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AML/CFT in UAE: Impact on Real Estate Agents

Introduction: Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) in the UAE is a critical initiative led by the Central Bank of the UAE. Since August 2020, the Central Bank has implemented stringent measures to combat money laundering, in alignment with Federal Decree Law no. (20) of 2018.

How Does AML/CFT Affect Real Estate Agents?

Real estate agents in the UAE must adhere to AML/CFT regulations to ensure the security and transparency of financial transactions in the real estate sector. Here are the key aspects that real estate agents need to consider:

  1. Clear Paper Trail:
    • When funds are sent to a brokerage for property renting or buying, the sender must be the tenant or buyer, establishing a transparent paper trail.
  2. Third-Party Transactions:
    • If a third party is involved in sending funds on behalf of a tenant or buyer, the brokerage can accept the funds only if a legally recognized Power of Attorney (POA) clearly authorizes the third party to act on behalf of the buyer/tenant. A simple letter is insufficient; it must be a legally valid POA.
    • If funds are sent from a business account on behalf of the tenant or buyer, there must be a direct and verifiable link between the buyer/tenant and the company. For example, the buyer should be a shareholder of the company, and the money transfer should be supported by share certificates and a valid trade license. Without this documentation, the brokerage cannot accept these funds and must return them to the sender.
  3. Funds to Landlords:
    • If a brokerage receives funds from a tenant for transfer to the landlord, it is essential that the funds go to the legal owner of the property, ensuring a transparent paper trail.
  4. Restrictions on Sending Funds to Third Parties:
    • The brokerage is prohibited from sending funds to any third party, emphasizing the importance of direct transactions within the real estate process.

AML in the UAE: The United Arab Emirates takes AML very seriously, and AgentDxB is committed to following the Central Bank’s guidelines to safeguard all parties involved in real estate transactions. These measures ensure transparency, legality, and security in the real estate market. For additional information on AML/CFT regulations in the UAE, please visit the Central Bank’s official website.