Dubai's Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA)

Dubai's Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) was set up back in 2007 to keep an ear to the ground on what is happening in the property market, and assist the players and its development. It will recommend future regulations and laws together with Dubai's Land Department (DLD) to which it is attached to, to the Dubai Executive Council, which reviews and passes the laws.

Their website can be found here

Why would you want to know them?

RERA implements the laws and regulations. It is in charge of licensing all real estate players, including agents, developers and their projects, as well as homeowners associations. Approved lists can be found on-line. It also knows what is happening in developers escrow accounts, and monitors progress of real estate projects and approves payment plans in line with construction milestones the developer should stick to, particularly important for off-plan buyers. For buyers of completed property relevant sample documentation is features and the website also announces property auctions. RERA also has a seriously clued up valuation department called Taqyeem.

For property owners and tenants it is worth knowing that RERA gets involved when it comes to service fees disputes, complaints about a lack of a homeowners association, it assists with the set up of the latter and revises and approves service fees.

RERA also publishes a rent index to give you an idea what the 'official' rent is believed to be, this is important as those values are used by the rent committee in disputes over rent increases. RERA also approves property advertising any ad without its stamp should not be trusted.

The LD walks you through the property (land) registration process, gives you the official fees on-line and its land registry and interim-land registry (off-plan) is open to potential buyers wanting to confirm current property ownership of a property they are interested in buying. The LD will issue the title deeds.

What they can do for you in terms of rent and property disputes?

Purchase disputes: Both RERA and the LD have been assisting aggrieved investors as well as developers during the downturn when many disputes over late or non-completion of property developments took emerged. Since, the LD has been working on, and launched in October 2012, 'The Dubai Real Estate Arbitration Center'. The centre should be the first stop to register disputes and try to reach a settlement, keeping out of the expensive and time-consuming court procedures.

Rent Disputes: RERA can be contacted to refer disputes to the rents commit