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Housing fee in Dubai 
to be paid monthly

Sajila Saseendran / 6 July 2010

Tenants of some 17,000 residential units in Dubai will now have to adopt a new monthly payment of their housing fee to comply with Dubai Municipality’s plan to make uniform the system of collection of the fee.

The civic authority recently launched an online registration drive to ensure that all residential units in the emirate are registered and made accountable for paying five per cent of their rents on a monthly basis through their utility bills by this year-end.

The plan is to implement the collection of the fee — in existence since 1962, and make uniform the method of its collection on a monthly basis in collaboration with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).

Residential units under Wasl Properties, the asset management group owned by Dubai Real Estate Corporation, were the only properties that followed an annual payment method for housing fee which used to be collected in advance at the time of leasing and renewing tenancy contracts.

To ensure that they also follow the monthly-payment method, DM has now asked the government-owned group to stop the practice of collecting five per cent of annual rents to be paid to the municipality, a senior official told Khaleej Times.

“We have asked Wasl to refer their new tenants and those renewing their contracts to DM counter in DEWA’s head office,” said Abdulla Hashim Abdul Ghafoor, head of Marketing and Housing Fees Unit in DM’s Finance Department.

There, he said, the tenants will be instructed to register online and will be given a stamped copy of the ID code generated upon the registration.

Alternatively, tenants can log on to DM portal and register themselves. However, they still have to go to the DM counter for stamping the ID code for official verification.

“They can take this stamped paper back to wasl for completing the tenancy contract registration. These tenants will then receive their housing fee mentioned in their DEWA monthly bills,” said Abdul Ghafoor.

Abdulla Ishaq, head of Leasing and Customer Service at Wasl Properties said the new system will be implemented in all renewal contracts and new leases. “This has been already communicated to our tenants through our customer service centres and when clients call 800wasl,” he said.

As for the current tenants who have already paid their annual housing fee, Abdul Ghafoor said DEWA will be distributing notices to them following which they need to register online.

“They also have to go to the DM counter and show their tenancy contract as a proof of payment of the fee. DM will then credit the remaining amount to their DEWA account. Then they need not pay it monthly till the balance gets over,” he said.

The official said a total of 300,000 housing units in Dubai will be charged the fee through the new initiative which also saw DM changing the housing fee of freehold home owners to five per cent of the rental value estimated for their locations by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority from the 0.5 per cent of the property purchase value per annum. — sajila@khaleejtimes.com

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