Glossary

Annual General Assembly (AGA)

A meeting convened once each year comprising of all owners (as per the record on the Owners Roll Register) is called AGA. In the AGA, particular matters belonging to the Owners Association are discussed and resolved by the owners.

Annual Service Charge

An Annual service charge is enforced on all unit owners through a majority vote at the AGA. This amount is used for the maintenance, operation, renewal and replacement of the common areas and assets of the Owners Association.

Assets

Any kind of movable or immovable property, except real property, that is managed and owned by the Owners Association

Asset Register

A register maintained by the Owners Association that has a written record of all the assets of the building, together with relevant information, including:

  • Name of asset
  • Date of acquisition
  • Name of the supplier
  • Warranty expiry date
  • Emergency contact person
  • Contact number

Association Manager

An individual performing the duties in a voluntary capacity, or a specialised company appointed by the Owners Association through a contract for the management of a Jointly Owned Property, according to all legal requirements as well as other functions entrusted to him by the Owners Association.

The association manager needs to be registered and licensed by an appropriate licensing and regulatory authority. It is mandatory that the association manager should not have any financial or conflict of interest in the affairs of the Owners Association.

Board of Directors

A committee comprising of Owners, or representatives duly authorised by the Owners. The members of the Board of Directors are elected at each Annual General Assembly of the Owners Association.
The Board of Directors (more commonly called as “the Board”) consists of not less than five and no more than seven members. It also has three reserve members who are meant to fill a Board vacancy in case of a loss of a Board member. The Board as a group has the responsibility to make decisions regarding the conduct of the affairs of the Owners Association.

Board of Directors Membership

The Board members are elected each year at the Annual General Assembly of the Owners Association. They act as the representatives of all the owners within the Owners Association.

The role and duties of Board member are very clearly elaborated and governed in accordance with the Jointly Owned Property Law and the Owners Association Constitution. The role and duties of Board member include supervision of the management, maintenance and the operations of the common areas and the affairs of the Owners Association. Some or all of the functions of the Board can be delegated to an association manager. Board members are bound to follow a Code of Conduct defined in the Declaration.

Budget

An annual budget is an estimation of future expenses. The Owners Association manager prepares the annual budget for the approval of the Board. After the approval of annual budget by the Board, the budget is then presented for acceptance at the Annual General Assembly of each Owners Association through a majority vote of the owners.

This estimate of funds, after approval, becomes the basis for the determination of the contribution of individual owner towards the service charges to assist in the proper maintenance and management of the Owners Association to be undertaken.

The association manager prepares the budget and takes into account the full details of the proposed General Fund and Reserve Fund. This budget is first presented to the Board for grant of the approval and after the approval it is submitted to the owners for their vote at the Annual General Assembly.

The budget for the General Fund is prepared for a one-year period, whereas the budget for the Reserve Fund must be prepared for a minimum ten-year period on the basis of a study of the expenses of renewing and replacing the common areas as well as the assets.

Building Management Committee/Group

If more than one Owners Associations exists at one place, and all associations are governed by a Building Management Statement, then a duly elected group is appointed to represent the issues regarding the facilities shared amongst all the Owners Associations involved. This group comprises of the nominees from each individual Owners Association.

Building Management Statement

A contract under which a Building Management Committee/Group functions for its rules and regulations. This contract also breaks down the costs per component use area of the shared facilities.
Each Owners Association within a development functioning according to the building management statement is supposed to make a contribution for the management, maintenance and operation of the common areas and shared facilities.

Certificate of Title

The Land Department issues a Certificate of Title usually known as a Title Deed for each unit in the name of the unit owner for the provision of ownership of real property within the Jointly Owned Property.

Besides a Title Deed for each unit in the development, an additional Title Deed is provided for the Owners Associations demarcating the plot of land for the Jointly Owned Property.

Cluster

A detached group of developments that shares an open space.

Common Areas

An area of land or part of a building on the site plan which does not belong to any individual unit, is called a common area. Common areas include corridors, lobbies, stairwells, lifts and lift wells, roof, driveways, common area car parks, structural support columns, service utilities and associated equipment., It also includes electrical, telecommunications, computer and data service, utility infrastructure, security systems, plumbing, drainage systems, mail delivery systems and any other systems intended for enhancing the utilities of units and/or common areas such as gardens, pools, gymnasiums, or recreational rooms.

Component

This term is used at the time of forming a Building Management Statement on the basis of a site plan for indicating the separate areas, services and equipment within one building, such as residential, commercial, retail and so on.

Community Title

This term is used for describing a development that unites various dwelling styles and communal facilities where an overall style and theme must be followed.

Community Rules

Community rules are also known as By-Laws. These laws are intended to establish a standard of conduct for owners as well as occupiers within the development.

Constitution

The internal procedures of any Owners Association are handled according to a constitution. It defines the role of the Board and Association manager.

Conveyance

Transferring the ownership of a property from the seller to the buyer.

Entitlements

Every individual unit forming part of a development is allocated a unit entitlement as indicated on the Jointly Owned Property Declaration. It denotes the proportionate share of ownership in the Jointly Owned Property.

The amount of the unit entitlement differs subject to the size of the unit. It is calculated on the basis of the proportionate space of the unit as compared to the overall floor space of the building.

