Municipality housing fee system to net all expats

Tenants to pay 5 per cent of the annual rent while freehold property owners to dish out 5 per cent of annual rental value

Not everybody yet being billed housing fees as yet.

It is very well possible that you pay a housing fee, while the person next door in  the same building does not.

Dubai Municipality has been charging expatriate tenants and owners a housing fee, which is included in the Dewa bill for monthly payment.

However, the system has not been fully implemented as some areas in the emirate are still not covered, explains Abdullah Ghaffour, Head of the Housing Fee Section.

"We are aware that not every area is covered at this point. We covered maybe about 70 per cent," he said.

"When the housing fee has been implemented in one area or building and somebody moves there after the implementation, this person will pay the housing fee.

"But the resident that was already there will not pay until the contract is renewed," Abdullah explained.

As a result people living close to each other might find discepancies in their billing.

"I pay Dh400 per month in huising fee, while my neighbour one floor below does not pay.

"I do not mind paying housing fee, but I think everybody should be paying," says Bonita Carr, who lives in a building in Tecom.

The housing fee amounts to 5 per cent of the annual rent for tenants and 5 per cent of the annual property rental value according to Rera index for owners.

Residents who have not been charged will not be backdated when they renew or end their contract, said Abdullah.

He expects that the emirate will be fully covered by the housing fee soon.

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