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Nakheel to abide by Rera decision

By Parag Deulgaonkar

Nakheel said on Tuesday it will abide by the decision taken by Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) regarding the access to common facilities at the Shoreline Apartments on Palm Jumeirah, but said it still has an outstanding of Dh57 million in service charges.

Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said in a statement that Rera supports Nakheel’s position on service fee collection and said service charges at the Shoreline Apartments have dropped by 35 per cent since 2009.

The company claimed that it had collected Dh15 million since it first barred owners and tenants whose landlords had not paid the service charges.

“This issue is under review by Rera, and we await their decision on the way forward. Naturally, we will respect whatever decision they make,” Lootah said.

On December 28, Rera, the emirate’s property regulator, said Nakheel has no right to deny residents of access to communal facilities by turning them into exclusive clubs.

“By law, no one can stop an owner or a registered tenant from using the communal areas once they have paid service fees,” Marwan bin Ghalita, chief executive officer of Dubai’s Rera, told newswire Bloomberg in an interview. “If you bought something based on an agreement with a developer, he can’t change it,” he said.

He added that Nakheel was not preventing anybody who has paid his service fees from using private beaches, pools and gyms.

“Almost 78 per cent of the fees due have been collected, and those have every right to access our facilities. However, this majority cannot be expected to subsidise those who have not paid.”

The outstanding service fees amounted to Dh72 million in December, which has now reduced by 20 per cent to Dh57 million.

“We continue to push ahead with outstanding payment collection to allow us to ensure ongoing maintenance and improvements at our facilities, and payment to our service providers.”

According to Nakheel, long-term (annual lease) tenants at the Shoreline Apartments can check with them the landlord’s status on service charges.

“Tenants are understandably disappointed if they rent an apartment only to find they cannot use the facilities because of unpaid fees. Now they can get confirmation from us to ensure that they get what they sign up for when they move into their apartment,” he added.

Nakheel has also warned Discovery Garden apartment owners to pay their outstanding service charges by January 25 or else legal action will be initiated against them.