Dubai: Residents in Motor City were left sweating after a dispute between their building’s developer, service provider and the owners’ association, resulted in the air conditioning being switched off in common areas over the Eid weekend.
Home owners received an email from service provider Emicool on June 10 explaining that a disruption to cooling services in common areas was due to ‘long overdue payments’ from building developer Union Properties (UP).
“We are engaged with UP directly for our provision of cooling services to the common areas, and we are taking this action in accordance with our rights with UP,” read the email sent to residents.
Union Properties denied they owed money to Emicool in a legal filing on the Dubai Financial Markets (DFM) website on Monday, and instead referred the case to their subsidiary, Edacom, the owners’ association, to collect outstanding fees.
38m sq ftarea of Dubai Motor City
“If there are any dues then the owners’ association in Motor City Edacom is the body concerned to deal with it as they are the only body specialised in collecting service fees from the owners,” read the notice.
“Union Properties as a developer has nothing to do with this subject,” the notice added. “We are aware that the company responsible for cooling services to Motor City has regrettably cut off cooling in public facilities and that goes against Real Estate Regulatory Authority [RERA] regulation and laws.”
Union Properties sent this notice to the DFM to inform them of legal action it was taking over accusations levelled against them.
“There will be no expected impact on trading of the company’s stocks in the Dubai Financial Market because of this,” it added.
Meanwhile, owners and occupants who have paid their annual maintenance fees unfairly felt the heat over the weekend, and they claim the cutting off of air conditioning wasn’t just confined to common areas but also apartments, making their lives miserable in the June heat.
“The point is, residents who pay their fees should not be contacted by Emicool for payment that the developer has allegedly not made,” said one resident who wished to remain anonymous. “That’s unethical and the irony is that when you go to Union Properties they have a third party dealing with us — Edacom — who are telling us to go and get all the defaulters to pay up and the issue will be resolved. That’s an even worse response.
“There are a list of eight or so people in my building who have not been paying their fees but I shouldn’t be penalised for that right? Edacom are a working partner of Union Properties. How can they tell us to go and collect payment for them? It’s their job, not ours.”
Another home owner, who also wished to go unnamed, said, “When you put the air conditioning on 20 degrees it feels like 25, so therefore you put it even lower and in turn that makes your monthly bill higher.
11,630dwelling units spread across six sectors
“As homeowners we pay about Dh18,000 to Dh20,000 a year in annual maintenance for common areas. So to have this happen is not fair. We’ve paid our bills and this is uncomfortable. Emicool have offered to put us up in hotels but that is not the long-term solution.”
Gulf News also approached Edacom for comment, but as they are a subsidiary of Union Properties they had nothing more to add beyond the UP notice posted on the DFM website. Emicool, which is owned by Dubai Investments, also declined to comment when contacted by Gulf News.
On Tuesday evening, residents reported the issue had been solved after receiving an email from Edacom, which read: “Edacom is in active communication with the service provider and the authorities to ensure a speedy resolution.
“Edacom always remains available to assist residents if such issues do arise and residents have the right to communicate their concerns with the relevant authorities and Dubai Police in case the service provider disrupts services in the future.”
Motor City is a 38 million square foot development spread over six sectors with a total of 11,630 units, according to the Union Properties website.
Union Properties statement:
A Union Properties spokesperson said: “We are aware of the inconvenience that Motor City residents faced following the recent disruption of cooling services by the service provider. We wish to place on record that Union Properties is not involved in operations of this matter as such operations are run by the Owners’ Association Management entity, Edacom that is in active communication with the service provider and the relevant authorities to ensure a speedy resolution. In accordance with the regulations and laws of Dubai, it is not permissible for a service provider to disrupt services in common areas. While Edacom remains available to assist residents, we believe residents have the right to communicate their concerns to the relevant authorities, including Dubai Police in case the service provider disrupts services in the future.”