Dubai: Air conditioning was restored in Motor City on Thursday after the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera) stepped in to resolve a week-long stand-off between the property developer and the service provider.
A dispute between Union Properties (UP) and Emicool resulted in the latter switching off the air conditioning over the Eid weekend after the former was accused of owing money.
Union Properties promptly referred Emicool to the owners’ association, Edacom, which is a subsidiary of UP, to collect outstanding debts from the owners, as UP said they had “nothing to do with this subject”. They also accused Emicool of breaking the law by switching off the A/C and reported them to Rera.
However, on Thursday, Rera stepped in and brought both UP and Emicool to the table for talks to come up with a solution.
Union Properties released the following statement soon thereafter: “We are pleased to announce that cooling services have been restored in the affected areas across Motor City by the service provider,” said a UP statement on Thursday.
“Following an extended conversation with Rera, Union Properties has this morning resolved the matter to everyone’s satisfaction and ensured that there will be no service disruption in the future. “Edacom has been working closely with Rera on the issue over the past few days and will continue to manage the community through delivering the highest standards of services. UP confirms that there has been no official communication from Rera terminating Edacom’s contract by next week, as suggested in some media reports.”
Rera CEO Marwan Bin Galita had, earlier on Thursday, told a local radio station that he would be forced to change the managing company if all parties failed to come to an agreement.
“It’s a matter of payment between Edacom and Emicool, but the master developer, UP, is supposed to be responsible for this action,” he said. “UP is referring people to Edacom, but the truth is Edacom is owned by UP so they should be responsible. Owners have fulfilled their commitment by paying their service charge, some not all, but at the end of the day the master developer should take responsibility and pay all utility services related to common areas.
“There is an amount disputed but now it’s time for both parties to walk the talk and keep their promises by accepting the payment plan we will approve today. If it’s not resolved I will change the management company,” he added.
Despite the return of air conditioning some residents still weren’t happy.
“This was just one of the problems; mismanagement of service funds is a bigger issue,” said one resident, who wanted to remain anonymous. “We own our apartment and pay over Dh20,000 in service fees a year, but for what? Areas aren’t maintained and people can walk in to use our facilities because of a lack of security, among many other issues.
“Although there is an owner’s association Edacom, we are not involved in the decision-making and Edacom is run by UP. We want to use the media momentum from this event to address wider maintenance issues and will appoint one representative from each building to properly represent owners in front of Union Properties.”
Another owner, who also didn’t want to be named, agreed: “We need to know where the money is going and we want an independent owner’ association. Edacom is on UP’s payroll, so they are scared to do anything.”
Emicool, owned by Dubai Investments, sent the following email to customers on Thursday: “We have accepted the initial proposal of Union Properties to reschedule payments to settle the overdue amounts owed to us. This proposal was given to us in the presence of Rera officials. Based on our acceptance we will resume our cooling services to all public areas with immediate effect. This situation was out of our control, and we regret any inconvenience that it might have affected you. We are committed to our efficient services so your enjoyment of your property goes back to its normal levels.”
The Land Department's response
A statement from the Land Department said: "An agreement was reached between both parties to abide by their responsibilities where Union Properties will guarantee payments to Emicool following a reschedule of the pyaments in partnership with the Owners Association (Edacom) and Emicool to immediately restore air conditioning services to the public facilities, recreational buildings and gyms at the project."