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RERA cracks down on unsolicited sales pitches over phone

yousif al hashimi, deputy ceo of reraThe Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera), the legal arm of the Dubai Land Department (DLD), is encouraging people to register complaints against real estate agencies making cold calls.

Complaints have been received against three companies engaged in making unsolicited calls to potential clients and property owners.

“A new regulatory article has been introduced by us that covers telemarketing.

“We encourage anyone who has a complaint in this regard to contact us and request to speak with the Inspection Department,” Yousif Al Hashimi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Rera, told Emirates 24|7.

In August 2013, Rera issued a circular to all real estate offices on the issue of property brokers making unsolicited calls.

It reminded that real estate brokers were not allowed to make either telemarketing phone calls or send telemarketing SMS messages to property owners who have not registered their properties for sale or rent in the real estate offices using the official templates.

Asked if any broker had been fined for violation, Al Hashimi revealed: “We have received three complaints so far and are taking the necessary action related to these cases.”

A broker, violating the rule, is first given a warning letter and those repeating the offence face a fine of Dh50,000.

Ravi Kumar, who owns an apartment in Dubai Marina, says: “A year back, I was constantly getting calls, asking if I wanted to buy an apartment.

“Now, brokers call me, asking if I am planning to sell my apartment. I haven’t registered with any of these companies for any service… I am not sure how they got my details.”

When told people can register their grievance with Rera, Kumar welcomed the news, saying, “This is a very good move.

“Brokers shouldn’t bother us unless we register with them. I will soon be calling Rera to register my complaint.”

Rera says that contacting property owners directly in order to offer sales and marketing services is not only a breach of the guidelines, it goes against the whole ethos of the profession.

But real estate brokers are allowed to place advertisements promoting their own services and can promote projects that have been pre-approved with the developer, owner or landlord.

“When advertising their services on-line, every real estate office is required to include their unique registration number, which must be placed on all communication documents,” Rera states.