Dubai Municipality Dept. Has Been Forced To Push Back Housing Fee Plan For Expats!Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Discussions are delayed between Dubai government and Emirate’s utilities provider, and amidst delays, Dubai government has forced Dubai Municipality to push back plans to charge expats housing fees.
Months ago, the authorities revealed that all expats will be charged with housing fee by June as they initiated a campaign to include those who were not being billed. However, due to delays, only 65 percent of expats are currently being charged.
The authorities further revealed that it is a joint venture so discussions are held with DEWA. Therefore, we are unable to cover all and to charge them. Hashim Abdulghafoor, fees and revenues officer at Dubai’s Housing Fee Department said we cannot give a fixed timeframe as to when all the expats will be charged but the rough estimate is that by the end of year, everyone will be covered.
Housing fees, billed through resident’s monthly utility bills, are calculated at five percent of the tenant’s annual rent. Freehold property owners also pay five percent of the annual rental value.
Across the emirate, Dubai authorities are collecting housing fees from 17 of 27 zones, including the new residents in the remaining areas. The areas that are not fully covered yet are Al Barsha, Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah, Discovery Gardens and Burj Khalifa. Emiratis do not pay the fee. This point leads to criticism from some expats, who complained that they have been unfairly targeted.
Therefore, the government said in May 2010 that officials have planned to charge every resident by January 1, 2011.
In October, the plans were to issue reminders to all the non-paying residents to complete online form to ensure they are correctly billed. If residents fail to complete the form, their housing fee will be calculated on estimated rent or property value obtained from Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).
The reminder notices will be issued within a month or two and after that authorities will start resuming bills for the remaining people. Filling the form will ensure that they are charged accurately and if they don’t fill the form, they risk being overcharged.