Service fees latest!

This blog has become rather negative of late. I am finding myself feeling rather fed up with being ripped off and lied to about our apartment and the various issues surrounding it, all of which is getting me down.

On a positive note, the weather is lovely and the lack of next door neighbours means that I am sleeping OK, AC noise whistling around the building at night aside.

I will try to look on the bright side of life, in order to delay the onsite of my terminal breath, but for now here’s the service fees latest.

As per my earlier post, it looked like my service fees for this year had been reduced from 41,500Dhs last year to 21,500Dhs this year, something I was initially extremely pleased to hear. It then turned out that the chiller fees had not been included in the service fees invoice. This gem of information was given to me by sms, not the most professional method with which to communicate with customers.

After getting in touch with the property company, I have been told that chiller fees will be 11.75 per square foot, adding 13,865Dhs to the quoted annual service costs, bringing them to a total of 35,365Dhs. A reduction over last year certainly, with the ability to pay in four instalments, but hardly a fair amount to pay, particularly taking into account earlier promises made about what costs we should expect to bear.

Apparently the reason for the service fees being so much higher than other developments’ is because our area is ‘exclusive’ and has to be maintained to a high standard. I find this argument rather weak, but am unable to contest it, or even verify the figures in any way, as we still have no tenants’ association that can ask to see the numbers. If the development is so ‘exclusive’ I would have thought that it would have been soundproofed, for example.

I asked why we cannot pay for the cold air we actually use and was told that installing meters would represent a ‘large cost to the community’. It is beyond me why meters were not installed in the first place. This is a brand new development, built at a time when energy prices were going through the roof, so a fixed fee, which encourages waste, seems very odd. Granted, there are common areas that need to be cooled down, and that cost has to be shared, but I do not believe that the combined cost to me should amount to 1,155Dhs per month. I need to do some research with colleagues, but I do not believe that a two bed apartment should be paying that much, simply for cold air. On top of that comes electricity and water payments (all metered – it’s not impossible to meter things) and the municipality tax we have to pay, even though we don’t live in an area that is maintained by the municipality.

So, for now, I simply have to pay up and shut up. It might be tempting to suggest that if I can’t afford to live here, I should move out. That’s fair enough, but misses the fact that we were completely mislead about what it would cost to live here and were not delivered the quality apartment we were promised. We’ve not tried to stretch ourselves excessively just so we can live iconic Dubai live the dream iconic lifestyles. I can afford to live here, but this is money I don’t believe I should be being forced to spend, as opposed to money I simply don’t have.

So, yes, we could look elsewhere, but with the current market, that is not possible. Besides, I want to live here – we bought the place for good reasons. I simply expect what was promised to be delivered and for the fees I pay to represent good value. That is possibly a pipe dream – I could simply give up fighting for what is right, but I’m not going to.


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