Dubai: 10-year-old buildings face demolition; over 400

Expert committee finds structural defects, severe corrosion which ‘requires direct and rapid intervention’



Mayaza buildings in Queue Point, Liwan. Photo: Mazhar Farooqui

Mayaza buildings in Queue Point, Liwan. Photo: Mazhar Farooqui

Published: Mon 4 Jul 2022, 6:35 PM

Last updated: Mon 4 Jul 2022, 10:52 PM

Over 400 homeowners of the barely 10-year-old Mayaza 3 and Mazaya 4 residential buildings in Queue Point, Liwan, have been told that they are living in their apartments at their own risk.

Residents of the buildings in Dubai were informed about this through an email notification last month after an expert committee found that their buildings suffer from a host of serious issues, including structural damage and corrosion.

In the wake of the findings, sale of apartments, issuance of new lease agreements and registration of tenancy contracts (Ejari) have been suspended in the buildings till further notice.

Kaizen Owner Association Management Services, the company managing the property, said they involved government authorities after residents complained about eroded floors, water leakage and cracks.

Photo: Supplied

Photo: Supplied

A committee was subsequently formed in November last year by Dubai Land Department (DLD) and developer Al Mazaya Real Estate to assess the buildings, identify the cause of the damage and propose solutions.

The committee submitted its report on March 31, 2022, and the findings reveal several defects in the 14-storey buildings, ranging from severe corrosion to concrete breakdown.

The committee also conducted a series of ‘non-destructive tests’ to get to the bottom of the problem. Among other things, the tests confirmed that the corrosion in the slab reinforcement resulted from a “high concentration of chlorides, multiple times more than the limit” in concrete slabs.

Photo: Supplied

Photo: Supplied

According to the email sent to residents by Kaizen on June 9, there are issues with the strength of the structure of the buildings. The property management firm said the “degree of structural damages to the reinforced slabs of the floors varies from one building to another, necessitating urgent solutions to address each case, according to its situation.”

The email said the “condition of the buildings requires direct and rapid intervention” to “prevent all dangers that could affect the safety of occupants.”

Photo: Mazhar Farooqui

Photo: Mazhar Farooqui

It said the decision to renovate or demolish the buildings will be taken within three months and those staying in the building until then will be doing so at their own responsibility.

Kaizen said they regret the situation but have no control over it, adding that it bore “no responsibility other than informing you [residents] of the instructions of the government authorities.”

The email has come as the proverbial bolt from the blue for homeowners. Many of them are still paying the mortgage for their apartments, which were handed over between 2014 and 2015.

Photo: Mazhar Farooqui

Photo: Mazhar Farooqui

“What will I do, where will I go if they decide to demolish it?” asked an Indian expat who snapped up a three-bedroom unit in Mayaza 3 for Dh1.3 million when the project was announced in 2008.

Mohammad Ayub, a Pakistani banker, who bought a two-bedroom apartment, in October 2021, said he’s staring at uncertain future.

“On top of the money I paid for the house, I spent around Dh60,000 on refurbishments,” he said showing us around the remodelled kitchen and bathroom.

Ayub said he’s worried living in an “unsafe” building with his family but cannot vacate it as he has nowhere to go.

“One month after we moved in, I was told that we cannot use the underground car park as it is unsafe. Since then, all of us have been parking our cars on the roads, often incurring fines.”

Photo: Mazhar Farooqui

Photo: Mazhar Farooqui

He said the developer, Al Mazaya Real Estate is yet to tell them what will happen in case they are ordered to vacate the building at the end of the notification period in September.

Al Mazaya Real Estate did not respond to emails or calls by Khaleej Times despite reminders.

Dubai Land Department (DLD) told Khaleej Times they would take a final decision in the matter by August 1.

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A spokesperson for the department said they are in constant touch with the developer and have formed a team with specialist engineers and Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).

In the meantime, the owners’ association has been instructed to carry out any maintenance work required by an apartment, DLD had said.

Kaizen Owner Association Management Services (LLC) declined to share more details of the case but reiterated that they carried out their duties according to the requirements of the law by highlighting the problems of homeowners and alerting competent authorities.

“We would like to stress that we are committed to assisting all owners with a high level of professionalism in this matter in line with the directives of the authorities,” Kaizen said in an email statement.

What the law says?

The jointly owned property law in Dubai sets clear markers for property owners’ rights, as well as those of the developer and property management company.

Article (40) of Law No. (6) of 2019 on ownership of freehold properties in Dubai provides that the “responsibility of the developer to repair or correct any defects in structural parts of the property shall continue for a period of 10 years.”

This obligation on the part of the developer starts from the date of obtaining the certificate of completion for the project. The developer is also held responsible to repair or replace defective fixtures in the property for a period of one year from the date of handing over the unit to the owner .

About the author: AKDSEO

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