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Homeowners will manage their own buildings

By Parag Deulgaonkar

In the coming few months, home owners in Dubai will get the right to manage their buildings and their finances.

Interim owners associations will be able to open and operate bank accounts in the next few months with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) set to ink memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with three local banks, ‘Emirates24|7’ can reveal.

“We will soon be signing MoUs with three local banks. Since it is an entirely new service that the banks will have to provide, we have to give them time to fine tune themselves with our regulations. Hence, it will take some months for us to issue letters to IOAs which will allow them to open bank accounts,” Mohammed Khalifa bin Hammad, Senior Director, Rera, said.

“After we announce our MoUs with the three banks, we hope more banks will approach us and will offer this new service to IOAs.”

According to bin Hammad, the delay in IOAs getting legal status has been primarily due to the associations failing to submit the common area site plan, which is mandatory along with a Jointly Owned Property Declaration, a copy of annual general meeting and code of conduct certificate for IOA members from the local police.

He revealed that the IOAs, as and when they get to open the bank accounts, will not be allowed to do any transaction by cash or cheques — it will be a bank to bank transfer.

“It will be the responsibility of the banks to check and ensure whether the invoice raised by the owners association is to an authorized service provider for the building.”

In order to help the existing IOAs get legal status, the agency will help/grant exemptions, which will allow them to operate bank accounts.

“We plan to help IOAs fulfill certain conditions following which we may issue them a letter to open a bank account. However, we haven’t yet decided on how and when the plan will be implemented,” bin Hammad stated.