The Government of Dubai has taken an active role in regulating joint ownership status because of their importance and as a result Law No. 06\2019 on the Ownership of Jointly Owned Properties in the Emirate of Dubai (the "Law") has been issued.
Definition of Jointly Owned Property:
Any building, its parts and annexes intended for common use, including the land on which it was built as well as the land divided into units or lands allocated for independent ownership.
Registration of Units:
The Law sets out the process of how jointly owned units are registered with Dubai Land Department ("DLD") and stipulates, amongst other things, the developer's obligation to submit documents indicating the completion of the project within sixty (60) days from the date of issuing the completion.
Disposal of the Units:
The Law defines a joint owner's right to dispose of his portion of the jointly owned property. However, in order to do so, the seller of the joint ownership property must submit the terms of sale and the details of the individual or entity wishing to purchase his portion of the jointly owned property to the remaining owner and presenting the purchaser's willingness to purchase within thirty (30) days from the date of the announcement. After being notified, the remaining owner has priority to purchase the portion being sold before the new purchaser.
Management of Jointly Owned Properties:
Jointly owned properties are managed through various methods depending on the categories defined by the Law, which include:
1. Major Projects:
The developer is responsible for the management, operation, maintenance and repair of common parts and facilities' services. An owners committee shall be formed, the members of which are from the owners living in the jointly owned property. The committee's tasks are specified according to the relevant statute and shall remain within the license's authorities.
2. Hotel Projects:
These are managed through a hotel project management company as selected by the developer.
3. Minor Projects:
It is managed by companies specializing in the management of this type of project in accordance with the charter drafted by the residential complex. There shall be an owners' committee as well comprised of owners living on jointly owned property.
An owners' committee shall not exceed nine (9) members in total. The owners' committee shall be formed only upon registration of not less than (10%) of the total number of units in the jointly owned property. The Law specifies the tasks the owners' committee shall undertake and same may not be expanded.
Restrictions on the Use of the Unit:
The developer and/or management company shall not take any action against the owner which prevents him/her from taking over and/or using the common parts with the intent to oblige him/her to pay the services fees or use fees.
Administrative Sanctions and Penalties:
The Law stipulates that the Dubai Land Department shall appoint designated persons to establish and prove acts committed in violation of this Law. Such designated persons have the authority to issue seizure warrants and shall be assisted by the relevant authorities, including police officers.
Anyone who commits any act which contravenes this Law shall be liable to pay a fine not exceeding AED 1,000,000 which can be doubled and shall not, in any circumstances, exceed AED 2,000,000 if repeated within one year from the date of the first offence.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.