“More than 47,000 residential units are likely to be handed over in 2019, according to new statistics from UAE-based real estate portal Property Finder” (Arabian Business). With this in mind, we thought it would be a great idea to revisit some of the reasons why property handovers should merit your time, and a brief overview of what you can expect the process to look like.

Property Handover: Developer & Landlord

Unfortunately, there are some property developers in the UAE that will simply send out the property completion notice and demand that you take Handover within 30 days of that notice. Should you fail to abide by the 30 days there are some instances where you may be at risk of receiving penalties for the delayed receipt of the property. Needless to say, this can cause considerable stress to investors, particularly those who are based overseas.

Here are some of the things you should keep in mind to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible…

Completion Notice

Upon completion of a building or property and issuance of the completion certificate, standard procedure dictates that you are to receive a 30-day notice of completion from the developer. This 30-day period is reserved for property owners to clear any outstanding payments on the property price as well as a multitude of additional fees that need to be settled prior to receiving access to the property. We know that as a property investor based overseas, 30 days might not be a large enough window to handle all these formalities, which is where, as power of attorney specialists, we can help you manage.

Handover Document & Final Payments

The completion notice received from the developer, should also be accompanied by a Handover pack or document detailing the statement of accounts between you and the developer. This document should clearly map out what has been paid and what is pending in order for you to receive the keys to the property. Although the handover document can vary from developer to developer, here are some of the things that should be mentioned in it: final installments, Oqood fees, registration fees, service charges, administrative fees, utility registration fees, and summary of payment (Click here for a more thorough breakdown of each of the aforementioned fees.

Property Inspection & Snagging

Part of the handover process includes a thorough inspection of the property to ensure that there are no major defects or maintenance issues in the premise. This step is crucial, and it is essential to conduct it thoroughly despite any potential pressures from developers to get it completed in a rushed manner. Should you identify the need for any repairs or amendments in the property, the best course of action is to develop an inspection/snagging report and settle it with the developer prior to the handover being completed as addressing these issues later on, can be quite the nightmare.

This step is often conducted prior to the key collection and includes check on all the locks, doors, windows, fittings, paintwork, ceilings, grouting, sinks or taps, tiling, work surfaces, electrical/air conditioning, appliances, furniture etc. If there are only very minor issues that can be easily rectified, it may be worthwhile simply proceeding with the Handover as the delays in waiting for the developer may lead to even further financial loss in terms of rental income for example. There is also a Defect Liability Period on the property that will cover such circumstances in any event (Read More).

This step is also applicable not just between a developer and a property owner but also between a property owner and a tenant, in the event that the property is being rented out.

Final handover

The final handover process is to provide all original documents include passport copies, sales & purchase agreements, utility and payment receipts to either the landlord or the authorized member representing the landlord after which, if everything is clear you should receive a payment clearance certificate, key release forms and any applicable access equipment such as keys or access cards.

How can a power of attorney help with the handover process?

As you may deduced already, all of these processes are at risk of being delayed and if you live abroad, cannot travel or have a limited time frame to carry them out, the best course of action would be to appoint a power of attorney to handle all of the necessary formalities.

At Your POA, handover services including every aspect of the process; reviewing the completion/final account statements, completing the utility registrations, carrying out detailed property inspections and snag reports, dealing with developers and/or making any final payments, completing the handover and collecting the keys to the property, is one of our many specialties. As a complimentary service, we will also follow up on your Title Deed application at the Dubai Land Department, sign any rental/management contracts on your behalf, recommend insurance providers, wills, banks, trust accounts etc as well as referral to one of our recommended real estate brokers. We are happy to provide you with advice, assistance and guidance long after the handover process is completed.

We can also assist with some post-handover help including consultancy; i.e. advice on whether you should rent or sell your property in line with current market trends, Tenancy support services; i.e. preparing tenancy contracts/renewals to banking to any maintenance issues or repairs and last but not least, assisting you with the property sale.

Does this sound like something you need? contact us now at [email protected] or call +971 4 338 3032.