Investors in Dubai’s Remraam Community have petitioned the emirate’s ruler to intervene in a dispute with the project’s developer, after they were told they risked fines if they failed to accept the handover of properties in the unfinished complex.
The Dubai Properties Group development was scheduled to complete in June 2010, complete with pools, malls, landscaping and retail features. But owners said in a petition to the Ruler’s Court that they were being forced to accept properties without water and electricity connections.
The document, seen by Arabian Business and signed by 37 buyers, asked the court to intervene to insist DPG commit to connecting homes to utilities and developing promised infrastructure.
Buyers have also asked for compensation for losses incurred during the delay of the handover, such as interest on mortgage payments.
“We are being forced to take possession of half-baked apartments and communities in Remraam, which is in the middle of the desert with no amenities and no DEWA. The electricity is provided through generators [and water tanks],” a spokesperson for the group told Arabian Business.
“DPG needs to commit to the completion of facilities and proper infrastructure. Non-completion makes Remraam an unlivable community.”
DPG, the company behind the stalled mega-resort Dubailand, said in emails to buyers that they faced penalties if they failed to accept the handover of the properties in their existing state.
“We understand that you may wish to defer your own occupation of the property until the community has matured and of course this is your right,” said one email. “However, you are contractually obliged to complete the handover process within 30 days of the completion date.”
Another email, dated Jan 4, said: “The final date to complete handover formalities, without penalties, is January 16, 2012 so we recommend that you schedule your appointments without further delay.”
Investors have also been issued with service fees before the handover of their properties, a charge they are contesting. One couple, yet to take possession of their property, received a letter requesting AED1,682 in maintenance charges for the period Jan 5 to March 31, 2012.
“This is total injustice – they can’t just barge over people like this. This is our hard-earned money,” one investor, who asked not to be named, told Arabian Business.
“We just want DPG to give us what they showed us on the brochure – to give us a community that is livable for families so we can get some return on our investment.”
In a statement to Arabian Business, DPG said the basic infrastructure for the project was in place, and denied charging homeowners service fees before their units had been transferred.
The company also highlighted its attempt to help customers who were struggling financially.
“We have offered a series of initiatives to help our customers that include but are not limited to; price reductions, unit upgrades, late payment fee waivers, family consolidations, deferred payment plans etc,” the statement said.