Our resident property expert Alan Kaye, director of business development at District Real Estate, gives his advice on purchasing off-plan property and dealing with noisy construction work
Q: We are considering buying an apartment in an off-plan project in Dubai. We are intending this to be a long-term investment, which we may eventually sell or pass on to our children. Do you think that this is a safe investment?
A: If buying any property, the most important consideration is location, location, location!
Property has proven to be an excellent long-term investment in most major cities of the world and I would very much consider Dubai in this category.
Do not be tempted just by price but look carefully at the quality of construction from other buildings from the same developer, plus make sure that the management company has a good reputation.
If you are looking at the property for an investment then make sure you are near to good transport links, shops and schools. If the budget allows, then views, ideally waterfront, will always attract a premium.
Q: The hot water boiler in our villa has stopped working. When we called the maintenance company, they advised that the boiler is beyond repair and needs to be replaced and that they would contact the landlord to approve the estimate. The landlord is out of the country and neither the maintenance company nor we can make contact with him. What do you suggest that we should do?
A: It is normal for a maintenance company to need approval from a landlord for major items and the landlord has a duty of care to ensure that items such as a boiler are in working order.
My suggestion would be to send an email to the landlord advising him that you will be authorising the replacement boiler and enclosing a copy of the estimate from the maintenance company and advise him he has three days to reply or you will go ahead.
I would also add that you expect to receive payment from him within, say, seven days of his return. Also send the same email by WhatsApp so that you will be able to see if it has been opened. Should he decide not to pay you then the WhatsApp receipt of opening would be accepted by a court. Make sure that you keep all receipts.
Q: Construction has just started on a new building next to where we are living. They seem to be working seven days a week, 24 hours a day. We cannot sleep and it is driving us crazy! What can we do?
A: I sympathise as this must be very annoying. Unless developers have a special licence from the municipality, then they are allowed to work between 7am and 6pm every day except Friday.
They have until 7pm to clear up. If you wish to lodge a complaint, then it needs to be with the Environment, Health and Safety Management Department at the Abu Dhabi Municipality, or call 993 and they will send an inspector who has the power to issue an immediate fine.
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