Help for Dubai homeowners

The Joint Owned Property Law in Dubai has been in existence for seven years, but owners associations are only now beginning to take off. Saeed Abdulkareem Al Fahim, CEO of owners association management company Stratum, argues that the impact could soon be very positive

Most people reading this column will probably think that owners associations are a brand new concept. Well think again.

The Strata law, which is better known locally as the Jointly Owned Property (JOP) Law had its beginnings in Australia in 1961. Since then the concept has been adopted in various jurisdictions around the world including Dubai, which implemented its own version in April 2007 under Law Number 27.

The JOP Law effectively introduces a legally recognised democratic authority being the owners’ association (OA). This enables the unit owners to decide on the financial governance and service levels to be provided to the communities’ occupants to facilitate a lifestyle, which will maintain real estate values, and protect residents.

In Dubai, real estate has been traditionally administered by developers, landlords and real estate agents and maintained by a range of trades and building maintenance service providers. The property downturn in recent times has forced investors to realise the necessity to maintain the built environment within sustainable budgetary parameters.

Arising from this is the necessity for specialist owners’ association managers with the appropriate expertise to coordinate and manage the maintenance and administration of jointly owned properties in accordance with statutory requirements.

The owners’ association management industry is estimated to grow exponentially, with estimates that there is well in excess of 2,000 potential OAs awaiting for the developer to initiate the undertaking of registration procedures and subsequent handover of management to specialist OA service providers.

This process is expected to occur when RERA enforces the long overdue existing deadlines on developers to enable the registration and independent operation of OAs to proceed to full registration and self-management.

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Posted by: jpv

The law is never going to be enforced. Both Emaar and Nakheel are indirectly owned by the government and you really think the power will be relinquished??? NEVER!!!!

Posted by: Disillusioned owner

This is not a news article - it is an article written out of motivated self interest as an extended advert for Stratum Owners Association Management.

It is increasingly unlikely that the 2007 JOP laws will be fully implemented. It is extremely unlikely that OAs as defined in that law will ever be registered. I fully expect to see a revision to this legislation.

Meanwhile developers retain control - appointing their own subsidiaries for everything from management to maintainance to security.

And few people really seems to care. Service fees still get paid. Property prices have widely recovered; rent increases mean happier investors and there appears to be decent demand for well sited new property.

Posted by: Dispaointed owner

Lost hope bro. RERA is not interested to remove the power from developer or to improve transparency on what owners are paying to companies owed by developers.

Posted by: twistedtory

In what we believed was a legitimate move to comply with imminent strata law, dozens of homeowners were elected to interim home owners association boards in 2009-2010. Many of us remain interim, marginalized and sidelined by a developer who continues to act with impugnity and utter disregard for the law. I certainly hope RERA will start enforcing these requirements and penalizing developers who don't comply - soon.

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