DUBAI: Seven years after she invested in an apartment that never got off the ground, a British woman is still chasing the developer for a refund.
Breast cancer survivor Jocelyn Chambers, a 55-year-old administration executive in Dubai, said the stress of running after the defaulting developer is not good for her recovery.
“I’m just up to my eyeballs,” said Chambers, who is married to an American executive. “I don’t need this kind of stress. I’d like to enjoy my life and our hard-earned money.”
In February 2005 the Chambers booked a studio at Paris Residence 1, a project of the 32Group Properties Ltd. “To date, they have not broken ground on the said property proposed for International City,” said the mother of two. The Chambers had given Dh140,000 to the developer. In August 2011 the developer agreed to pay them back Dh35,000 and the balance over 24 months.
“Since August last year, we have only received three payments instead of 12, and only after we went to their office and shouted for our money. At this rate it will take eight years to be paid back.”
Chambers added: “I know we should be grateful we are receiving something, while many others have lost all their investment, but it was their proposal to us which we accepted, and they are a company still operating in Dubai.”
As per the sales contract, and as the developer has defaulted, the Chambers should get their money within 60 days from the time of cancelling the agreement, along with interest, she said. “The company executives never respond to my emails. And when I call, they ask us to send them email. We’ve always been given a runaround.”
The Chambers, who have been living in Dubai for six years, said: “We love the UAE and don’t want a bitter taste in the mouth. My son went to university here. ”
The Chambers said they opted out of taking the matter to court as it would incur exhorbitant costs of over Dh100,000. “That’s money we do not have and is more than what they [developer] owe us. We are caught here and seem to have no option but [to] sit back and wait, which is not fair.”
“After more than seven years that they have held my money, I want the outstanding back in full.”
Chambers was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and underwent nine months of treatment in India and Kenya. Her cancer is in remission, but she still undergoes quarterly tests and a yearly scan. “Personally, all the stress this is causing is not good for my health.”
When XPRESS contacted 32Group Properties, Darya Roshan, a company official, said: “I would have to look into their file to get you the exact story. However I am out of Dubai at the moment and would be back by Sunday (September 2).”