Residents of Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) are being turned away from parking in their apartments if they have not paid the hiked maintenance fees. The property management company, Salwan, has told residents that they need an access card to use the facilities. However, the card is only being given to owners who have paid service charges hiked by 129 per cent. They are late in giving these cards anyway, said Nikki, a resident of Rimal building in JBR. These access cards were never supposed to be given on the condition that we have paid hiked fees. Salwan is stopping people from parking in the Shams area if they have not paid these fees. We haven’t been affected yet but there’s no reason why they won’t roll it out to every building. Nikki, who asked that her surname be withheld, said that she had attempted to pay maintenance fees at the original rate prior to the hike two weeks ago. She said that her cheque was rejected and she was asked to pay the full amount.
In November last year, Salwan announced to residents that they would need to pay Dh21.75 per square foot in maintenance fees rather than Dh9.5 per square foot. However, last week the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) announced a freeze on maintenance fee hikes by property management companies. Under new law, a budget for maintenance charges will now be calculated by Rera under a formula, rather than by the developers. The budget will then be adjusted by the Owners Associations registered with Rera. Spokesperson for Salwan announced that they are considering lowering the service charges. “We are working on a number of re-negotiations relating to cleaning and utilities to ensure service charges in JBR would be reduced,” the spokesperson said. However, chairman of the Owner’s Association, Hamid Hamri, expressed doubt over the potential reduction. “If it is a reduction from the base rate of Dh9.5, that will be a victory, he said. “If it is a reduction from anything higher than that then we are still paying too much.[Khaleej Times]