Bank account for Dubai owners associations from September

Agreements with four banks, says senior Rera official

Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) will allow homeowners' associations to open bank accounts from September, Emirates 24|7 can reveal.

Mohammed Khalifa bin Hammad, Senior Director, Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera), said: “We expect to soon sign agreements with four banks and will begin to activate the new accounts in September.”

He added the accounts would be a first-of-its-kind guarantee for owners' associations.

“These accounts will facilitate the work of these associations particularly in collection and spending amounts related to services of buildings.”

The primary account will be sub-divided into two — Current Account, which will be dedicated exclusively for the purposes of management and maintenance of the common areas and assets owned by the owners' associations and Reserve Account that will cover the cost of replacements in the buildings.

The opening of the account will allow homeowners to manage their own finances with service charges collection deposited in accounts managed by the association and not the developer.

Currently, service charges are still being collected in bank accounts managed by developers, but in some cases, developers have got board members of interim owners' associations as co-signatories.

In February, bin Hammad said owners' associations will be able to operate bank accounts in the coming months.

The delay has been cited due to changes being made to the draft regulations.

Some of the reasons earlier pointed out by the Rera official were owners' associations failing to submit the common area site plan, which is mandatory along with the Jointly Owned Property Declaration; a copy of the annual general meeting and code of conduct certificate for IOA members from the local police.

Graham Yeates, Head of Owners' Association Management, Cluttons, had told this website earlier that developers were not “genuinely” trying to hand over building management to the homeowners' association because of the financial gains associated with it.

“I don't think there is a genuine attempt being made to hand over to the owners.

“As other revenue streams dry up, developers see the opportunity of making a profit from service charges/interim owners association so there is little incentive to register owners association as required by regulations,” he had said.

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