Emaar names and shames first service fee dodgers

Lists of residents failing to pay their dues go up in Emaar project in Dubai.

NAMING GAME: The first service fee dodgers are named and shamed by Emaar.

NAMING GAME: The first service fee dodgers are named and shamed by Emaar.

Emaar Properties has carried out its threat to name residents at its projects who have failed to pay service charges by publicly posting their names and addresses.

A photo obtained by Arabian Business shows the names and flat numbers of 15 residents in the Al Jaz cluster of apartments in the Greens who have failed to pay their service fees on time.

The notice reads: “We wish to remind the following owners who have Community Service Fees pending with the community. Kindly note that the non-payment of your dues affects your neighbours and the community.

“The above are requested to settle their dues at the earliest including the applicable Late Payment Fee and Debt Collection Charges. Please contact servicefees@emaar.ae for further information. We thank you for your cooperation.”

Emaar had previously described the practice as “routine” and said that it had made “concerted initiatives" to strengthen awareness among owners that service charges are an investment on the long-term value of their property.

“Informing owners about the service charges is a routine community management procedure in line with the regulations by RERA [Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority] and other concerned authorities,” an Emaar spokesperson told Arabian Business.

“Emaar is a pioneer in driving modern community management practices, and even before the recent regulations…were issued, Emaar had taken initiatives to set up interim owner committees that represent the owners. These Interim Owner Committees have been working together with the Community Management Department, and we have had a very successful track-record of cooperation from the owners in paying the service charges.”

The move by Dubai’s biggest developer comes as the emirate’s strata laws are being rolled out.

The laws - which allow property owners to play a more active role in the maintenance of their buildings – mean that there is a concern that owners of property in freehold areas could be hit by major unforeseen maintenance charges.

Under the terms of the regulations, owners have to pay routine maintenance and upkeep charges, as well as premiums to cover building insurance and an emergency reserve or ‘sinking’ fund to take care of bigger problems.

But Emaar’s move to name individuals was met with angry condemnation from Arabian Business readers, who accused the developer of lacking transparency.

“It would be better if the developers explained in detail where the monies were going, and not just send us a a statement that hides all out goings! Why do we pay so much for the security guards that happen to be part of the parent company? A proper audit needs to be done to justify the costs,” one reader commented.

“I have been part of several efforts to bring Emaar’s service charges to an acceptable standard. As of 2010 they tell me pay x dirhams, but refuse outright to give any explanation or accountability what the money is for. (except very general and sometimes wrong explanations)...As long as Emaar refuses to give the right accountability to the owners of the funds (it is not their money after all), I cannot see how the situation can be improved,” another Dubai resident responded.

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Posted by: MissDubai

It seems most commenters do not understand that developers bankroll the maintenance of their communities until they recover 100% of the service fees. Of course the SF?s include profit but that?s generally eaten up by the cost of financing the community as 100% collection is almost never achieved. So if developers don?t collect all the services fees in one year, they can?t pay the contractors. Ever considered that, you moaners out there? Having said that I don?t agree with Emaar?s move. It?s a cowboyish tactic which does not belong in a company otherwise known for reasonable standards and practices in what is a bit of a cowboy-town. This would never happen in other parts of the world and there?s a reason for it. However let me remind you that Emaar cannot keep the service fees to themselves, the funds are kept in a bank account in the name of the community and spent only on the community, apart from any profit charged which goes back to Emaar (this doesn?t even cover the basic cost of administering the SF?s, by the way). So the part of Emaar that collects the service fee has nothing to do with the one that builds or cancels projects. The money collected belongs to the community and cannot be offset by dues from Emaar, just like if you return a shirt to H&M and receive a credit you can?t buy something with that credit from another shop. It?s simple but people in Dubai just don?t want to understand?

Posted by: Benny

It is sad that authorities dont seem to take the investors warnings seriously. This discussion started back in 2008 so it is not new. The consequence is that Singapore has 13% GDP growth and are looking for 100K employees and getting applications for new business everyday, while DUbai is loosing plenty of skilled people and investors. The issue simply having the right laws, transparency and making sure errant developers are made to obey the laws. Just what sounds normal in any country. Except in Dubai, it seems.

Posted by: Keith

Emmar has defaulted so many of its Clients by cancelling projects and not refunding. And of course they dont respond to you either. The purchases who has taken Islamic Finance from Amlak is being subject to accumilating interest ("profit"). In most of the world, EMAAR wil be sued. Well not in Dubai!.... Until such time these are corrected investors should not buy properties from EMAAR. ... a vicim of EMAAR Keith

Posted by: Peter Peter

So much anger, so many issues. Is any one in the government listening ? Is it possible for Arabian Business to get some responsible persons from RERA and Dubai government to participate in this open debate and bring some sanity to the situation ? It baffles me that absolutely no one from the Ruler's office ever comments on the issues that have been raised here , for example : 1) Is it legal to publicly divulge a debtor's name and the quantum and duration of his debt ? 2) Is it legal for developers who have taken investors money but are not returning them even when they haven't even started the project many years later ? 3) Is it moral or legal for developers to try and corner investors to "cancel" their contracts ( in the hope of getting some money back ) and loose 25 - 30 % of their hard earned investments ? 4) BY keeping mum the Dubai government is "un-officially " condoning and supporting such above mentioned immoral practices by developers ? WHY WHY WHY ? 5) Why is the Dubai government dragging its feet on strictly implementing the strata law where original developers MUST hand over control of the properties to a committee elected by the owners association ? 6) If, as reported in the press , the Dubai land department has started repossession of properties for default in payment ,why are developers not being FORCED to return money taken from investors in all projects where no work has been started even one or two years after taking investors money ? ( I have investments in a Deyaar project where even two years after they took my money they hadn't even managed to acquire the land. And yet they refuse to return my money. It is even rumored that the money that should have been safe in the Escrow accounts is not really there. Can the authorities please investigate and tell us what is going on ?). Should not such developers be treated the same as those whose cheques have bounced and sent to JAIL ? I would like to appeal to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed , Ruler of Dubai, to PLEASE PLEASE appoint a senior, respected, honest and fair official ( like Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid ? ) with enough executive powers to take up these matters on a war footing and take summary action to relieve the hardship of genuine and loyal Dubai residents who have invested their life savings in the the Sheikh's vision for Dubai ?

Posted by: vijay

RERA knows exactly what is happening. The developers are not building and the investors are crying foul. Does RERA listen to all these complaints. No. They do not have the time to listen to you nor read your complaints. They have been appointed as Pilots to take Dubai on the right course. They are favoring the developers as per the laws set. There is no logical reasoning, if you ask for a cancellation, you lose 25% of the paid amount. Has anybody been refunded yet??? Today's investors will lose money. Once the towers are up, you will have a new set of investors flooding into Dubai. Kiss your money goodbye, dont waste time hiring lawyers, will not get you anywhere. Its good money chasing bad money.

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