The Shoreline Apartments on the Palm Jumeirah. The Palm developments are part of the Nakheel portfolio. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: After weeks of wrangling with residents of Marina Residences on Palm Jumeirah over unpaid maintenance fees, Nakheel is assuring residents district cooling services will not be cut off.

Swimming pools that have been dry for weeks will be filled and re-opened “as soon as possible” the developer said on Thursday.

In a statement, a Nakheel spokesperson said the company was attempting to break the impasse despite the fact that some owners have not paid maintenance fees that keep services running.

'Cooling, pools to continue'

“We have released funds to allow common area facilities — such as cooling and pools — to continue. The pool contractor is now back on site and facilities will be back to normal as soon as possible,” said the spokesperson.

“However, millions of dirhams remain unpaid by some owners, and we will continue to work with the Owners Association at Marina Residences to collect this money and address the issue of defaulters. It is wrong that some owners pay their way while others do not.”

Tenants urged to check if owners have paid fees

The developer urged tenants to do their homework before renting from owners to ensure that flats in questions have a good history of maintenance fees payments.

The announcement falls after residents expressed fears that chiller services might be cut off on June 24 after a meeting with Nakheel late last week.

Nakheel addressed the concerns, noting that, “service charges at Marina Residences cover communal facilities such as cooling. Bills need to be paid just like for any other utility in Dubai — such as water, electricity, phone and internet services. Nakheel itself is not the utility provider, and cannot physically cut services, but utility providers themselves can if they don’t get paid. We are working with the Owners Association on payment and default issues, and are confident of a solution.”

No funds

Nakheel’s confirmation that it had received some delinquent back fees was received with mixed emotions by some owners and residents.

Olivier Bonenfant, a tenant at Marina Residence Three building, said he was confused after he personally visited Nakheel offices on Thursday.

According to Bonenfant, a Nakheel office staffer told him that chiller services were still in line to be cut off next week because there no funds in the maintenance account to bring the outstanding fees up to date.

“She said this was being done because they had no money in the fund, that’s what she told me,” he said.

He wondered how the situation was ever left to deteriorate to this point.

Deadbeat owners

Bonenfant said deadbeat owners should have been dealt with much earlier for late fees.

“Nakheel needed to take legal action after the first three months [of non payment], not a year-and-a-half later when the fund runs dry,” he said.

Hussain Jalali, an owner who lives in the same building, said he is paid up on his fees and wonders why owners have not been taken to court individually instead of measures enacted upon the entire community at Marina Residence.

“I’m frustrated, it’s summer and we don’t have a swimming pool,” he said. “I don’t feel they should have ever taken this from us.”