OAs hold key to upkeep of property’s common areas

Owners AssociationImage Credit: Supplied

Owners associations (OAs) play a big role in the maintenance of a residential community where individual houses are owned by different owners while the common areas are jointly owned by all of them. In most cases, the common areas include foyers, terraces, elevators, passageways, and recreational facilities like swimming pools, gyms and play areas for kids.

The OA is a not-for-profit entity which has a governing body or a board headed by a chairman. The board is elected by the property owners at their annual general meeting while the chairman is elected by the board. The powers and responsibilities of the chairman are decided by the board members.

According to Dubai’s Jointly Owned Property (JOP) law, all OAs have to be registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA). Some of the important functions that an OA performs through its governing body include the upkeep of the common areas, entering into supply agreements with third-party contractors like facility managers, setting up the general fund and the reserve fund for the association, and assessing and collecting service charges from owners.

The aim of the formation of OAs by the homeowners themselves is to reduce the influence of the developers in selecting various contractors once the project is handed over.

Though this concept of managing the affairs of the building by the homeowners is relatively new in Dubai, many OAs have done a good job in reducing service charges and revamping the existing facilities in building communities. Many OAs have also installed energy-saving devices which have brought down utility bills.

Most OAs in Dubai employ owners association management companies to assist them. These companies help the OAs in floating and opening tenders of various maintenance projects, preparing the annual budget, issuing and collecting service fees, helping organise annual general meetings, and managing insurance, licence and other legal matters on their behalf.

Handy Hints
• As per the JOP law, all owners associations must be registered with RERA
• Unless registered, OAs cannot open bank accounts, hire contractors, pay bills
• There are owners association management companies willing to assist OAs

Source: S. Dhar, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer

For Rent


View more properties

For Sale


View more properties