This means all expat tenants are now charged five per cent of the rent of their housing units and owners of freehold residential properties are charged five per cent of the rental value of their property as per the rental index of their areas issued by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera).
It has been four years since the Dubai Municipality started collecting housing fee for all general civic services it is providing through utility bills from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa).
"We have covered all residential areas in Dubai now. It was done by the end of 2014,” the head of marketing and housing fees unit in DM's Finance Department, Abdulla Hashim AbdulGhafoor, told Khaleej Times.
"But still a few accounts here and there are not reflecting in the system. So every month Dewa is checking the system and including the units that are missed,” he said, estimating a billing error of one or two in every 1,000 housing units billed.
Following this, he said, the municipality has stopped the registration of housing fee through its website. "Now that it is automatically updated in the system through Dewa bills, people don't have to register anymore.”
"All existing customers who were not receiving bills have been billed by default. When somebody is moving into a new home or shifting from one to another, they will see their housing fee billed from their first Dewa bill itself as Dewa officials are uploading the rental value also along with other details for all the accounts.”
If there is a change in the rental value of a housing unit, whether a decrease or an increase, occupants can get it corrected at Al Twar and Al Manara centres of the municipality.
"We have overcome the challenges of covering the whole of Dubai and also updating the system instantly. Earlier, we used to take two months or more for correcting the system. Now the system that we are using allows us to make the changes immediately, whether it is an increase or decrease,” said AbdulGhafoor.
Naturally, he observed, tenants whose rents have gone down only approach the municipality for updating the new rent in the system. "A few honest people also are updating the system after their rents increased. But, in the future there will be a plan to somehow enforce people to come and update or do it automatically. We are working on different systems to do that,” he added.
Source: Khaleej Times