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UP and its legal loophole
This is the second time in a month that Union Properties angers residents with a fee hike. Will the Dubai-based developer accept its obligations to Rera?
March 2, 2009 5:29 by Dana El Baltaji
Residents at UP Town Mirdiff, a Union Properties (UP) development, received notifications this week that their maintenance charges have increased by almost 50 percent. The maintenance fee increase, which UP claims is comprised of service charges and ‘utility recovery’, was announced in spite of the Real Estate Regulator Authority’s (Rera) ban on service charge increases in 2009.
An email conversation with UP Town’s management revealed that the developer feels it has not technically increased the service charge, but has added a DEWA fee to cover the hike in utility charges. Furthermore, the developer insists that as a leasehold property, UP Town Mirdiff is not required to adhere to Rera’s laws.
The increase in maintenance fees at UP Town Mirdiff mirrors a similar scenario unfolding at another UP property, the Green Community.
According to an article in Khaleej Times, Green Community residents are considering legal action against the developer for a hike in fees. The article also revealed that all developments, including those classified as leasehold, are subject to Rera’s laws and regulations.
Rera’s CEO, Marwan bin Ghalita, explained: “Rera regulates all real estate in Dubai, and the Land Department registers all real estate rights and transactions.”
“The law is clear and anyone who says anything different should write to us for clarification,” he added.
It remains to be seen, however, if UP is ready to accept and comply with Rera’s regulations.