Helping owners to manage their buildings

Published December 8th, 2009 - 10:17 GMT

In moves to bring even greater confidence and transparency to the Dubai property market, progressive development companies are aiding the formation of owners associations to manage their buildings ahead of a widely anticipated new law.

“While Dubai awaits the regulations which support the jointly-owned property law, we have been working for several years with a number of high profile clients well ahead of implementation,” said Nicole Betts, Senior Manager, Asteco Association  Management.

“We have been helping companies establish informal owner associations, set up service charge and budgeting models, set community rules as well as facility management and service provider selection procedures based on best international practices,” she added.

Asteco, the largest property services company in the United Arab Emirates, has been actively advising developers on the concept of jointly owned property and common area management since 2004.

Jointly owned residential properties include high rise apartments or low rise villa communities. Common areas that are jointly owned may include shared recreational facilities including gyms and swimming pools as well as common area services such as maintenance, landscaping, security, pest control and cleaning.

“Under current law legal responsibility is with the developer but some companies are actively encouraging owners to take control for themselves – albeit at this stage this has to be done under the developer’s name,” Betts said.

“A good example is the MAG Group which is dedicated to transparency,” she added. “We have worked with them from conception of their MAG 214 Jumeirah Lakes Towers project through to delivering onsite management services to an informal owners association. Our team works closely with the owners’ management board to assist them to preserve, maintain and enhance the tower.”

Mohammed Nimer, CEO of MAG Group Property Development, added: “We have always operated in an environment of transparency so it was natural for us to introduce best practice in property management to enable owners to truly run their own buildings.”

Asteco has also been working with another developer for the V3 Tower, also at Jumeirah Lakes, where handover to owners commenced recently. “Our role is to administer day-to-day operations and assist in the formation of an informal owners association and a management board,” Betts added.

“Both of these are examples of transparent and comprehensive best practices, providing all-inclusive fee structures which enable easy budgeting for both owners associations and developers. They provide a level of confidence that enables people to feel more comfortable about buying in Dubai – a win-win for both owners and developers in today’s lacklustre market.”

The Asteco Property Management Association Management Services team became an independent division of the company in 2007 and has quickly grown with the emergence of the sector in the Dubai property industry.

Of Asteco’s property management business - consisting of about 3,500 buildings - about 10% by value is now handled by the Association Management Services team, Betts said.

“The division has become increasingly active in providing consultancy services to developers to assist them to prepare to become compliant when regulations are enacted,” she added. “We are also encouraging more developers to begin the process now in order to make their properties appealing to potential buyers.”

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