Stock Abu Dhabi residential property
The Department reaffirmed that developers and real-estate management companies have no right to approve the annual budgets for service and maintenance charges for joint ownership real estate units. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: The Abu Dhabi Department of Municipalities and Transport will require developers and companies to get prior approval before fixing or increasing service charges for residential and commercial properties.

It is prohibited to increase or impose new service charges to owners of real estate units without DMT prior approval. The decision comes in accordance with the real estate laws and regulatory standards in Abu Dhabi.

“The regulation on service charges guarantees the rights of real estate owners, including potential investors who may wish to buy for the purpose of residence or investment,” said Dr. Adeeb Al Afifi, Executive Director of the Real Estate Sector at DMT. “It will also contribute to a more competitive and globally open economy in Abu Dhabi, helping owners manage their real estate in a more effective and efficient manner.”

Prior to the application of these new regulations, service fees were decided and applied by the developer or the property management company. Al Afif said that the system is now more precise and detailed and is based on more transparent criteria, saying that every owner always has the right to know the details and purpose of the fees he pays.

The DMT revealed that 241 of the total development project service and maintenance charges have been approved to date this year, and the service charge budgets approved as of August 1 amounted to Dh567.7 million. This represents a 9 per cent cut compared to 2020 with budgets decreasing by Dh55.8 million.