A special tribunal for solving service charge disputes between developers and unit owners is under consideration in Dubai, Emirates 24|7 has learnt.
“There are plans to set up a special tribunal that will only look in service charge disputes between the developer and the apartment owners. The tribunal is likely to consist of four members - two from Dubai Land Department and two from Dubai Courts,” an informed source said.
“Although no final decision has been taken yet, the plan is to have people who have knowledge about the Dubai property laws and people who are aware of the federal law.”
Mazen Boustany, Head of Banking & Finance, Habib Al Mulla & Company, says: “It is a very good move. It will settle things once and for all. Since the courts are dealing with a number of cases including ones relating to service charges, the new tribunal will help justice move faster.”
In Dubai, the issue of service charge has been a contentious one with developers claiming non-payment by owners for years, while the owners term the charges “exorbitant” and refuse to pay.
Nakheel has recently taken a stern measures to recover their outstanding service charges from apartment owners in Palm Shoreline Apartment and Discovery Gardens.
Emaar Properties had begun to name-and-shame service defaulters in some of their communities, but now are refraining from taking such actions.
Other private developers and even Interim Owners Associations (IOA) too have started sending notices to apartment owners, asking them to pay their service charges. Unfortunately, the IOAs, lacking legal status, are finding it difficult to take action against defaulters.