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Disgruntled investors storm Rera office

Al Attar Properties accused of unreasonable delays and spec changes

Investors are unhappy with delays and specification changes on Vue de Lac
Investors are unhappy with delays and specification changes on Vue de Lac

A group of around 30 investors turned up at the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) Tuesday morning to file a case over ongoing delays and specification changes at the Vue de Lac and Vista del Lago developments.

Investors on the Al Attar project at Jumeirah Lake Towers accused the developer of unreasonable delays and changes being made to apartments without the consent of owners.

“We have been promised the project since then end of 2007. It was then pushed to 2008, then the end of 2008, and now he’s saying 2011 – which will never happen, because up to date they’ve only finished the piling,” said investor Makram Mohamed.

Many asserted that apartment specifications have changed so drastically that they no longer wish to purchase property in the project and want a full refund.

Investors are unhappy at what was described in a letter from Al Attar as “some small changes”, where two-bedroom apartments have been changed to one-bedroom ones.

Al Attar had revised the prices of the apartments in line with the reduction in apartment size, but investors said that they had bought two-bedroom apartments specifically and a smaller alternative was not acceptable.

“Because of the change of designation and all of this delay, we don’t want this property any more. The majority of people investing were buying to live in this property. Ninety per cent of our group wanted to live in this. Now they’ve changed the designation, we don’t need it. I bought a two-bedroom; you can’t give me a one-bed plus study,” said investor Shailendra Sainani.

“The majority of us need our money refunded and the costs absorbed. [Al Attar] needs to resell the project from the beginning.”

In addition to changes in designation, many investors are also concerned that delays to the project will result in a huge interest bill arising from finance agreements that can only be concluded following apartment handover.

Some investors took out finance agreements in 2006 under the impression that the project would be handed over in 2008. They are now facing the prospect of paying five years’ worth of interest on finance agreements, should the project be delivered according to a new completion date of 2011.

Some investors also query Al Attar’s ability to deliver the project on time.

“Can we still believe Al Attar can deliver in 2011, if they couldn’t even start construction in the last three years?” said one investor.

The group has filed a case with Rera because they say that Al Attar Properties is refusing to communicate with them except through a lawyer.

No-one from Al Attar was able to comment on the case or development.

The case has now been filed with Rera, who said a decision on the steps it would take would be forthcoming in the next few days.

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