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UP keeps mum
Union Properties continues to pressure residents to pay hiked service charges in spite of being in talks with Rera over the legality of the increase
March 23, 2009 12:03 by Dana El Baltaji
Union Properties (UP) has failed to respond to requests made by Kipp for updates on service charge increases in one of its developments, Up Town Mirdiff. Email and phone conversations with the company public relations officer revealed that UP is in talks with Rera, but the officer declined to provide updates.
The developer hiked service charges by almost 50 percent in 2009, in spite of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority’s (Rera) ban on all service fee hikes, unless approved by the authority.
Notwithstanding its discussions with Rera, the developer has warned residents in a letter dated March 3 that those who do not meet the it’s deadline to pay the increased service charge will be slapped with fines.
Kipp reported earlier that the management at Up Town Mirdiff does not believe that the project, which is classified as a leasehold and not freehold, is required to be registered with the Land Department, and is therefore not subject to Rera’s laws.
Rera, however, says otherwise. The authority’s CEO, Marwan bin Ghalita, said to Khaleej Times that “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.
Meanwhile, residents at Jumeirah beach Residence (FBR) have succeeded in pressuring the development manager, Salwan Property Management, to reduce the hiked service charges, reports Emirates Business 24-7.
“We have reviewed the situation and will be revising our service charge shortly. We will issue a formal statement, but in the interim, I can tell you that the rates will drop,” the spokesperson said.
The JBR Resident Association filed a complaint with Rera challenging the 129 percent increase in service charge issued by the property manager.