Property transfer is a short hand, legalistic way of saying “transfer of property ownership”. In other words, we are talking about purchasing property. As any of us who have ever been involved in any kind of property purchase or property inheritance know, buying or selling is one of the most stressful experiences you can go through. It’s true to say that you can buy property without using an agent. However to ensure the most trouble-free purchase process, you should always try to find a reliable agent to help you. One reason is because wherever you are buying land or property, the laws and regulations covering the purchase can change quickly.
How, then, do you decide on a property transfer service you can rely on? Well, the first thing you need is a service that is expert in the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction you are buying within. International commentators including the World Bank Group agree that, if you access the right advice, purchasing property in Dubai is relatively straightforward. In fact, in June 2015 the World Bank Group ranked Dubai in the top 10 of about 190 countries surveyed for ease of steps, time and cost in registering property. By comparison, the UK ranked 45th; while the USA was 34th. However, do not let this lull you into a sense of false security. There are rules and regulations covering real estate transfer in Dubai as much as in any other country; and failure to comply with these can be costly and time consuming. Not only that, but the laws governing real estate transfers and the Dubai Land Department, which is responsible for registering all land and property ownership, were updated in 2013, in part to encourage real estate investment. This has meant that only certain companies appointed by the Dubai Land Department (and the Department itself) can process property registrations. These are called ‘Registration Trustees’.
In common with many other countries, there is a scale of Government fees associated with transferring the ownership of properties. The rates for Dubai Land Department transfer fees were set in the reforms implemented by the Land Development Law of 2013. These are dependent on a number of factors, particularly on the type of purchase or transfer being considered. The fees vary subject to the type of agreement. However, as they are set by the Act itself, there is little disparity in the amounts charged by different Registration Trustees. There is, though, some variation in the service fee applied by each Registration Trustees. All transactions in the Dubai property market are carried out in Dirham (AED), the United Arab Emirates’ currency, and foreign investors or purchasers must convert their finance before entering into any property transactions. As an example of the fee structure, the standard Dubai Land Department Title Deed fees, for the issuance of the Title Deed, are set at 250 Dirham. Additionally, the system is based on the premise that both parties contribute similar amounts towards the registration fee, which is 4% of the sale price. For example, the seller contributes 2% of the selling value whilst the buyer also contributes 2%.
Investors who might look at property investment in Dubai will be surprised at the speed with which a property transfer can be completed. In reforming the Dubai Land Department, the Government of Dubai aimed to develop a system which would set an international standard in order to attract real estate investment. It has ensured the real estate transfer process is computerised and fully digital. For example mortgages, restrictions and any other encumbrances on properties can be checked quickly via an electronic database, as can exact property boundaries. The Registration Trustees have direct access to the Land Department's electronic systems. These systems speed up the checking service, and making the process much faster than you might expect. Similarly, there are a set of standardised real estate property transfer forms to reduce the need for lengthy and potentially expensive legal representation during a property deal. The required documentation is detailed online and covers a wide range of possible situations, so that investors and purchasers can be confident that they have the correct papers. All of this innovation means that the average time for transfer is 1½ to 2 days compared with, for example 6 days in the UK and 4½ days in the USA.
Dubai's house prices continue to show strong growth, making them a favourite with property investors. Studies have shown that as many as 90% of residential property transactions within the emirate involve foreign buyers. The legislation covers all kinds of property transactions, including where properties are already built, under construction or off plan; and also long-term leasing and rent-to-own. The Dubai Land Department transfer fees is, as mentioned above, 4% of the selling value. Therefore, the property transfer fee in Dubai compares very favourably with fees charged in other property investment hot spots; for example, the 15% fees charged to foreigners in Hong Kong and Singapore. The transfer process is well thought out, streamlined and fast compared to other countries. The price of property in Dubai continues to show strong growth year on year. To summarise then, investment in property in Dubai would seem to make sound financial sense. Investors and buyers are well advised to use an agent with a very strong reputation and sound understanding of the Dubai market and regulations. They must also use an approved Dubai Land Department Registration Trustee to complete their transactions. One such Registration Trustee is Seal Real Estate Registration Trustee.
At Seal Real Estate Registration Trustee, our mission is to provide a one stop shop for all property transfer registrations. Our focus is on providing you with an excellent service which is sturdy, robust and accountable. We aim to become leaders in our market. You can see details of our services at http://www.sealra.com/, where you can also use our online system to request an appointment to meet with us. Otherwise, you can contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone and speak to the team on +971 436 17 776 or fill in our online contact form for any queries about our service.