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How to Tackle Delayed Handover of Property as Buyer

Real estate builders and investors often face issues like delay in handing over of the property.  This kind of delays often causes a huge amount of losses to investors and they also may find it difficult to deal legally. UAE has implemented several laws that protect the claims of the investors to deal with such off plan cases. The investors need to make a claim to the court if the developer does no handover the property even after the grace period. 

Below mentioned tips can save the investor if they are found in such a situation:

Ensure that you have made all the payments;

It is very important for the investor to make all the payments and all the relevant fees related to the property also make sure that you have submitted all the documents.

Have a site visit 

The investor can have a site visit also check the completion date of the site. They can also go to the Dubai land department to have an update on the project and enquire about the physical status of the property.

Insert the compensation clause 

In case if the builder delays in property handover as an investor you can claim for compensation for any delay. Also, make sure to add the compensation clause in the agreement when entering into a contract.

Have communication with your developer

The investor can speak with their developer and also can amicably settle the case without any further legal battle. They also can negotiate the payment option and can agree with a justifiable result for both parties.

File a claim

The parties can also file a claim in Dubai courts for litigation. Dubai property courts are a specific section that deals with property-related cases. All the decision taken by this court is binding on all the parties related to the dispute.

Some of the remedies warded by the court are 

  • An injunction or to cover the damages 
  • Award some monetary damages 
  • Specific performance of the part of the contract

Ensure if the RERA cancelled the project

If any of the delayed projects are cancelled by RERA. Real Estate Regulatory Authority may cancel the projects if it finds against any rules or contravenes any regulation of Dubai municipality. Investors can also inquire with the committee in case if it is cancelled by RERA.

Some important tips to safeguard yourself prior to purchasing a property

Check the provisions of the contract

Before going for any legal case or any settlement it very important for the investor to review the terms and conditions mentioned in the contract. If there are any benefits mentioned in the contract you can make use of such benefits.

Choose a developer who can offer you post property completion payment options and also a developer with a reputed history.

It is also important to make sure if the property is registered with DLD and approved by RERA.

Also, an investor should conduct their research regarding the proper form of their own part. A good search can save them from falling into any wrong projects.

The court doesn’t accept the plea of the developer if the project has been delayed for two years. This is a protection for the investors to claim rights. This is subject to the discretion of the court.

 Property lawyers in the UAE

If you are facing any such issues of property handover delays then it is better to seek a legal opinion from expert lawyers. They can help you to review the contract and also can help you to provide a legal opinion. We at HHS lawyers can help to deal with such property cases and disputes related. You may contact us for further consultation.

What are the legal options for delayed property handover?

The investor has an option like:

Dispute Resolution for Incomplete Real Estate Projects

Which are the properties that will not be considered when going for termination or claiming damages?

  • When some land is for the benefit of the public or governmental property.
  • When RERA cancels a project for replanting or for any other reasons
  • When the main developer has made some major amendments in the project

When RERA does cancel a project?

Real Estate Regulatory Authority cancels the project when the property contravenes any of the rules and regulation as per Dubai municipality. If his property is an illegal building then the RERA can cancel the project


Hassan Humaid Al Suwaidi., LL.B. is a Senior Partner in HHS Lawyers. He has 20 years of experience dealing with high-value and complex cases. Frequently featured in local and international legal directories and commended for his ability to attain favorable outcomes for clients, Hassan has been involved in some of the largest legal settlements. A major part of his work is providing expert legal advice on UAE legislation and acting for individuals and businesses during disputes and litigation.