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05 March 2024

Dubai tenants may have to pay chiller charges

By Parag Deulgaonkar

Will it finally happen this year? Tenants having to pay for the chiller charges!

Although not mandatory to install individual chiller meters, some developers along with the Interim Owners' Associations (IOAs) have decided to have separate meters for each apartment.

Industry experts and FM companies say that not many towers in freehold areas have separate chiller meters installed such as the Dewa meters.

Currently, owners have to pay for the chiller charges for the whole year even if they are not living or have rented out their apartments. Once the apartments get their own meters, the onus of payment will pass on to tenants who will get monthly or quarterly bills from chiller providers. For certain, non-payment will result in disconnection of the service.

Fereidoun Sanatti, Chief Executive Officer, Saba Properties JLT, told this website: “We have spoken to the IOA and it has been agreed to install separate chiller meters for each unit.”

He said that it would cost nearly Dh2,500 per unit, which the company will pay initially to Palm District Cooling and will recover it from the owners through the IOA.

A senior executive of a property development company, who wished not to be named, confirmed that they too were planning to install separate chiller meters for each apartment after the IOA approached them.

“We will, on behalf of the IOA, install chiller meters for each apartment… we are finalizing the prices,” he disclosed.

Mohammed Ali, General Manager, ETA Star Properties, said: “We have already installed separate chiller meters in most of our buildings. Therefore, the owner pays only for the usage. It also ensures that they pay on time since they have to deal with authorities.”

According to documents seen by this website, in Discovery Gardens, chiller charges are just above Dh7 per square feet, which make almost 41 per cent of the service charges.

DM, who owns two apartments in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, said: “One of my apartment is not leased… but still I am being charged for the chiller. I am ready to pay to get a separate chiller meter so I pay only for what I use.”

Developers, however, say that the property owners will have to pay for chiller cost for common areas, but it will be quite less compared to they being charged on the basis of their apartment size.


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