Residential property handovers in Dubai: What buyers should know?

Handing over the newly constructed units is the last stage of property purchase deal. No matter how promptly and efficiently you have handled the whole process; you may face a problematic situation at this step just because of the lack of support and unexplained procedures. The process itself is simple and straight forward; difficulties are purely due to unawareness with the steps of the process. Being an off-plan buyer, you will receive a completion notice from your project developer, which is instructing you to take the handover of the unit within 30 days or being charged for penalties. The fear of penalties and fines increases the stress, especially among overseas buyers and investors who have waited for several years for project completion due to repetitive delays in construction. 

property handovers in Dubai

How to handover a property?

As soon as you receive the completion certificate, next step is to clear the unpaid payments on the property price and fees to finally receive the possession documents. Don’t consider it as a threat as fulfilling these obligations is the part of a process and you have to follow it to obtain the keys of your house. In fact, residential property buyers are not afraid of clearing out the payments; rather they are worried due to the short period they have given to complete the process after the delay of several month and years to finally receive the ownership. Whereas foreign purchasers living abroad are also worried due to the short timeframe they are given to come and complete the formalities. Although developers agreed to extend the duration for those who ensure to provide the payment in near future, prompt actions give developers clear signals that the person they are dealing with is a genuinely interested, while also protect buyers from penalties and termination. 

What kinds of payments are included in the closing cost? 

As soon as you receive a 30-day completion notice from the developer, don’t panic and immediately check the final account of statement to see what is left as pending payment. A standard closing cost includes final installments, Oqodd and registration and service fee along with administrative and utility charges. Here I am briefly describing these components to give a clear idea about the standard cost. 

•    Final installments are unpaid dues that need to be clear-out on priority basis after receiving the notice. Otherwise, candidates will face fines or finally termination of the contract if it remains unanswered. 

•    Oqood is the pre-registration contract fee of Dh1, 000 with Dubai Land Department. According to Law 13 of 2008, all developers have to temporarily register their sale and purchase agreements on the Oqood system, which is used to record and manage registrations. It protects investors by ensuring that property is registered in their name.

•    Registration fee is 4 percent of the total price plus title deed charges of Dh580 is a mandatory amount which has to be paid to Dubai Land Department. Often it is paid while making the initial deposit of property purchase. If it is unpaid, penalties increase it from 4% to 8%.
•    Service charges are calculated per square foot for the maintenance and upkeep of common extras like swimming pools, gyms, parking, and lift. Developers decide the amount under the control of RERA and DLD.

•    Administrative fees are usually ranges between Dh500 and Dh1, 000.

•    Utility registration fees are paid to register the utilities like electricity, water and gas in your name. The total amount of utility fee is different for villas and apartments. 

Why do you need to inspect? 

Although the property is newly constructed, you should not ignore carrying out the detail inspection to identify problems and major defects. Carefully inspect the overall infrastructure, locks, doors, windows, flooring, ceiling, kitchen and baths. It’s better if you visit with a professional home inspector. Don’t forget to take the copy report to follow up later. Estimate the worth of issues. In the case of minor issues proceeding with the handover is a better option. 

What is the defect liability period? 

All new residential properties are available with defect liability period or one year guarantee from date of completion of the building. In case a property is experiencing a problem, the developer will be responsible for repairing and rectifying the reported defects.  


Allow me to mention Banke’s downtown apartments for sale department for handing over such useful insights to help us write on the topic. Once you are done with necessary payments and inspections you can proceed with the final handover of newly purchased residential property. 


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