Dubai: Residents and businesses operating at Dubai Investments Park are getting some relief on their utility/service charge costs.
The district cooling services provider there, Emicool, issued a note saying it will provide a 7 per cent reduction on “contractual declared load” for three months from August to October for its residential, commercial and industrial clients.
Other communities such as Motor City and Sports City too would come under the latest relief programme.
Sources say the 7 per cent load reduction will translate into decent savings for users during the period.
“Our current initiative is a translation of the directives of the government and reintroduced with the aim of supporting companies, residents and business sectors to enhance financial liquidity and mitigate the effects of the current economic situation,” the Emicool circular states.
In March, Emicool had announced a three-month reduction on its district cooling services.
Other district cooling service providers in Dubai could come up with their own initiatives to reduce the cost load on their users, many of whom have seen a decline/loss of income. It would matter a lot for those paying service charges, as utility costs currently make up more than 40 per cent of their total payout on this score.
“It appears as if stimulus measures are now starting to address the cost of living, which will provide long needed relief to residents (and businesses),” said the head of a property management firm. “These moves, if sustained and followed by others, will add to the incremental initiatives already announced.
“And this will go a long way towards attracting and retaining talent in Dubai and the UAE as efforts continue to bring down the cost of living.”
Bringing down service charges
In recent months, top RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) officials had been pushing for an across-the-board reduction in service charges in Dubai for this year and beyond. In April, the entity had waived off penalties related to non-payment or delays in paying service charges.
But utility costs - and managing them - has always been an issue in setting service charges, and sources say that a long-term solution is yet to be found.
“Only by addressing utility/district cooling costs and bringing these down will ensure service charges come down,” said an owners’ association management firm. “There’s only so much that can be done in reducing the number of workers used in managing a property. That’s all being done to try and bring service charges down.”
Issue hots up
Many homeowners say that paying their 2020 service charges is becoming a burden. “Apart from a drop in income brought on by changes on the job or business front, some property investors are suddenly hit by their tenants vacating and their homes remaining vacant,” said an owner.
“If there could be some extended relief can be offered on service charges and utility costs, it will be a major cost relief.”
Emicool’s move if followed by other service providers could well be short-term relief that property owners want.