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Dozens of tenants in Dubai say they?re facing eviction after Haitham Mahmoud Alkouatly, a Saudi real estate and entertainment-company owner, collected payments and then failed to pass the money to the property owners.
Dubai?s Department of Economic Development and the Real Estate Regulatory Agency are investigating, RERA Chief Executive Officer Marwan bin Ghalita said. Major-General Khamis al Mazinah, deputy commander of Dubai police, said an investigation is under way.
Laws governing property agents, rent increases and foreclosures have come into force gradually in the years after Dubai?s real estate market crashed in 2008. Bin Ghalita said a rule requiring tenants to register leases with his agency improves rental data, protects tenants from dubious brokers and prevents the rental of a property to multiple people.
?We require brokers to provide a 5-million-dirham ($1.4 million) deposit with RERA to ensure against this kind of situation,? bin Ghalita said.
Carl Dowling says he paid a year?s rent in advance for his Dubai apartment after Alkouatly promised a month free and no rate increase. After shelling out 60,000 dirhams, he discovered that the landlord never received the money and the broker can?t be found.