Saturday, February 10, 2007

Homeless Tenants

On 8th February 2007, Hamptons (who recently took over as leasing agents for several Emaar rented blocks in the Greens) sent a letter to tenants, the content of which was as follows:

Dear [name]

Subject: Purchase Opportunity of your leased home!

I trust you are well!

Thank you for your residency within [name of block and apartment number]
over the last few months/years - I hope you have had an enjoyable tenancy.

Recognizing your support for Emaar over the past and as a very valued resident, we are delighted to announce that Emaar is giving you the first option to purchase the unit in response to several requests from our tenants to buy their homes. As a resident of The Greens, we would like you to be among the first to be informed of Emaar's decision to sell a certain number of residential units, one of which is currently leased to you.

The unit [apartment block and unit number] is offered at [price]

We are aware how important this decision is for you, and in order to assist you in making your dream come true in purchasing your dream house, Hamptons has arranged pre-approved mortgages through Amlak. In order to purchase the property by the present tenant, Amlak is working on a proposal and we can provide the same within three to four days.

Amlak is also offering 97% Mortgage at 8.25%, with an initial AED 5,000 as application fee, and 1% processing fee of the finance amount maximum at AED 20,000. (More details attached herewith) In addition to this offer Amlak is working on a proposal that will be available within the next few days.

As Emaar have instructed us to ensure sales are completed swiftly, we will require your feedback within the next two weeks of your decision. We have been requested by Emaar to advise you that in the event that you choose not to purchase the property, it will be offered for sale on the open market, subject of course to your ongoing tenancy agreement, which will be transferred to the new owner.

In addition, the service fees of AED 7.85/sq.ft should be fully paid in advance for 2007 for the period from 1 march 2007 to 31 December 2007 as per Emaar sales standard procedure.

Should you wish to discuss the matter further or obtain more clarifications, please do not hesitate to contact me on the numbers mentioned below.

Yours truly,

Mahmoud A. Al Omari
Leasing Executive

Some initial discussions between a group of affected residents suggest that few if any can afford to buy (or they would have bought on the open market already), and all are concerned about transfer of their leases to private landlords. None regard this as a welcome 'opportunity'. Instead, residents who cannot or do not buy will be forced our of their apartments by the new owners, or forced to accept rent rises of 50-60%.

The affected residents were not consulted about the proposed sale; the first notification all received was a hand delivered letter informing them to confirm within TWO WEEKS that they would buy their properties, or their properties would be sold off on the open market.

Just a few weeks back, the property leasing agents had written to residents to inform them that the proposed 15% rent increases for 2007 would not take place due to the Dubai government's rent cap law. It seems this may have some connection to Emaar's decision to opt for a quick sale of the affected leased properties. The peace of mind that the 0% rent increase gave to residents has been shortlived, as they are now faced with cost increases of 50-60% instead of the original 15%. Was this really what the Dubai government, which holds 30% of Emaar, intended when it issued the rent cap law to protect tenants and ensure that the cost base in Dubai remains competitive?

The residents trust that Emaar will appreciate and understand the hardship and suffering that its hasty decision to sell causes, and will re-evalute its decision in the context of the widely applauded desire of the Dubai government to protect tenants from massive cost increases and stabilize the cost of living in the Emirate.


Pooya said...

EveryBody Please come to the meeting on 8 pm 12 February .
I went to Amlak they are not providing ANY benefit to us. they are dealing EXACTLY as a regular individual shich is getting loan.
anyway there was no way for me to take loan from amlak.
in the HAMPTONS letter they mentioned we prepared everything and a proposal of loan which will be sent to you in few days but I talked to Mr Faisal in AMLAK he said NOT it's NOT true and It's Simply a LIE...

Anonymous said...

You guys are being stupid.

The whole reason someone owns property is because they want to sell it some day. Emaar has every right to sell it.

This does not mean the new owner gets to kick you out overnight as you have just renewed your agreement.

At the end of your agreement it will depend on how lucky you are at how the new owner acts. Who knows you may be luck and have a even better owner. But nothing gives you the right to stop the sale of the property by the owner.

Emaar offered you guys first right of refusal on the property which is a pretty good deal. Given at this point they could litterally auction the property for more money.

So it's just life. It's just life in Dubai!

Anonymous said...

"U.S. is ready to mount Iran attack by spring (Gulf News Feb 18th 2007)"

If the above news comes true, whoever buys these apartments will be the last owner of his/her property for the rest of his/her life and make a heavy loss either in his/her investment.
We will see the consequences and impacts of this news in comming months.

contact us: homelesstenants[at]