Pay service charges directly to escrow accounts

By DG Staff

DUBAI 28 July 2019: Dubai Land Department (DLD), through its regulatory arm Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera), launched electronic system ‘Mollak’.

The system provides a new and integrated system to monitor accounts related to service charges in these projects by relying on the financial accounts operating according to the mechanism of the escrow account. The system operates across a range of stakeholders in managing co-owned properties. It also operates within the real estate unit owners’ database, and the database of real estate units registered and approved by DLD, where no user may change the data.

Through the system, 468 bank accounts were opened for project service charges, 88 management companies and 1,212 real estate projects were registered and approved by Rera as well as 200,000 real estate units, comprising residential apartments, villas, offices, and commercial shops.

Seven banks act as account trustees for co-owned properties and registered eight financial auditors to explicitly audit the application fees that were submitted for accreditation.

To ensure transparency as an additional metric, Rera also issues electronic approvals for service charges to real estate unit owners who also receive unified bills for service charges across the system. Rera compels management companies to explicitly submit bills through the system to provide protection for service-fee claims made by real estate owners.

The system works within the database of DLD, Rera, financial institutions, and certified financial auditors registered with Rera as well as co-owned property management companies licensed and registered with Rera, ensuring the happiness and peace of mind of all homeowners.

The system is integral as it enforces comprehensive regulatory governance on a co-owned property management company licensed and registered with RERA, requiring that it upload financial statements and copies of maintenance, service, and other supplier contracts for common real estate services. The financial auditor then verifies these financial statements and contracts according to the basis and criteria adopted by RERA, which then reviews the completion of the transaction audit.

Real estate unit owners are notified electronically of a unit’s service fees with the publication of a unit’s service-fee-approval data in the service and maintenance fees index on DLD’s website. The management company then requests owners to pay the services fees through the Mollak system, and sends the service-fee invoices in accordance with the amounts approved by Rera but without any financial additions, especially as the system only works on financial accounts approved by Rera.

This system includes providing easy solutions to enable owners to pay service fees through approved channels that were agreed upon by banks and the electronic payment gateway, Noqoodi.

Dubai Gazette