Real Estate Scams in Pakistan

By: Waqas Bin Hasan

Although I am not a guy and have never bought a single square of property at anywhere. But, being a human I have been in needs of renting a house, flat, appartment and office place. Pakistan is full of real estate agents - generally called property dealers. A general (and common) thinking about buying, selling and renting property is to acquire (hire) a property dealer's services. It gets very difficult sometimes to find a suitable and safe deal without these guys. There are many compelling reasons which a person (like me) will think about to hire such services; such as:


  • I am a busy guy; can't spare much time out of my job to find a place on rent.

  • I haven't much social relations that may benefit in finding a safe deal.

  • Supposedly if I am very social, I have no trust in my fellows.

  • Above all that - I am unaware of a property's hidden technical details; i.e.: do they have separate electricity meter - or do they have appropriate water supply and etc.

  • Usually, a property owner (seller/renter) doesn't expose the main points which can cause a negative effect on a deal. They always try to hide it.


These are a few reasons which I have been facing in past few years. And I believe every Pakistani is suffering with such causes. A property dealer works like a middle man as any commission agent for any other kind of business deal. These guys try their best to cut the throats of seller and buyer. If you are a seller/renter and you have offered a good commission to a property dealer then thumbs up to your deal - you get what you want. And if you are a and you have offered a good commission then hats off to your deal. This is a common scam - not only for a real estate deal but for every business deal also.

An investor with heavy investment can rule the industry like a king. There were times when someone could save money out of his/her salary or small business and could buy a house, a piece of land (plot) and/or a shop - as a future investment, for self usage or to secure the money. It's a grand-pa story now. The big investors like our rulers, ministers, industrialists, MPAs, MNAs and business-mens have played very well to destroy the whole real estate industry in Pakistan. They put heavy investments - planned small towns - redirected government policies in their benefits - glamourized their offerings for general public - looted the money and flew away. An oridinary man is just paying the installments - for nothing or he will behind the bars. Many of such big fish are ruling us and have built their pyramids around us.

Every day we can see such scams reported in news papers, TV and internet.

Another very common fraud is to selling a property to multiple hands. In Lahore (Pakistan) there's a development authority (LDA - Lahore Development Authority) which is responsible to handle the deals offered by LDA's planned towns and other land (which is the property of Punjab Government in Lahore). The guys at LDA are real magicians - yes, they sell your plot/house to number of people. Even you can buy whatever you want - just a matter of money. You should always take great care before buying a property (not only in Lahore but anywhere in Pakistan) that you should confirm from the development authority for the real owner. And this is only possible when you have enough money to fill their stomach - otherwise - get ready to put a law suite in courts and train your kids (and their kids and their kids....) to follow up the hearings.

These are smallest and very "lowest" harmful scams - THERE ARE BUNCH OF THESE.

It doesn't mean that you can't or shouldn't invest in property. You should - it's a gold mine in Pakistan. But all you have to be VERY careful - I mean VERY CAREFUL. Once you are in then no one can get you out of it - I am talking about both sides of .

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