Title Deeds

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A property title deed has now become mandatory for a property owner to open his account with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) account. A number of real estate brokers in Dubai have started sending notices to their clients advising them to apply for a title deed from Dubai Land Department.

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Title deeds were introduced into the Dubai property market in 2008, they became compulsory in 2008 as large amounts of properties were completed and handed over by developers. The purpose of a title deed is to ensure that the property is registered to the rightful owner. It also serves to ensure that the property has clear title, i.e. that it is not owned by anyone else or encumbered by any other interests. Without a title deed, the property owner will often find difficulties in transferring their property to a purchaser and will be required to apply for a deed before selling which will delay the sales process.

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If a owner purchased the property before it was constructed the responsibility to apply for a title deed is usually of the owner themselves. As properties are completed the developers should register the developments with the Dubai Land Department (DLD) and thus allowing the owner to do the same. For properties having finance, a practice normally completed by the financer, with the cost being borne by the owner also. It some cases developments can be registered with the DLD before construction is completed and in this case a title deed is replaced by a Quood deed.

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For most properties purchased from the main developers after 2010 title deeds should be in place as transfers of ownership can not take place since then unless the title deed was registered. In scenarios where title deeds were not present owners have been required to register their property at the same time of transferring the property. Currently this process of registering and transferring simultaneously is not available and owners will need to approach their properties developer long before they are intending to sell their properties.

In addition to transferring restrictions a title deed or Quood deed is required to lease out any property in Dubai. Dubai Electricity and Water (DEWA) will not proceed with a connection with utility services before evidence of a Deed has been given.

As shown in the top right picture and contrary to popular belief, sales and purchase agreement (“SPA”) and receipts of payment are not proof of ownership. They are simply evidence of a contractual arrangement between the developer and the owner. Neither are letters from the developers certifying that the owner has complied with all obligations. For any questions related to Title Deeds, Quood and/or registering your property please contact us and we will advise or even make your deed application or on your behalf.