Dubai: Apartment owners in a plush community who have not paid their maintenance fees face the threat of being named and shamed in public.
Developer Emaar has informed people living in the Travo A apartment building in The Greens that fee defaulters will have their names listed on a noticeboard in the building.
The note put up on a board at the entrance to the underground car park is titled "You don't want your name here".
The warning has angered some owners who feel it is unnecessary and have questioned the legality of publicising names in this way. The notice by Emaar reads: "As a Community Service Fee (CSF) Collection Initiative, names of the payment defaulters will be published here to remind them of their dues."
An American woman, who lives in a studio apartment with her husband and six-month-old baby, is among those who might be affected. The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "We haven't paid our maintenance fee which comes to Dh14,000 since March. They have imposed late charges and we have lost some of our privileges. We can no longer access the Emaar call centre or contact security, which we accept."
The woman had to give up her job after becoming pregnant and had to pay Dh20,000 for surgery. The family had already forked out Dh3,000 for emergency repair work on badly installed drain and pipes when they moved in two years ago.
"We have been fully up-to-date with our mortgage payments, Dewa [Dubai Electricity and Water Authority] and du. It's just the maintenance fees. It's not that we won't pay, it's just that the situation we have been forced into has made it difficult for us," she said.
A British expat, who did not wish to be named, said he understood why Emaar was taking such action. He said: "I've paid my fees so I don't have any problem. I understand not everyone has been as lucky as me, with some being affected by economic problems, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't pay. Emaar should work with people who have not paid to resolve the issue."
An Emaar spokesperson said: "Informing owners about the service charges is a routine community management procedure in line with the regulations by Rera [Real Estate Regulatory Agency] and other concerned authorities."