Multiple Mollak payments have to be made: DLD

By Eudore R. Chand

Dubai Marina

DUBAI 14 April 2020: The Dubai Land Department has insisted that the multiple service fee invoices that have landed in investor/homeowner emails, have to be paid on time and in full — on threat of legal action against payment defaulters.

Multiple invoices were issued by the Dubai Land Department on behalf of Dubai homeowners associations though  the Mollak system – implementation of which was delayed for several months resulting in the accrual of multiple payments.

An investor/homeowner who has two apartments in Dubai said he received five (5) separate invoices for payment. In each invoice, payment was demanded within a month.

“My total bill is for close to Dh20,000. At a time, we are in a lockdown and there is no income, how and where am I supposed to come up with the amount demanded?” he asked.

Dubai Gazette approached the Dubai Land Department and communicated the concerns of investors/homeowners to the authority. Following are the department’s responses:

Q. When the world and UAE government [and banks] are granting relief and stimulus packages in light of the hardships caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, why is DLD sending out multiple service fees or invoices to owner-investors placing financial strain for a lump sum payment?

A. DLD has not issued any government invoices to citizens. Any bills being dispatched relate to service fees required for owners’ homes and are necessary to maintain the service to tenants. In fact, DLD is consistently seeking methods to optimise costs and reciprocate any saving on property owners.

Q. DLD reminds of timely service fee payments or legal action is threatened. Will this be carried out regardless of the inability to pay caused by Covid-19 impact?

A. Any delay of payment by landlords or property owners will incur problems on people living in the respective condominiums. It’s the owners’ responsibility to safeguard the well-being of tenants and ensure that they are receiving adequate services. Once again, the fees being issued are in service of tenants and must be covered by landlords.

Q. Are there any relief measures for owner-investors being considered by DLD, and if yes, what are they?

A. Any services required for a property is to be covered by its respective owner. These fees are non-negotiable and must be settled. Tenants’ comfort in a residence and owners’ search for smaller fees are mutually exclusive. A smaller than required fee will compromise on the services of a property, thereby deterring the tenant and the chances of a contract renewal.

Q. If owners-investors are unable to pay in full because of cashflow issues, will it lead to cumulative distress sales at a time of stagnant property market?

A. These matters are not relative to each other. The government has instated measures to facilitate the burden on owners and ease the management of cash flow; the service fees must still be covered no matter the situation.

Q. Does DLD foresee a property market led recession by the end of this year?

DLD is continuously seeking to mitigate the repercussions of this global pandemic and its impact on the global economy. Real estate will be affected, but this is true worldwide, not just in the UAE. We will do our utmost best to help owners and developers leverage any property-led issue that may arise.



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