Wasim Shaikh has recently appeared in newspapers as the victim of a new property scam that has hit the market. Shaikh is an Indian sales manager at Vierra Property who was duped by his tenant after the man illegally sublet his flat and made payments from the annual rental cheques from the third party.
The details of the case came to surface after the imposter’s cheque bounced and was later found to be missing. It was found that the imposter used copies of the deed and landlord’s details and acted as a property agent to reel in tenants. The landlord has lost tens of thousands of dirhams and the flat cannot be sublet until the current tenants leave. Moreover the electricity bill lies in the tenant’s name.
Incidents of this nature are on the rise. Shaikh revealed that this was not the first case of its kind in the International City area, in which he deals. He has currently filed a legal case against the tenant and is trying to open a case with the Rent Committee to get the current occupants to leave.
Shaikh urges residents to take measures to avoid such incidents. He has advised residents to:
-Be careful with payments and to make sure payments are sent directly to landlords.
-Wire payments and avoid cheque payment plans with landlords who are overseas
-Never deal with ‘freelancers’
-Ensure your property agent is registered and has original documents in place
-Insist on having water and electricity bills on your name
-Only sign with Ejari (registered contracts) and not any other forms of sales and purchase agreements