All talk, no cash: Dubai JBR owners claim ‘lock out’ over service fee

Service charge deposits, audited account statements bone of contention

Homeowners of the Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) master community and Taziz, the property management company dealing with the community on behalf of developer Dubai Properties Group (DPG), are on a collision course.

Some JBR homeowners are not paying service fees because they claim the property management firm Taziz has not provided them transparent accounts since 2010.

Taziz confirms that some JBR owners have not paid service fees, but says they will chase down and collect all outstanding dues.

Disgruntled JBR residents claim that in 2010, homeowners were required to pay a deposit equaling six months of service charges against the 2010 service charge rate.

These deposits were supposed to be returned in 2011.

JBR home owners have not received the amount until now.

In August, one homeowner wrote to Taziz: “What is stopping you from simply crediting the deposit against the 2010 service fees and then issuing the 2011 service fee invoices?

“No one has provided a reasoned reply to this simple question. I also repeat the point that these deposits should be returned together with two years of accumulated interest.”

In a statement to Emirates 24|7, Taziz says: “The deposits will apply to payments due in 2012."

“In line with the new legislation, the deposit will go against the service charges for 2012,” says the Taziz spokesperson.

As regards outstanding service fees, the spokesperson said: “Unfortunately we do have some outstanding service charge payments and it is our policy to continue to collect service charges in the appropriate, professional manner.

“However, in order to protect the interests of all owners and their properties, we will pursue collection where outstanding.”

“In the absence of specific regulations at inception and handover of JBR, deposits were collected as appropriate.

The affected JBR residents see this as a lack of clarity on the part of Taziz.

Another bone of contention is the 2011 audited accounts. 

For owners, these accounts form an important part in providing financial transparency, as it presents the proposed service fee for the year to come and seeks to have these fees approved by Rera.

Although the IOA claims it was promised the audit accounts in January this year, it has not yet received it.

“The audited accounts are being finalised and preliminary discussions have taken place with Rera,” says the Taziz spokesperson.

As the issue remains unsolved the frustration grows. Home owners accuse Taziz of a lack of transparency and they feel ignored in the process. “JBR owners elected their boards to represent them but they are ignored by Taziz,” says one home owner.

According to the Taziz spokesperson communication between the IOA, Taziz and DPG is on-going.

“What about the fact that IOA has not seen the 2011 budgets,” asks another homeowner in his letter to Taziz, adding, “I for one would be delighted to clear my outstanding 2010/2011 fees (with the deposit credited to my account) in a single payment, immediately on receipt of the 2011 invoice and a statement of account.” 

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