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Guest denied entry as villa owner in Dubai didn’t pay service fee

Owner of Dh18 million mansion in Dubai humiliated as guest turned away by security guard over unpaid service fees

  • By Anjana Kumar, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:44 August 14, 2013
  • XPRESS

  • Image Credit: Xpress/ Clint Egbert
  • Bitter experience: Anand Kumar with wife Shobita Kumar outside their home in Jumeirah Islands Mansions.
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DUBAI: A Dh18-million villa owner in Jumeirah Islands Mansions was left red-faced when his guest was turned away by the security guard of the gated community as he had not paid two months’ overdue service fees.

Not just that, the guard even told the visitor that he was not being let in as his host had been blacklisted by the developer Nakheel.

The incident took place on August 11.

Indian expat Anandkumar who owns the upscale five-bedroom villa, said: “I was shocked when my guest called me from the gate around 8.30am saying he was not being allowed to enter the community.

“It was very embarrassing. He was dropping off some sweets for my family. I rushed out and pleaded with Nakheel’s security management to let the visitor in. But they refused, saying they had strict orders,” said the father of two, who owns a chemical distribution company in Dubai.

“I did not know what to do except offer an apology to my guest. He gave me the sweets from across the gate and left. Why did they have to take it out against my guest? What did he do to deserve this treatment?

“To name and shame me in this way in front of my guest is unacceptable. The property was handed over to me last year and I had paid my fees on time. But this year there was a bit of a delay as I was travelling,” he told XPRESS.

Anandkumar, who bought the Mediterranean-inspired property for Dh18 million in 2009, said he got the service fee invoice in May.

“I was given a 30-day timeframe to pay up after which there was a one per cent late fee charge but it slipped my mind as I was busy travelling.”

On August 4, Nakheel emailed him a notification warning him that some services to his villa would be stopped if he didn’t clear the dues. “The letter said that only my waste management disposal and collection service will be stopped. There was no mention that guests would not be allowed to enter my place. I was in the US, yet I replied immediately saying that I would settle the dues on August 11, as I was returning to the UAE on the evening of August 10.

Anandkumar said Nakheel should have conducted due diligence and checked the history of defaulting owners before taking such a drastic step.

“I am an honest and responsible resident. In 2009, I purchased the villa paying 95 per cent of the cost upfront. The handover took place in 2012. Yet I kept faith and trusted Nakheel. I expect them to treat me the same way.”

Embittered by the experience, Anandkumar has shot off an angry letter to Nakheel’s chief executive. “I want to raise this issue so that other owners don’t find themselves in a similar embarrassing situation.”

nakheel response

Nakheel said they will continue to pursue service fee defaulters as their strict measures for collection is getting positive results. The developer, however, did not comment on Anandkumar’s case. In an email response to XPRESS, Nakheel said: “Service fee collection is an issue faced by all developers. While we do not discuss individual cases with the media, we confirm that our service fee collection campaigns are having an impact with paying residents who are pleased that we are chasing non-payers. However, we are still owed millions of dirhams in unpaid charges, with many not paying their dues for over four years. We will continue to pursue defaulters.”

“Our service charges are fully approved and audited by the relevant authorities. As we have stressed before, only by collecting service fees can we ensure ongoing maintenance and improvements at our communities.

For the uninitiated, service fees help pay for the upkeep of common areas, facilities and security, among others. And the fee for Anandkumar’s mansion is Dh45,000 per year.

Nakheel delivered the brand-new villas at Jumeirah Islands Mansions in 2012. Their current prices range between Dh20 million and Dh25 million.

Comments (75)

Your comments
  1. Added 15:45 August 15, 2013

    NAKHEEL THE WORST PROPERTY IN DUBAI, THEY BEG MONEY INDIRECTLY FROM CUSTOMER'S.

    Shini, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 15:43 August 15, 2013

    I own a property in one of the Nakheel developments in Dubai since 2007, I am not at all satisfied with the response Nakheel has given to XPRESS, Nakheel leaves no stone unturned while collecting service charges from customers and always on top of it, but when it comes to maintenance they do not even bother to respond. I pay all my dues on time and have no outstanding. I had registered a complain regarding some maintenance issue at my property couple of years ago yet after many reminders still it has not been rectified, every time I call I have to re-register the complaint. Nakheel can take such wretched measures to restrict owners and their guest to enter their property, what about owners who's doors they can knock at about Nakheel?

    Imran Zaib, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 15:14 August 15, 2013

    Didn't Nakheel and its sponsors have to get bailed out or have its massive debt rescheduled in order to avoid default in 2010? Anyone who spends so much money on a property ought to be given a certain (high) level of respect. I have to agree with others that this is extremely unprofessional behavior on Nakheel's part.

    Bruce Dauphin, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 15:11 August 15, 2013

    Where were Nakheel's comments when the Discovery Gardens water pipes burst and drained and flooded the roads twice in 1 month? Where are Nakheel's comments to the continuous miserable state of maintenance and service to their projects? all they're good at is behaving like a viscous money hungry monopoly hiking up service charges irrationally and twisting tenants' arms to pay them regardless of what tenants are getting back in return. If they want to pay off their debts which resulted from mismanagement, then at least justify it!! because people are sick and tired of this game.

    LD, DXB, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 15:02 August 15, 2013

    If you had paid your service fee's on time you wouldn't be in this situation.Are you for real? what do you think pays for the security guards? yes your service fees. If all the developers in Dubai were this tough what a better city we would have, name and shame is a great way of getting the problems sorted. Oh and just in case you hadn't thought about this? until a few days ago the only people that knew about your embarrassment was a security guard and you guest! I wonder who chose to go to the press and make your embarrassment very public? Pay up all you service fee dodgers.......

    Mark, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 14:59 August 15, 2013

    If there are defaulters, take legal action, Nakheel can't put bouncers in front of the House, this is not a Don's Den! wake up and act professionally.

    Ashfak Khan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 14:50 August 15, 2013

    Very rude behaviour from Nakheel. Arrogant company..huh. Good lesson for all who are thinking of dealing with Nakheel in the future. I know many friends here who had very embarrasing situations because of Nakheel. Also for other Nakheel customers...pay back your bills or get bullied like this. This case requires intervention by authorities and it should be made clear that in the future this should never happen. I just can't imagine what that poor guest must have felt by the way.

    Francis, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 14:43 August 15, 2013

    It is simply pathetic to read such article of innocent victims suffering after paying ridiculous amount of money for real estate.

    Andrew, Dubai, United Kingdom

  9. Added 14:43 August 15, 2013

    This is a case of character assassination, which is a crime. Nakheel could have used other options, viz, alienating from community services, etc, pressurizing to pay fees. Moreover, common services are the right of a resident living in a community.

    Johny Jose, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 14:25 August 15, 2013

    CLEARLY NAKHEEL GAVE ENOUGH TIME TO CLEAR DUES AND THEN WHY IF SOMONE CAN AFFORD 18 MILLION DONT MANAGE TO PAY ON TIME DHS 45,000/- AS THAT SERVICE FEES COVERS SALARY OF STAFF WORKING THEIR FOR MAINTENANCE + UPKEEP OF PROPERTY SURROUNDINGS WHY THEY SHOULD BE PENALISED SO PLEASE PAY 2 YEARS IN ADVANCE SO ALL HAPPY!

    MAN, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

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