A number of new tactics will be implemented by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority, which will be operational in two months, to secure the growth of the real estate industry and the transparency of transactions.
Ahmed al-Emadi, director of the Legal Affairs Department at the Ministry of Municipality, stated in an interview with Qatar TV on Tuesday that the authority will serve as the coordinating body for the new real estate development strategies and policies.
His Majesty Amiri Decision No. 28 of 2023, establishing the governmental authority for regulating the real estate sector, was issued by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in April. The authority will work within Qatar’s general policy to organise and stimulate the real estate sector while contributing to the sector’s development. Its formation is part of the process of implementing the real estate industry’s development strategy.
Al-Emadi listed seven axes for carrying out the authority’s directives, among which is the coordination of strategies and directives among the relevant authorities to manage the real estate sector.
“The authority will be the umbrella that combines these strategies, and a real estate platform that seeks to provide data with transparency and clarity will be established,” he explained, adding that the platform will be launched early in October over three phases.
Data and information that will be sent to individuals involved will be included in the first phase. The information will include occupancy rates, deals, and details of broad interest to investors and people in general.
Government agencies will be electronically linked in the second phase, while real estate services will be offered and fully operational in the third. Within a year or two of the platform’s launch, this phase will occur.
Through incentive policies and revitalising procedures, the authority will grant licences, oversee, and track the effectiveness of various activities while promoting investment in the real estate sector. Additionally, it will oversee financing while addressing efficiency and safeguarding real estate transactions through governing and controlling procedures.
Furthermore, the authority will ensure justice and swift dispute resolution. The authority will also handle the legal handling and filling of gaps through the constant updating of laws and their revision or deletion.
Al-Emadi clarified that Amiri Decision No. 28 of 2023, which established the deadline for the new authority to become operational, required that the law’s provisions be put into effect as of the date of its issuance and publication in the official gazette.
According to Al-Emadi, the country’s real estate industry accounts for 6.5% of the overall economy, and investments in totalled more than QR86 billion in 2022, a rise of 2.6% from the previous year.
He explained that the efforts of the Ministry of Municipality to develop this sector have been continuing since the establishment of the ministry, starting in the 80s when the Building Regulation Law and the State Property Management Law were issued. “These efforts continue to this day. After the approval of the comprehensive urban plan, a structure was developed for the sector in coordination with the private sector. The most prominent step for developing the real estate sector was the recommendation to establish the Real Estate Regulatory Authority,” he said.
Al-Emadi explained one of the authority’s most significant responsibilities as being the creation of the Real Estate Development Licencing Committee and the inclusion of Article 7 in the new law, which outlines the developer’s obligations.
It describes the supervisory procedure in accordance with licences and technical requirements and requires the timely delivery of units in accordance with the developer’s and owner’s contracts. In order to ensure efficient operation, prompt project delivery, and provision of a consultant and legal office, the law also forbids the implementation of more than three projects at once. The authority will also have a supervisory function, which includes overseeing the charges that real estate agencies charge customers.
Regarding the most prominent upcoming projects, al-Emadi said there are three main legal steps including the Urban Planning Bill, the Owners Union Bill to bridge the current gap and the Public and Private State Property Bill. “Work is underway on a new Building Bill. With the presence of the new authority, a comprehensive legislative review process will be conducted for legislation that is not within the competence of the Ministry of Municipality,” he said, explaining that the authority will provide a single window that provides a set of services and information in a clear and transparent manner.
According to Al-Emadi, new controls will be implemented since funding the project has made it imperative to do so in order to guarantee its smooth operation and the timely delivery of real estate units. “These financial payments shall not be disbursed after the approval of the authority is granted. The penalties include a fine or imprisonment if the developer doesn’t use the funds for the purpose of the project,” he said. He pointed out that Their Excellencies the Minister of Municipality and Minister of Justice will issue the executive decisions of the law.