Could this help with your property problems?

From purchasing an off-plan property to refunds on deposits, District Real Estate’s director of business development, Alan Kaye, answers your property queries

Q – We are renting a property through my husband’s company but he has just been made redundant. He has now found another job and the company has agreed that we can stay in the property and take over the lease. However, the landlord has insisted that a new lease is granted at a higher rent than we previously paid. Is this legal?

A – The landlord is, in reality, granting a new lease to a new tenant so is at liberty to impose whichever new terms he so wishes. I would suggest that you arrange a meeting with the landlord and try to negotiate with him and you may want to point out that if you can agree to stay then he will not have a void period. Also, attend the meeting armed with as much anecdotal evidence as to current rentals of similar properties as possible.

We have seen numerous adverts for off-plan properties both in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We are thinking of buying but are worried that our money won’t be safe. Where do we stand?

In Abu Dhabi since January 2016 when a new law was introduced, all money paid towards off-plan properties has to be placed into an escrow account. Developers also have to deliver what they say they will deliver and within a specified time scale. The whole process is monitored by the Department of Municipal Affairs to ensure that there is complete conformity and so you can invest with confidence. A similar system also exists in Dubai.

A new family has just moved into the next door apartment. While in conversation they informed us that they could not wait for their two dogs to join them next month. Unfortunately our daughter has an extreme allergy to dogs, plus we are also concerned about the noise. What do you suggest we should do?

This is a difficult situation that needs to be handled very carefully if you are not to make an enemy of your neighbour. I assume that your lease contract allows pets? I would suggest that you invite your neighbours into your home and tactfully enquire as to what breed of dogs they have. It could be that you will find they are dogs that rarely bark or are very small and the intention is to keep them indoors. You then need to explain your predicament and hopefully they will be understanding and keep their pets away from your family as much as possible. Good luck.

I paid a reservation deposit on a villa but, due to the fact that my place of work has changed, we no longer wish to take the villa. The landlord has refused to refund the deposit even though we had not yet signed a lease. Is he allowed to do this?

When you agree to rent a property, you are entering a legal agreement to lease the property, normally for a year. The reservation deposit is basically a sign of good faith that you will proceed and technically the landlord could pursue you for any loss of income suffered until the property is rented to another party. The landlord is therefore entitled to keep this deposit.

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