Investors petition Dubai over unfinished properties

Buyers report threat of fines if they fail to accept handover of homes in incomplete DPG project
Dubai’s Remraam Community was slated for completion in 2010
By Elizabeth Broomhall
Tue 24 Jan 2012 10:36 AM

Investors in Dubai’s Remraam
Community have petitioned the emirate’s ruler to intervene in a dispute with
the project’s developer, after they were told they risked fines if they failed
to accept the handover of properties in the unfinished complex.

The Dubai Properties Group
development
was scheduled to complete in June 2010, complete with pools, malls,
landscaping and retail features. But owners said in a petition to the Ruler’s
Court that they were being forced to accept properties without water and
electricity connections.

The document, seen by Arabian
Business and signed by 37 buyers, asked the court to intervene to insist DPG commit
to connecting homes to utilities and developing promised infrastructure.

Buyers have also asked for
compensation for losses incurred during the delay of the handover, such as
interest on mortgage payments.

“We are being forced to take
possession of half-baked apartments and communities in Remraam, which is in the
middle of the desert with no amenities and no DEWA. The electricity is provided
through generators [and water tanks],” a spokesperson for the group told
Arabian Business.

“DPG
needs to commit to the completion of facilities and proper infrastructure.
Non-completion makes Remraam an unlivable community.”

DPG, the company behind the stalled
mega-resort Dubailand, said in emails to buyers that they faced penalties if they
failed to accept the handover of the properties in their existing state.

“We
understand that you may wish to defer your own occupation of the property until
the community has matured and of course this is your right,” said one email.
“However, you are contractually obliged to complete the handover process within
30 days of the completion date.”

Another email, dated Jan 4, said:
“The final date to complete handover formalities, without penalties, is January
16, 2012 so we recommend that you schedule your appointments without further
delay.”

Investors have also been issued with service fees before the
handover of their properties, a charge they are contesting. One couple, yet to
take possession of their property, received a letter requesting AED1,682 in maintenance
charges for the period Jan 5 to March 31, 2012.

“This is total injustice – they can’t just barge over people
like this. This is our hard-earned money,” one investor, who asked not to be
named, told Arabian Business.

“We just want DPG to give us what they showed us on the
brochure – to give us a community that is livable for families so we can get
some return on our investment.”

In a statement to Arabian Business, DPG said the basic
infrastructure for the project was in place, and denied charging homeowners service
fees before their units had been transferred.

The company also highlighted its attempt to help customers
who were struggling financially.

“We have offered a series of initiatives to help our
customers that include but are not limited to; price reductions, unit upgrades,
late payment fee waivers, family consolidations, deferred payment plans etc,”
the statement said.

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