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04 December 2023

One-cheque payment bounces on Palm Shoreline

By Parag Deulgaonkar

The ‘good life’ has turned into a nightmare for some tenants of the Shoreline Apartments on the Palm Jumeirah who paid their rent upfront in one cheque.

If these tenants have landlords who have defaulted on service charges, then not only are they now being denied access to the beach, gym and pool but they have no room for bargaining with their landlords.

The hapless lot are now at the mercy of their landlords and see no hope despite repeated reminders to landlords about outstanding service charges.

Nakheel, the master-developer of the Shoreline Apartments, moved to restrict access to various facilities for those apartments residents whose owners had defaulted on service charges since November 2011. Special access cards have been given to residents to control use of facilities.

John, a British expat, who has been staying in Shoreline Apartments for the past three years, told Emirates 24|7 that he contacted the owner and his agent back in London on several occasion, but the landlord has not cleared the outstanding service charges.

He paid Dh125,000 rent in one single cheque and now has no other option but to continue his lease till it ends in July.

“I did pay my rent in a single cheque. I paid a premium to enjoy the ‘idyllic’ lifestyle here. But my so-called ‘fairy tale’ has ended. I am barred from entering the beach or using the gym or pools.”

John claims that his landlord owes Nakheel Dh93,000 and he is not certain if at all the landlord will pay them.

“I have decided to move out when my contract expires,” he added.

Rehad Khan, another British expat, who too paid his rent in one cheque, rues his decision.

"I got a good discount from my landlord because I paid the rent in a single cheque. Unfortunately, my landlord, who does not reside here, is among the defaulters. Every time i call him, he promises to pay. Till date, he hasn't and I have no option but just to remind and request him."

A Nakheel spokesperson told this website: “The tenants must check if the landlords has paid their 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. Residents and tenants can contact Nakheel customer services for further clarification.”

According to Mazen Boustany, Head of Banking & Finance, Habib Al Mulla & Company, tenants have the right to file a complaint with Rera who have the jurisdiction in this case.

“The tenant cannot file a complaint with the Dubai Rent Committee since the issue is not related to rental dispute. Rera can ask the owner to pay so the tenant can use all the facilities.”

Nakheel told this website earlier that the outstanding service fees from unit owners of the Shoreline Apartments had fallen by 36 per cent to Dh46 million on January 19, 2012, as compared to Dh72 million in November 2011.

“Our collection campaign continues to gather momentum. Outstanding service fees at the Shoreline Apartments have dropped from Dh72 million in November to Dh46 million today,” Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah had said.