Our resident property expert Alan Kaye, director of business development at District Real Estate, gives his advice on homes with mould problems and visas.
Q – I moved into a new apartment two weeks ago but still do not have Tawtheeq and there are numerous maintenance items that still require attention. I paid the rent in one cheque and have also paid the agent in full. I have contacted the landlord who advised me that he would deal with everything outstanding, but nothing seems to be happening. What do you suggest I do?
I am sorry to hear that you are having problems. The issues that you are describing should all have been dealt with by the agent prior to you moving in.
Are you sure you are in legal accommodation? It is not normally possible to connect the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company without a Tawtheeq.
I suggest that you call the agency and request to speak to a senior manager and hopefully they will be able to assist you. It may be a hard lesson to learn, but you should only deal with reputable agencies that are registered with the municipality and whose agents are suitably qualified.
Q – We recently moved into a brand new villa just before we went on holiday. When we returned we were very upset to find that our new furniture was covered in mould and that there were puddles of water on the floor. We have complained to the landlord and agent but nobody wants to take responsibility. What should we do?
The humidity in Abu Dhabi is very high, particularly during the summer months. Whenever a villa or apartment is not going to be used, the air conditioning should always be left on a low setting with all of the doors inside the property left open.
This is to allow the air to circulate and avoid the problem that you encountered.
It is also a good idea to ask a neighbour to check occasionally as some of the newest air conditioning systems can switch themselves off automatically if, for instance, one of the ducts becomes blocked.
This situation would be your responsibility and is a good reason why we always suggest that tenants take out home insurance.
Q – I am looking to buy an apartment in Al Raha Beach and the agent has told me that I can now get a ten-year visa, which will enable me to work and live here indefinitely. This seems too good to be true – is this correct?
The possibility of a ten-year visa was first announced in May 2018, but so far the government has not clearly defined who will be eligible.
Until there is clarification of the law, I would not purchase a property in Abu Dhabi if your main reason is to obtain a visa.
In Dubai, however, it is possible to obtain a two-year renewable property visa if you have made a minimum payment of one million dirhams into a freehold property.
Q – I have just agreed to rent a brand new two-bedroom apartment and made all of the payments to the agent. We are due to move in two days and I have just been informed by the agent that the developer will not release the keys. We are very concerned with what is going on. What do you suggest?
There can be many reasons for this, including maintenance issues or that the payments have not been finalised to the satisfaction of the developer.
There are also often delays caused by the banks, but a good agent should be able to speed the process along. Your agent should still be holding the payments and I suggest you liaise with them as to time frame, or maybe decide to choose another property.