Dubai service charge index clears irregularities

The initiative promotes transparency and real estate best practicesImage Credit: Supplied

Many homeowners and tenants in different areas of Dubai have complained about unexplainable hikes in maintenance and service charges. In recent years, in order to force building owners and landlords to pay the charges, developers shut building gyms, cut off airconditioning and drained swimming pools, angering both tenants and homeowners.

This scenario facilitated the need for an organized monitoring system to be set in place to calculate the service charges of common areas in rented and bought freehold properties in the emirate.

Compiling an itemized list of annual service charges for hundreds of buildings in over 20 developments, the Real Estate Regulatory Agency’s (RERA) recently introduced service charge index aims to monitor charges for residential properties and ensure that charges for office and commercial spaces are also in sync with those of residential units.

The index, which will be updated regularly, also aims to disseminate specific information in terms of price fluctuations in buildings across the city over time to stop excessive price hikes. It will also assure property owners that the charges they are paying are appropriately set knowing that RERA is monitoring everything.

The charges will be calculated using the dirham-per-square-foot formula. These will be based on information gathered from real estate developers and owners associations and audited by RERA.

Among the areas covered by the index are Dubai Marina including the Jumeirah Beach Residence, Business Bay, MotorCity, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, International City and Dubai Silicon Oasis. However, RERA plans to cover all areas in the emirate in the future.

The Dubai real estate market has launched several initiatives aimed at promoting transparent transactions to boost investor confidence in the market.

Handy Hints:

* The RERA service charge index aims to monitor charges for common areas

* It currently covers hundreds of buildings in more than 20 freehold locations

* RERA is planning to extend the service to all areas in the emirate in the future

Source: Saadiya Ahmad, Special to Properties

The writer is a freelancer

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