Who do I see to re­solve prob­lems with my newly bought home?

The National - News - - BUSINESS MONEY - MARIO VOLPI

QI have an is­sue with an apart­ment I bought in Jumeirah Vil­lage Cir­cle. It is two years old and was owned by some­one be­fore me. I de­cided to ren­o­vate the prop­erty to up­date it a lit­tle. When my con­trac­tor started work, he found a num­ber of is­sues: my kitchen is not wa­ter­proof so it leaked into the neigh­bour’s prop­erty be­low us; the master wa­ter valve is dam­aged and wa­ter from the build­ing’s wa­ter room started leak­ing into my home. The com­mon ar­eas have leak­age prob­lems as well. The AC is al­ways on 31°C and there is a gap in the ceil­ing in the cor­ri­dor out­side my apart­ment left by main­te­nance so all the pipes are show­ing. Who should I con­tact to re­solve all of this? The main­te­nance team in my build­ing does not seem to care but I pay my ser­vice charges for the com­mon ar­eas. EC, Dubai

AThere are two is­sues to tackle here, firstly, your own apart­ment. For is­sues with poor work­man­ship and gen­eral build qual­ity, di­rect your at­ten­tion to the de­vel­oper to high­light the faults you have un­cov­ered. The de­vel­oper is­sues a 10-year guar­an­tee of the build­ing struc­ture against any de­fects from the date of han­dover and one year’s war­ranty to­wards the me­chan­i­cal, elec­tri­cal and plumb­ing (MEP).

Given you have bought a two-year-old unit, the MEP one-year guar­an­tee is now not ap­pli­ca­ble but the struc­tural guar­an­tee is.

With ref­er­ence to the com­mon parts, I re­fer you to Law 27 of 2007 which is more com­monly known as the jointly owned prop­erty law. This law laid the foun­da­tion for a reg­u­lated and trans­par­ent im­ple­men­ta­tion con­cern­ing the man­age­ment of strata de­vel­op­ments and own­er­ship of units in Dubai.

This law has been re­cently amended by Law 6 of 2019. Ac­cord­ing to this, the Dubai Land De­part­ment is re­spon­si­ble for pre­par­ing a reg­is­ter for jointly owned prop­erty. In this reg­is­ter, there is in­for­ma­tion on the land owned by the de­vel­op­ers and the real es­tate units meant for in­de­pen­dent own­er­ship.

The reg­is­ter will also fea­ture names of own­ers, mem­bers of the com­mit­tee of own­ers and build­ing man­age­ment and it will out­line main­te­nance pro­ce­dures within com­mon ar­eas. In ad­di­tion, the reg­is­ter will in­clude de­tails of the share of main­te­nance costs that each owner should pay, the fa­cil­ity man­age­ment com­pany re­spon­si­ble for com­mon ar­eas and ameni­ties of the joint prop­erty, in ac­cor­dance with this law, and in­for­ma­tion about the de­vel­op­ers and op­er­a­tors of the pro­ject.

The Real Es­tate Reg­u­la­tory Agency is re­spon­si­ble for reg­u­lat­ing and in­spect­ing the man­age­ment and main­te­nance of com­mon ar­eas of jointly owned real es­tate. The fa­cil­i­ties man­age­ment com­pany should sub­mit re­ports ev­ery six months to Rera on the man­age­ment of jointly owned prop­erty and com­mon ar­eas. The author­ity can at any time re­quest in­for­ma­tion on the rev­enue and ex­penses re­lated to the ser­vice charges.

As you can see, your first port of call is to the de­vel­oper re­gard­ing your ac­tual apart­ment and what can be done to im­prove the build­ing works go­ing for­ward.

Se­condly, you must con­tact Rera to un­der­stand what can be done with re­gards to the new Law 6 of 2019 with ref­er­ence to the build­ing main­te­nance and ser­vice charges for the com­mon ar­eas.

Mario Volpi is the sales and leas­ing man­ager at En­gel & Volk­ers. He has worked in the prop­erty sec­tor for 35 years in Lon­don and Dubai. The opin­ions ex­pressed do not con­sti­tute le­gal ad­vice and are pro­vided for in­for­ma­tion only. Please send any ques­tions to [email protected]­gelvoelk­ers.com

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