DUBAI: Dubai Municipality (DM) is urging residents to visit its website and fill a housing fees registration form to avoid being overcharged.
Speaking to XPRESS, Abdullah Hashim, Fees & Revenue Officer, Fees & Revenue Section, Finance Department, Dubai Municipality, said: "If Dubai residents take the effort to go to the DM website (www.dm.gov.ae) and fill in the form directly, it will make our job easier and they will be billed for the housing fees correctly according to the size of the unit they live in."
He said residents who have not provided the details of the size of their apartment or villa are at risk of being billed — by ‘default' — ‘average' rentals set by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) index for a particular area.
Every Dubai resident must pay five per cent of the total ‘rental' value of an apartment or villa towards housing fee charges. For property owners, average rental values are taken of a similar apartment or villa in the same building or community based on Rera's rental index. The fee is payable monthly by residents. "For example, if someone is staying in a studio apartment in Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) and has not registered on our website, he could risk paying the same fees as someone staying in a three-bedroom or four-bedroom apartment in JLT."
Billing through dewa
"This is because currently our billing method is through Dewa which cannot identify the size of the apartment or villa the customer lives in. They can only recognise which area he lives in. If the resident wants accurate billing of housing fees according to the size of his housing unit, it is important to register on our website," said Hashim.
Dubai resident Imtiaz Boghani, owner of a two-bedroom apartment in Al Sheraa Tower in JLT, however, managed to get his fees reduced in accordance with current rentals. Boghani was paying Dh475 monthly towards housing fees, but after showing a copy of new rental contracts of similar units in the same building, his fee was reduced to Dh250 a month.
"When I went to Dewa, they said that unless people go to Dewa or the municipality and show the new rental contracts, housing fees will not be altered."
Some people have, also complained about lack of consistency in fee collection. Boghani said he was among few residents in the tower paying fees since September 2008. "My neighbour as well as others in my building have not been paying fees," he said.
Hashim admits this issue has been a concern. "We are keen to implement housing fees for all residents. There are still many areas that aren't," he said.
The areas that are not yet covered include Jumeirah 2, Umm Suqeim, Al Safa, Al Manara, Umm Sheif, Al Sofouh, Palm Jumeirah, Burj Khalifa area, Al Quoz, Al Barsha, Muhaisnah 2, Oud Al Mateena. Mizhir, Mirdif. Al Warqa, Dubai Marina, Ras Al Khor, Nad Al Sheba, Silicon Oasis, Arabian Ranches Motor City, Sports City, Jumeirah Village. Jebel Ali, Al Warsan and Discovery Gardens.
"We now have an operating system in place which is integrated with Dewa. This will enable DM officials to independently amend and charge housing fees. We should be ready to start levying this by January. All residents will be covered by then."
To register your unit, visit www.dm.gov.ae and click on housing fees registration
Fill accommodation details such as property type, whether owned/rented, contract account number, premise number, number of bedrooms, rent per year, mobile number, e-mail address and mailing address and submit the form.
Note: This is a one-time registration form. No login details required.