Sunday, September 05, 2010

New properties in Dubai found lacking in quality of finish

The quality of finishing in newly completed properties in Dubai has dropped considerably. This could be due to cost-cutting measures adopted by the developers, including hiring cheaper contractors, said a Dubai-based firm.

The Managing Director of Land Sterling, a property valuations firm based in Dubai, Youcef Betraoui, said that ever-since the downturn, there has been a fall in standards owing to cost cutting and the hurrying up of work to complete deadlines. The developers have also been found hiring cheaper contractors for cost-cutting purposes.

Betraoui, whose company is regulated by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in the UK and the RERA in Dubai, said that on an average the company receives about 20 to 30 issues with each villas, although, it varies from one project to another.

When things began getting worse for developers, this number grew to 50. When owners spotted this, they demanded that a professional inspect the property before handover. The company has seen atleast 20 percent increase in demand for snagging services during first half of this year, he added.

According to Betraoui, the decline in quality is not just for medium quality developments. It is also for multi-million dirham penthouses in the Palm Jumeirah.

Although the palm-shaped Nakheel development usually are among the best quality finishes in Dubai, there are Dh.15mn worth penthouses that have water leakage, spotlights that did not work, and doors and windows that had problems.

Land Sterling is involved in inspecting the quality of building work prior to hand-over of properties by the developer to the owner (known as snagging).

After inspection, the snag report will be sent to the developer, and a copy of it will be sent to the owner. After completion of the said works (which takes a week to a month), the company does a follow up inspection. If the work is found of sufficient quality, the final payment is made and the keys are exchanged. The work also involves a one year warranty from the developer.

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