Not paying housing fee? You have 6 months

Real estate companies were surprised by municipality's decision to collect five per cent of the value of the lease contract as fees. (FILE)

Dubai Municipality will continue charging a housing fee for all non-freehold and freehold areas.

The entire emirate, in terms of units to be charged, will be covered in the next six months, a top government official told Emirates 24|7.

“The Municipality is continuing charging the housing fee as before… there is no change in it. We will be covering all the residential units across the entire emirate in the next six months,” said Abdulla Hashim Abdulghafoor, Head of Housing and Marketing Fees at the Dubai Municipality.

The housing fee has been imposed on all residents, except citizens.  Leasehold occupants (tenants) pay five per cent of the annual rent as housing fee, while freehold property owners need to pay five per cent of value as per the Rera rent index for that specific location.

He declined to comment on whether housing fee for freehold areas would be reviewed, saying: “There is no change in our policy.”

Residents of freehold areas have often complained of being charged twice for the same services by the master developer and the municipality.

Ahmad Al Matroushi, Managing Director, Emaar, Head of Dubai Real Estate, recently told Emarat Al Youm: "Real estate companies were surprised by municipality's decision to collect five per cent of the value of the lease contract [as fees]. They get the service charges for the same services provided by the developer. It is not logical to get a fee for municipal services.

“In case the municipality wants to impose housing fees for services in freehold areas, the developers should not be taking fees there," he added.

In August 2010, Abdulghafoor had told this website that owners will have to pay housing fee if they have a Dewa connection although the unit has not been rented.

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