RERA warns telemarketers

June 3, 2014 2:10 pm

RERA, the regulatory arm of the Dubai Land Department, has issued official notice to the city’s real estate offices to request they desist from direct telemarketing. The move follows repeated complaints from customers who have contacted the government body saying that they are being disturbed by unsolicited calls from brokers making enquiries about their property.

“RERA is keen to apply the highest standards of transparency in the market and this means both exercising control on transactions and regulating interactions between real estate agents and customers,” said Yousif Al Hashimi, Deputy CEO of RERA.

“As the regulatory body for Dubai’s real estate sector, our aim is to ensure that every party undertakes its actions and activities in a professional manner that is consistent with the agency’s laws and principles,” he added.

The instruction from RERA came in the form of an official letter written by the organisation’s Real Estate Inspection Department, which was sent out to all registered property brokers in Dubai. The letter informed the recipients that the practice of direct telemarketing violates RERA’s rules and regulations.

RERA decided to take action following an increase in ‘cold’ calls to customers, with telemarketers apparently trying new ways to get around the existing rules that ban the practice. It was brought to the organisation’s attention that some real estate brokers are claiming a tenuous connection with owners during such calls in an attempt to legitimise their enquiries about their property. RERA used their official notice to remind the brokers that unsolicited calls of any nature were against the department’s regulations.

The letter further stated that the calls cause annoyance and are particularly distressing for those who have not advertised their property for sale. It stipulated that brokers were not allowed to cause inconvenience to property owners by using such unprofessional tactics and warned them that they would face sanctions if they didn’t desist from the practice.

“We investigated this issue through the Real Estate Inspection Department and after looking at the complaints in detail, sent a further warning letter to 20 real estate offices in Dubai. This action was taken because the offices in question were clearly violating the instructions issued by RERA, especially in systems relating to the marketing of services and the non-renewal of brokers’ cards, which are a mandatory requirement for their activities,” said Al Hashimi.

“Fines of AED 50,000 were also imposed against three offices after they were found to be repeating practices they had been previously warned about and which breached RERA regulations. Such infractions included the offices using brokers who were not registered with RERA and not supplying brokers’ names and other compulsory information in real estate transactions and correspondence,” he added.