RERA blames chiller charges for high service fees

Official maintains housing body is doing all it can to reduce charges

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Discovery Gardens is one of many sites where residents are facing high chiller costs. Photos: Supplied Image
Discovery Gardens is one of many sites where residents are facing high chiller costs. Photos: Supplied Image

Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) has blamed utility and chiller charges for the increase in service fees, despite the reduction in maintenance costs, an official has claimed.

Over the years there has been a struggle to get district cooling rates reduced, with some Dubai based residents paying as much as 60fils/hour. This is in stark contrast to the rates that the likes of Qatar and Abu Dhabi charge (16fils/hour and 19fils/hour respectively).

“We have tried our level best to reduce maintenance fees, but all our efforts are hampered by the rising cost of utilities and chiller charges. We have taken up the issue with the respective agencies,” said Mohammed Khalifa bin Hammad, senior director of RERA, in a report carried by Emirates 24/7, a Dubai based news website.

“We have worked to reduce the maintenance charges in most developments. We don’t approve any budget of any developer without reviewing them. They have to justify each and every increase that they have asked for,” he explained further.

The report cited Nakheel as an example of the high costs owners have to pay, with residences in Discovery Garden being charged a maintenance fee of less than AED2 per square foot. However, utility and chiller costs make up more than 60% of the total service charge.

As a result, with chiller charges coming up to AED7 per square foot and utility charges coming close to AED4.5 per square foot, residents are faced with crippling bills.

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