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In this edition, we feature an entire section dedicated to COP28 where we share insights and intelligence through conversations we have had with leading experts from across the region. This includes articles and podcasts that delve into the most pertinent topics, such as COP28’s call to action for corporates, ESG reporting, and the UAE’s Net Zero vision.
Beyond the focus on Energy and Climate we feature articles covering important updates that look into a variety of areas, such as UAE consumer protection law, an overview of the Federal Civil Family Law for Non-Muslim Foreigners in the UAE, and from Kuwait we discuss the management of companies. As always, in our final section we continue to share with you real life judgements that provide context to the legal landscape in the region.Read the full edition
In July 2022, the Real Estate Broker Regulations were issued. Subsequently, the Implementation Regulations were issued and as of January 2023, are now in effect for individuals involved in real estate brokerage, providing real estate services, or receiving benefits from such services.
The Real Estate General Authority (REGA) will issue a guideline on license classification, and the permitted activities of an individual will depend on their license. Workers operating any of the services governed by the Regulations need to pass training programs to carry out these services. Practicing a regulated activity without a license could lead to a maximum fine of SAR 20,000 which will be doubled if the offence is repeated within three years.
To advertise a property, a real estate owner or broker must obtain permission from REGA for each advertisement. REGA will provide permission after settling the license application costs. Therefore, anyone, including the owner of the property, must obtain the necessary license before advertising their property.
Brokers may provide services other than brokerage services, however, they need to obtain the required permissions. Failure to obtain such permissions may result in the revocation of their license, imposition of fines, or suspension.
Brokers must use the standard brokerage contract provided by REGA, which must be completed and logged on the REGA electronic platform. Failure to use the standard form may lead to a maximum fine of SAR 2,000 per contract or transaction, and failure to register the contract may result in a maximum fine of SAR 1,000 per transaction. The Implementation Regulations specify the information required in every brokerage contract, which must be kept confidential by the broker. All real estate transaction details must be recorded on the electronic platform, and failure to do may result in a fine or license revocation.
Once a real estate transaction is completed, the broker must terminate the brokerage contract and record the transaction details on the electronic platform within five days from completion.
The security deposit for a leased property will be held by REGA and deposited into a special account. REGA will issue a set of rules governing the security deposit. Deductions from the deposit shall be estimated by agreement between the parties in accordance with the form prepared by REGA. Failure to deliver the security amount to the Authority and its authorised person could result in a maximum fine of SAR 5,000 or license revocation.
If a transaction fails to complete, the broker will be entitled to 25% of the deposit amount from the owner or lessor of the property, subject to the agreement between the parties.
In conclusion, the Implementation Regulations will set rules to govern the practice of real estate brokers and the services they provide. The Implementation Regulations will have a profound impact on how property transactions in KSA take place, as they require approval for advertising properties, information points on each transaction, and standardisation of transactions involving brokers. Therefore, increased regulator involvement in the space will create the need for all parties to be organised and diligent.
Our real estate team is well-equipped to help clients navigate the new Implementation and Real Estate Broker Regulations.