By Gerhard Hope
Acting CEO Sanjay Manchanda says Palm Shoreline defaulters are damaging Dubai's reputation
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.
Many owners dispute the quality of the service delivery, so maybe this acting CEO should read his inbox.
Though I agree with the Acting CEO that Owners must pay the service chargesBUT at the same time he must realise that there are many issues and some are complicated but needs to be sorted out by Nakheel ,such us lack of independent audit that was repeatedly requested by the owners, exuberant and unjustified fees charged to the owners,the many unanswered complaints by the owners highlighted by the owners.the quality of service by Nakheel is below the standards expected ....etc.
Nakheel needs to realise that these owners have rights to expect a high standards of service delivered by Nakheel after asking the owners to pay such a high fees,it looks like we are renting our apt from Nakheel!! It is about time Nakheel to deliver their promises to the owners.
While I agree with some of his sentiments Ala is right there needs to be audited reports. A 100% hike in chilled water charges or management fees is not acceptable.
In fact the only one damaging Dubais reputation is Nakheel. Stories of Nakheel banning residents and threatening them reached international press. Few people who read those articles in the future would every buy from Nakheel.
Most owners are protesting extortionate service fees. Many developers specially Nakheel perceives service fees as free money that they are entitled to and a good way of making extra buck. Then they get upset when people don't pay. They don't realize they are the one who are causing the collapse of the system and trust.
We cannot just put the blame on Nakheel. Shoreline owners that are blatantly evading the service fees and subletting illegally are the ones to blame. Before all this mess started no one was complaining. As long as everyone had FREE access and I mean EVERYONE. Other than the owners/legitimate residents of Shoreline, EVERYONE in Dubai could just literally WALK IN!! How is this fair those us owners/residents who are paying our fees to live in this 'exclusive place"? Shoreline was looking like a public beach. Yes, owners have rights but we must also be held accountable and fulfill our obligations.Fees must be paid and if it means weeding out errant owners and residents who are blatantly flouting the laws then good! Maybe now the Shoreline Residences can be restored to it former exclusive glory which is why we bought a place here.
I am not quite sure where you have been for the last 5 years or so Mr. CEO, but it is very difficult to do ore damage to Dubai's reputation than that done by the PR disaster/nightmare that is called Nakheel! Let's recap: Palm Deira: money thrown in the sea, Palm Jebel Ali: money thrown a little further down the coast, in the sea, The World: probably a very touchy subject for many, Waterfront: I think not, International City: well at least it helped take the focus off the state of labor camps, and of course lets not forget Palm Jumeirah that has managed to keep Nakheel in the news for quite some time, and the list goes on! Mr. CEO think about who is doing damage to what! No amount of articles or positive PR spins is going to help you out of this.
May be rent should be paid to third party ( may be a govt body), who will ensure that developer gets his "reasonable" fees and balance goes to the landlord. This way Tenants dont have to suffer because landlord hasnt paid his dues.
As a now ex-resident on the Palm Shoreline apartments I can only suggest that Nakheel get their records straight and up to date before considering statements suggesting that owners withholding payments are in contravention of the law!
I know for a fact that my landlord meticulously paid his accounts in full and on time and yet, when I went to check the records was advised that he owed a huge sum! On further investigation this was found to be a Nakheel "accounting error" and the supposed amounts outstanding belonged to some other apartment!
I also found that the owner had been "invoiced " within the accounting system but had not been advised of these charges! And I, as tenant, was caught up in the middle of this farce!!
Thankfully I have now moved away from what can only be described as one of the worlds greatest PR fiascos !
Good luck Nakheel, you have a long, long way ahead in repairing your self-inflicted damage to your reputation.
These statements from Nakheel acting CEO show they are in total "denial" and absolutely highlight the reason so many residents of the Palm are leaving or trying to leave the Palm Shoreline Apartments.
Our case is a good example - last year our service charge was nearly doubled without explanation, and Nakheel refused to even look at our query or explain why. They were incredibly arrogent and difficult to even get hold of, and just said you have to pay first, and then we will consider your complaint!
After months of traumatic escalation we managed to get Nakheel to look at our compaint and they then found that there was an error in our last service charge calculation and reduced our bill by 35%. We paid it the next day.
Nakheel is totally responsible for its own terrible reputation worldwide and should take responsibility for its many failings. The only way forward on the Palm is without Nakheel.
DO you know what the services charges are per square foot in the shoreline apartments please?