Nakheel to name-and-shame

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Dubai-based master developer Nakheel has decided to name-and-shame service charge defaulters at its Discover Gardens community in an apparent bid to make owners cough up the outstanding fees without having to initiate legal action, but at the same time maintained that it will sue if defaulters fail to pay the outstanding within a month from today.

The developer has posted a list with names of apartment owners and their outstanding amount as of December 20, 2011, in the lobby of Discovery Gardens buildings, along with a notice which says there could be a possibility of apartment owners’ access to their buildings being restricted.

According to the notice, the developer has said that apartment owners have until January 25, 2012, to clear their dues. It has also posted a list with names of apartment owners and their outstanding amount as of December 20, 2011, in the lobby of the buildings.

The notice, dated December 22, reads: “Please note that Discovery Gardens LLC requested all the unit owners to make the payment towards service charges related 2010/2011, for your information the service charge is duly approved by Rera and due for payment as on 17th November 2011."

It was noticed that several apartment owners have not yet cleared their dues. The list of apartments which has not cleared the dues is attached herewith.” It adds: “Kindly note that service charges should be cleared/paid on or before 25th January 2012, failing which will take legal action against the defaulters which may even result in restricting the access to the building.”

An apartment owner, who did not wish to disclose his name, admitted that Nakheel had sent him an email reminder in October for outstanding service charges. “Yes, I got an email from them. They are charging me almost Dh11,000 for my studio apartment and the charges exclude the master community fee, which they will inform later. I believe the service charges is really high and so I haven’t paid it.”

P Madhu , who has rented a one-bed apartment, said: “I just found out that my landlord hasn’t paid his annual service charge since his name is there on the list. I will call him after Christmas and inform him about the list.”

She added: “I don’t think most of the owners actually reside in our building. It will be us (tenants) who will be on the receiving end if they restrict access to the building.”

In June, Nakheel had warned property owners in Discovery Gardens to pay their outstanding building service charges within 15 days from June 9, or else face disruption of utilities and services. It had said then that “failure to pay building service charges on time is a violation of the law and the unit owner is fully liable for all the consequences.”

A Nakheel spokesperson had told 'Emirates24|7' in June that it will not be able to pay utility and service providers if there are no funds in building accounts of Discovery Gardens, which may result in service disruption.

“As the letter is self explanatory that to continue the services and pay the utility provider, we need sufficient fund to keep the building up and running. If there is no fund in the building account we will not be able to pay the utility charges and service provider which may result in  disruption. Service disruption will depend on the service providers,” the spokesperson had said.

Nakheel says that the outstanding amount varies building by building as each building had a different rate of service charges. Each building has a different cost of operation so the utility and service provider’s charges differ building by building.

Discovery Gardens consists of six themed communities inspired by garden living, and includes Zen, Mediterranean, Contemporary, Mogul, Mesoamerican and Cactus courtyard gardens. The development spans over 26 million square foot plot and has 291 buildings.

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