Tensions high in Jumeirah Village service fees row

Resident alleges AED13,500 community service charges not approved by RERA

Homeowners already furious over the stalled completion of Nakheel’s Jumeirah Village housing complex in Dubai have said the developer is now demanding service charges for incomplete infrastructure.

Ahmed Fathy, an owner of a villa in the project, said he was considering appointing a lawyer after refusing to pay what he says is an exorbitant AED13,500 community service fee – without which Nakheel will not hand over his villa.

According to residents, the fees have not been approved by Dubai real estate watchdog RERA, as the village remains still under construction without promised roads, parks and other community facilities.

Instead, approval for the annual service fees – cash which is used to maintain communal facilities - been granted by Dubai Port Authority.

A spokeswoman for Nakheel did not confirm or deny the AED13,500 charge.

“Settlement statements contain the normal service charges that are contractually payable,” the developer said in a statement.

Fathy said he was considering legal action, but that the high cost of hiring a lawyer was stopping him – he said he had been quoted AED6,000 to get an initial consult.

According to Jonathan Davidson, managing partner of Dubai-based law firm Davidson and Co, who successfully won a recent ruling against Nakheel on late fees, homeowners could club together to take action through the Dubai World Tribunal.

The panel was established to hear claims related to Nakheel’s parent company, Dubai World.

“The tribunal affords claimants the opportunity to join forces and make a joint claim against Dubai World entities, including Nakheel, to be heard as one case with payment of a single court fee,” said Davidson. “This is something which would not be available in Dubai Courts where joint actions – often called class actions - are not permitted.  Doing it alone is very difficult.

As for a group legal action, or class-action suit, Jumeirah Village “does have the makings,” he said. “You’ve got communities with hundreds of residents who are being faced with the same demands and same problem. They’ve got to take a stand whether they’re going to pay it or negotiate. If they don’t work then the final opportunity is we can try to enforce our rights against Nakheel.

Though the skeletons of hundreds of villas are complete, Jumeirah Village – which had been billed as a lush oasis with children’s parks, paths and convenience stores – remains a dusty wasteland of empty streets and villas. Fathy said he believed that just 300 of 2,000 residences had been completed and were currently inhabited.

“My villa is ready but the community is not – just one road, no shared area, no security,” Fathy said. “And after all this Nakheel is still asking for a service charge – the amount of money that will be used for common facilities, landscaping. They won’t give me my villa until I give them 13,500 AED for the year.”

Fathy and his family are currently living in their old flat in Springs, though he had originally been told he could move in by March of this year. He said his annual service charge there is less than AED3,000.

According to Fathy, a labour camp to house the Jumeirah Village workers remains on the site.

“Even the schoolbus won’t go there,” he said. “You cannot find a single plant, a single tree. I was buying a villa in a community, not buying a villa just to live. I was buying a community. “The nearest supermarket is 10km by car because the road’s not ready,” he added. “If the community’s not ready I can just live elsewhere.”

He said his 3,000 sq ft property was unfinished, with no vegetation and no working essentials like plumbing and electricity. It has been under construction for two years.

“It’s out of my control,” Fathy said.

In a statement, Nakheel said work on the project remained ongoing.

“Nakheel is currently engaging contractors in the short-term projects. Some of the short term projects will be completed in 2011 and we expect that all short term projects will be delivered by early to mid 2012.”

Dubai’s government said in March it will provide $8bn in cash to Nakheel to repay trade debts and complete outstanding real-estate projects.

RERA did not respond to requests for comment.


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Posted by: Naveed

I'm one of the JVT 2 bed room owners and wanted to extend my villa, however, struggling to know of people who have already done so (given that Nakheel already has given the consent in principle). Can you pls put me through to the competent people, who have already done so and I can learn from their experience? Thx & regards

Posted by: Anthony Kidd

Hi Owners of Jumeirah Triangle and Village
We have just moved into the Village. I own and operate an Owners Association Company. Please make contact with me if you want to take control of your buildings common areas and ensure that you are being charged fair and reasonable costs for your service charges. Send me an email at ak@premium-uae.com or visit our website at www.premium-uae.com

Posted by: Taoufik

Dear All;
we ahvereceived a huge DEWA bill 13000aed!!! due to an issue with the overfolw valve in the water tank, coupled to a faulty alarm. the subcontractor's technicians came and worked on the issue for 3 days to say finally that there was no problems and that" somebody" disconnected the alarm!!!
i'm planning to take the case tro the ministry of Economy and later on to court and need to know if any other residents are facing issues with their DEWA bills due to the bad quality of the infrastructure!
thank you for contacting me directly on : taoufik.eloualidi@gmail.com
best regards
P.S: please check the JVT facebook page and post your comments there so we can go public faster

Posted by: Leslie Doust

Taoufik, I too am having problems with water. I live in a one bed townhouse and have had bills of 1800, 2200 and the last one 3200 dirhams with only a tiny garden. DEWA came, changed the meter (which was also faulty), Gunal came and agreed there was a leak but it will take 3 days to ascertain where the leak is, probably under the house they say.

I will wait for the outcome, but I too want to take this further, as I cannot afford to pay the last bill of 3200 dirhams and I feel that its about time someone actually DID something rather than letting these people just spread their chaos

Posted by: James

Can anyone living in Jumeriah Village South gives us all an update of how the roads, construction and other infrastructure is coming up now in Apr'2012. The wait has been long for many & aniticipate it would be 2013 when they complete a project that I have invested.

Hope, at least some landscape & infrastruture is coming up. Momorail etc ...seems to be a myth right now ...

Have prices of apartments rises & what the average price per sq ft in JVS...

Appreciate your inputs ...Thks !

Posted by: Mr Vijay Paul

Dear All,

I too, like you all am tired and disheartned by the lack of progress on the site of both JVT and JVS (South or Circle). I am an owner of a completed villa in JVT. However the standard of the Roads, Security, Public areas is quite frankly awful.

None the less, Nakheel are still requesting that full Service charges be paid by all. By Nakheel's official figures there are more than 2,000 Villas and townhouses in JVT each paying on average 10,000 AED per year service charge. This equates to 20 Million 20,000,000 AED of service charges to be collected in 2011, and that were colleected in 2010.

Now, like you all, I too find myself thinking "Where an earth did this money go", can we honestly say that almost $5.5 Million has been spent on the UPKEEP and Maintenace in JVT over the last year ?

In line with RERA and Recent statutes, I will be fielding responses from all residents and ownsers. I propose that we form an "Owners Association" ASAP.

Contact me : vijay9@hotmail.co.uk

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