying in this building , but just now i hear this problem, is it really what is happening ? for all? or for some??
somebody answer me pleas....
One of the Tenants Oct 27, 2009 08:09 am
I’m one of the tenants in this Bldg, we are scared and living in fear every day, we paid rent 47000 AED+ 5% Insurance + 5% Commission +1000 DEWA+1000 GAZ +1000 TV & Internet + movers +new kitchen electronics to fit in Kitchen + paying to install electronics, mirrors, bedroom, curtains and other running Costs . to us 1000 AED will put food on the table for more than a Month ,we are already in Debt and we took all the legal steps when getting this apartments .
We are not lawyers to know all the legal proves and Documents, we took the usual common procedures to rent an apartment in UAE. to Miras we know it’s a Loss but where were they for 3 when CBS was acting as a landlord and people were coming to check the apartments …….,How come the real estate agents didn’t check the land lord legality ,and the DEWA and RERA ……, they didn’t caught the lady till now cause they can’t find her ,and her husband is here and he is a partner ,they know his location and they didn’t even ask him, we are suffering Financially , physically, mentally one of the tenants lost his job already and most of the others are threatened to lose their jobs ,we are excusing and going late to work, we can’t concentrate ,we don’t sleep well or even have the appetite to eat .we don’t have money to pay to Miras or move to another Place .
Nijoe Joseph Oct 26, 2009 05:19 am
I moved out of my apartment in Discovery Gardens Bldg 85, just because of the same reason. The unscrupulous real estate brokers, agents, their "processes" and "strong knowledge of local real estate laws" trick most people. I paid in Jan 2009 AED 93,000/- for a single bedroom in Discovery Gardens, only to find out 3 months later that the contract i signed was forged, the real estate broker over charged me as he paid the primary real estate agency AED 85,000/- as yearly rent and kept the differnece and my "Land lord" was a fictious personlaity in "USA". RERA needs to get on foot, make inspections of these agencies and brokers and not just insist people contact RERA registered companies as all of them claim to have "filed" for RERA registration. Also the system of private draft contracts being available from stationary stores must stop and RERA must issue the same and the execution must be done in front of RERA officials. If everything else in the UAE needs a notary presence, why cant something that is so important and as potentially torublesome as housing be the same . This will ensure that atleast these "fast money" conniving real estate people will be brought to justice and disturbing incidents as the above and my own can be avoided or remedied.