x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

JLT residents fear services will be disconnected

People living in Jumeirah Lakes Towers fear air conditioning and other services to their buildings will be disconnected because some tenants default on paying fees. 

DUBAI // Residents of a Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) building say they live in constant fear their services will be cut off.

In December, residents of Concorde Tower had their air conditioning switched off for three weeks because of an Dh800,000 outstanding district cooling fee.

"It is a complete nightmare," said one owner who did not wish to be named, and who estimated that roughly three owners in five in the tower were not paying the service charges.

The service fee for the building is set at around Dh16 per square foot.

In their latest effort to get defaulters to pay, the owners' association is set to test the might of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera).

"We have just sent a third and final notice to those not paying by email and with letters under the doors of their apartments," said the tenant. "It basically warns them that the next step will be to hand the issue over to Rera."

Sanjay Thawani of SNS Property Management Solutions, which manages the Tamweel and Al Shera Towers in JLT, said developers and owners' associations should work together to improve the rate of fee payment.

"Tamweel tower had payment levels of about 50 per cent and within six months we brought that level up to 95 per cent," he said.

"We sit with the owners who aren't paying, and work out ways that make it easier for them to pay. If someone can't afford the payment we suggest moving to a smaller unit and renting out their apartment."