Dubai owners must have full hands in the management of their property
Dubai’s freehold market has been experiencing a wave of dissatisfaction for the past 15 months with countless disputes over disputed service charges.
The biggest problem is the utter thoroughness with which these so-called legal notices are served on owners. They have no rational chance to challenge notices before they are issued. I mean, it doesn’t make sense for notices to be issued for unpaid service charges regardless of why they weren’t paid.
Complications increase when the process of resolving these disputes is cumbersome… in addition to being expensive. Honestly, I think the whole process is out of balance in favor of the management companies, who, in addition to being very uncooperative with the owners, are determined to ensure that they are forced to spit out the amounts requested.
It is important that these problems are solved in a rational manner. Ideally, owners should be given sufficient leeway to be sure of the rationality or otherwise of the charges required. And these communications should be given due consideration before the legal notice is approved.
Billed for legal
In one case, the owners had to face all kinds of charges just because the dispute between the two developers was settled without any recourse to the owners whose sums were deemed due. How a court settlement takes place without proper validation of third-party contributions is a mystery.
In another case, the management company had the nerve to charge the owners’ so-called legal fees. We had a scenario where the amounts were disputed due to the non-reconciliation between the two developer-partners, and the management company tried to force it via legal notices.
The ambiguous status of OAs (homeowners associations) also does not help the cause, as for all practical purposes most communities / buildings are left in the hands of management companies. Unfortunately, these entities have no financial interest in the property.
The only people who really suffer are the landowners – but they have no say in running the communities in which they own. I sincerely believe that for the proper functioning of any community or building, it is important that the beneficial owners with an insurable interest in it be involved in the management of the property.