x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Homeowners will press developers for undelivered maintenance

Some flat owners faced with paying exorbitant maintenance fees when independent homeowner associations take greater responsibility will seek to have the developer pay.

DUBAI // Some flat owners faced with paying exorbitant maintenance fees when independent homeowner associations take greater responsibility will seek to have the developer pay for undelivered maintenance. Like many, Sabri Pozam, who owns an apartment in Discovery Gardens, stopped paying maintenance fees last year. He said Nakheel, the community's developer, had failed to discharge its maintenance duties.

"They can't just get up and walk away from the damage they've done," Mr Pozam said. He said owners would ask to have the developer pay for undelivered maintenance once independent associations had been formalised. Karim Nassif, a partner at the law firm Habib Al Mulla, said there was room to take developers to court. "If the community is being managed by itself and if there are any discrepancies on the books of developers, then there are huge grounds for legal action to be taken," he said.

As developers hand over management responsibility of buildings to new associations, owners could be left to foot bills that have gone unpaid because of protests such as that of Mr Pozam. In some cases, as much as 75 per cent of such fees are overdue at some developments, The National reported yesterday. hnaylor@thenational.ae