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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