x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Landlords' lack of interest is feared

Senior figures at Nakheel and Dubai's property regulator have reiterated their concern that Dubai's new homeowners' association system could fail because of a lack of interest from property owners.

Senior figures at Nakheel and Dubai's property regulator have reiterated their concern that Dubai's new homeowners' association system could fail because of a lack of interest from property owners. There is concern that people who have bought property to rent out or resell for a profit, rather than occupy, will not be willing to pay a service charge high enough to maintain and insure the buildings.

There are also worries that there may not be enough owners at meetings to vote on crucial issues such as maintenance budgets and rules about pets and parking. "What is worrying us is that big numbers of the owners in some of the projects are not in Dubai as they bought for investment," said Marwan bin Ghalita, chief executive of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority." David Nicholson, the general counsel at Nakheel, said that even those who live in their properties could have differences over the charges required for long-term maintenance.

"In buildings you'll have tension between people who are only in for a short time and don't want to worry about keeping the building upgraded for the next 10 years, and people there for the long haul and are very interested in making sure that the building is pristine." Mr Nicholson said master developers such as Nakheel would be allowed to retain control of the management of the buildings for a certain period after the introduction of the homeowners' associations to ensure they are run properly.

"There will be a bedding-in period so that the developer will have the ability to influence the management of the development until it becomes mature," he said. rditcham@thenational.ae