Dubai's RERA to regulate property maintenance

New rules for owners and developers to administer jointly owned property projects.
Dubai's RERA to regulate property maintenance
By Jason Benham
Wed 18 Feb 2009 12:52 AM

Dubai's property watchdog will issue rules for a new system enabling owners and developers to administer jointly owned property developments as it looks to further regulate the emirate's real estate sector.The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) will issue four regulations in March which will create the legal framework enabling developers and owners to become members of owners associations, which will be registered with RERA, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

The associations will be responsible for administering and maintaining the common areas in their building or villa communities, it said.

"Any legal support is going to help with transparency and confidence and we would like to continue seeing these new laws taking shape," said Sana Kapadia, vice president, equity research, at EFG-Hermes.

The property watchdog, since it was set up in 2007, has introduced a series of rules and regulations aimed at improving the emirate's real estate sector.

Last month it banned raising rents of residential units in 2009 unless rent values were less than 75 percent of an average set by the regulator, in an effort to curb soaring rents.

In the statement, it said service charges for buildings that have been handed over will be frozen at rates that were applicable in 2008, unless rates are for a lesser amount or have been approved by RERA.

The freeze will last until the first General Assembly of the Owners Association, which will be held within three months of registration, it said.

Last week the property regulator introduced a new rule to curb increases in service charges from developers, who have been accused of profiting from annual fee hikes and whose actions have left homeowners up in arms at the spiralling costs.

"It's a positive move and should help reduce observed discrepancies in the market," Kapadia said.

Charges for homeowners in Jumeirah Beach Residence, which was developed by Dubai Properties, rose to 21.75 dirhams per square foot from 9.5 dirhams in September, Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National reported in December.

Service charges for buildings that are about to be handed over, or are in the process of being handed over, will be subject to the approval of RERA, and will apply until the first General Assembly of the owners association, it said. (Reuters)

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