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Not quite RERA-ing to go


Kipp isn’t impressed by RERA’s plans to hold ‘talks’ concerning service fees, eight months too late. Can we get some action already?

August 2, 2012 3:42 by

When I read about RERA were in talks to increase transparency between landlord and tenants with regards to the service fee charged—I was rather excited. Service fees have been a point of contention for the Dubai real estate market especially in the past eight months—best typified between a much publicized standoff between Nakheel and residents on the Palm who found themselves locked out of their own apartments late last year.

At the time I said the onus lies upon the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) to act as a middleman and judicator and I maintain that point of view. And yet RERA has failed to act as the Authority the A in its title may suggest. Which is why news about possible action, even eight months too late is good news for the Dubai real estate market—or at least that is what you would be inclined to think. Yet given the body’s past inaction I am not wholly unsurprised by the wishy-washiness of the proposed ‘talks’ between RERA and the landlords, tenants and the owners associations.

Consider the words of Mohammad bin Hammad, a senior director at RERA: “I think it’s a good idea and something we can study more closely. We need to solve this issue of non-payment of service fees and this could be a potential way of dealing with it. We need to get the views of the main stakeholders and then we can look at the best way forward.”

Talks being a ‘potential’ way of dealing with the much publicized and very troublesome match of tug of war between developers and owners? Color me surprised if it actually works out, but with the state the real estate market is in right now what is needed the most is cold hard legislation. A legal framework which describes what kind of fees a developer should be allowed to charge, the quality of service which should be provided and a means for tenants to see if there landlord has paid their service fees. RERA should have a proper legal framework concerning these issues four years ago and that they are only just starting to hold ‘talks’ about the issue is far from encouraging.


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