Master developer Nakheel has said that owners who are withholding service charges at its Shoreline Residences on Palm Jumeirah are not only flouting the law, but also damaging Dubai’s reputation.
“It is important for everyone to play their part. While the owners have rights, they also have certain obligations,” said Nakheel acting CEO Sanjay Manchanda at a media round table, Construction Week Online reported.
“As a service provider, as a developer, I have a responsibility not only towards the community, but also towards the population of the country. If I do not clean the beaches, if I do not provide the necessary inputs into those beaches, the water quality, there will be no beaches.”
Nakheel has been embroiled in a months-long row over service fees and access to the beach, pool and gym facilities at Shoreline Residences.
It threatened to ban residents with unpaid service fees from using the communal facilities. RERA has since commented that Nakheel cannot prevent residents from accessing the beaches.
A bone of contention has been tenants who have paid their rent, but owners who in turn have not paid over the service charges in question to Nakheel.
Manchanda said Nakheel had procured documentary evidence of illegal sub-leasing at Shoreline Apartments.
“I can say this with confidence, we have produced documents, that in Shoreline you have people doing things that are not in accordance with the law.
“According to the law, an annual lease is the only document which is recognised... People are doing short-term leases, and these people are being sold certain services at a certain price without them knowing what has actually happened.
“They get infuriated when they confront us and ask why they are being denied access. If your owner has not paid the service charges, how can you even access those services?
"Secondly, it is for residents, not for people that just come in... If Nakheel allows that, it will be a disservice to some of the owners. It is an owner behaviour we are trying to highlight … There are people who are not in compliance with the law.”
Manchanda added: “We cannot allow these things to continue. What we did was a soft approach to get our collections. If we had not done this, can you imagine. I would have had to continue to provide sums of money which I have borrowed at a cost to run these communities. I am sure all of you would be saying to me that is a bad business decision.
“So I think it is very important to realise we continue to provide a transparent and objective service to everyone ... Post-restructuring, Nakheel is the only developer who has no company or any interest in providing any of these services. We do not own any security or MEP companies. We are very focused on what we want to do, which is develop.
"Among the larger community of Palm Jumeirah, there has not been anybody else who has voiced any statement about the quality of services and service charges.
"Shoreline Residences has had unfortunate incidents, and I am confident we will work with residents and restore calm and peace. As such, people have been very happy with the measures we have introduced,” said Manchanda.