By Andy Sambidge
RERA's Service Charge and Maintenance Index will give clear details of costs related to real estate projects across Dubai
The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), the regulatory arm of Dubai Land Department, has announced the launch of the first Service Charge and Maintenance Index for properties within Dubai's freehold areas.
Designed to be applied to services areas and common spaces and be under the management of owners associations and property developers, the index was launched at GITEX, the technology exhibition.
It aims to add more transparency to costs related to real estate in the emirate which has in the past been at the hub of complaints from tenants and owners.
A Jones Lang LaSalle report published last year said in Dubai, service charges were driven by market forces rather than true operating costs. Often these are below actual operating costs, leaving owners facing an operational deficit.
"The launch of the Service Charge and Maintenance Index enables landlords and property investors in Dubai to know the service charges and fees that are paid for each project," said Mohammed Khalifa bin Hammad, senior director, RERA.
"It represents a necessary step in light of the diversity of the emirate's real estate offerings to expand the scope of e-services that we offer to our clients and ensure the maximum possible level of convenience and transparency."
The Service Charge and Maintenance Index is based on accurate data audited by RERA, with the information being verified with owners associations and real estate developers.
The Index, which will be updated regularly, has been divided into four main categories of residential property - apartments, offices, shops and villas and the level of service and maintenance charges is determined by a dirhams-per-square-foot formula.
RERA said it has been able to audit the service charges and maintenance fees of 420 projects, with the current number of developments currently available in the Index numbering 300.
The Index includes properties located in 22 major development areas including Business Bay, Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, International City, Motor City and Silicon Oasis.
"In the near future we aim for the Index to cover all of the emirate's urban areas and provide this service to all our customers," added Bin Hammad.For all the latest real estate news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
This has been a long time coming. Developers raise their fees indiscriminately and when questioned about the reasons, they are silent or have the attitude that they don't have to justify themselves and the property owners don't have a choice but to pay. I was once told by a high ranking employee of a particular developer when I asked for the audited maintenance reports that our lease agreement states that we are to receive annually " you made enough money on your property, why are you complaining?"
The next thing the regularatory authorities need to look into are the district cooling companies that seem above reproach and are free to charge whatever rates they want and also to change their agreements to generate more income for themselves without any permissions from any authority or consideration of the property owners. The government needs to understand thatthe longer they take to put mechanisms in place to protect the property owners in the Emirate the less trusting we become.....
I have been all over the land department's website. Where is this service charge index?
I have tried
but it does NOT work.