Unit entitlements control the share of the total annual budgeted service charges to be paid by each unit owner. The voting rights of unit owners at the Annual General Assembly are also governed by unit entitlements.

First Annual General Assembly (FAGA)

The very first meeting of owners in a Jointly Owned Property is called as First Annual General Assembly (FAGA).

General Fund

Levies used to take care of all the routine and regular expenditures of the Owners Association, such as municipality charges, electricity, landscaping, cleaning, insurance premiums, routine repairs and maintenance of the common areas, Owners Association management fees and so on.

Harmony

It defines the level of satisfaction of owner that persists within a Jointly Owned Property development, with regards to disputes of different types.

Jointly Owned Property (JOP)

Ownership of real estate in case the whole or part of a building or land or both have been divided into units (for private ownership) and common areas (to be owned jointly by all the unit owners in the development) and is aimed at the separate ownership.

Jointly Owned Property Declaration

The terms and conditions under which the development and operation of Jointly Owned Property is governed.
The developer of a building or project prepares the declaration and files it at the Land Department. This document must contain comprehensive details about the Jointly Owned Property including site plans, entitlements, community rules, potential purchaser, meetings, voting, records, payment of service charges and so on.

Master Community Declaration

The terms and conditions under which the development and operation of Jointly Owned Property is governed.

Occupant Register

A register meant for keeping the records of all current occupants residing in the building. It is maintained by the Owners Association manager. The purpose of this register is to ensure safety in case of an emergency as well as in case the building may require to be evacuated.

The Owner

The individual registered as an owner of a particular unit in the register, including persons having a unit in their name with a long-term lease or usufruct right for limited period. The name of master developer or the sub-developer is also included as owner in case of unsold units.

Owners Association

A separate legal entity comprising all the owners of the units in a Jointly Owned Property Development is called Owners Association. It is formed once the title to the first unit is transferred from the developer to any individual or a party other than the developer as well as at the time of registration of the Jointly Owned Property Declaration with the Land Department.

The Owners Association is responsible for the management of the development and particularly the common areas. All individual owners of properties in a building or community automatically become the members of the Owners Association.

Occupants do not fall in the category of the members of the Owners Association but they must abide by the Community Rules.
An Owners Association is a “not for profit” legal entity just as a company is a separate legal entity from its shareholders. After registration, the Owners Association may sue and be sued. After registration, it is authorized to own and dispose of movable assets and may enter into service agreements.

Owner Association Constitution

Owner Association Constitution encompasses the rules and regulations under which the Owners Association is governed and is issued in line with Law No. 27 of 2007.

Owners Roll Register

Registers are meant for keeping the records of all the owners of the building. It is maintained by the Owners Association. The changes are incorporated in this roll when properties are sold or when the owners inform a change regarding their contact details.

Each unit owner is responsible to ensure that he/she informs the Owners Association regarding the change of ownership as well as regarding one of the records that decides whether a registered owner is eligible to vote at the Annual General Assembly.

RERA

Real Estate Regulatory Agency.

Reserve Fund

Levies used to take care of the capital improvements and major repair or replacement. The Reserve Fund is meant to cater for the anticipated cost of expenditures of a capital nature that has to be taken care of by the Owners Association. These expenditures may occur other than annually expenditures such as, replacement of lift equipment, common area painting, structural defect rectification, and unexpected emergencies.

Service Charges

The amounts contributed by all owners of the Owners Association to take care of regular expenditure as well as future major works. The amount paid by each unit owner is determined keeping in mind the unit entitlement allocated to the respective units and the amount is paid to both the General Fund and the Reserve Fund in agreement with the budget approved by the owners at a general assembly. A bank account is opened with a bank approved by the Regulatory Authority in the name of the Owners Association and these monies must be kept in that bank account.

Shared Facilities

It is a term used when a Building Management Statement is designed on the basis of a site plan for the indication of common areas used by two or more Owners Associations.

Site Plan

Site Plan is also called a subdivision plan or survey plan. This is the actual survey undertaken by the Jointly Owned Property Development and registered with the Land Department, indicating the building on the land, the individual units as well as the common areas; that is, a plan registered in the register indicating the units and its common areas

Strata Scheme

A term usually used in other legal jurisdictions such as Australia and Singapore for describing Jointly Owned Property in the UAE.

Stratum Subdivision

Also called a Volumetric Subdivision. It is used for the creation of units that separately describe different component use areas within a building.

Each component will be a unit within the Jointly Owned Property and usually a contract will exist between each unit of the subdivided building regarding the aspects of its management and use (Building Management Statement). This type of subdivision is frequently used for managing the mixed-use developments.

Supply Agreement

Any contract with the Owners Association for the supply of goods or services for a period of one year or more.

Survey

A survey is an authenticated document that indicates the property boundaries and improvements.

Units

Any sold part of a Jointly Owned Property development; that is, apartments, offices, retail and plots of land.

Utility Service

Any of the following services:

  • Water reticulation or supply.
  • Gas reticulation or supply.
  • Electricity supply.
  • Air conditioning.
  • Telephone service.
  • Computer data or television service.
  • Removal or disposal of garbage or waste system.
  • Mail, parcels or goods delivery system.
  • Any other system or service intended for enhancing the utilities of units or common areas.

Valuation

A valuation is an estimate of the property value carried out by a qualified valuation practitioner.

You can find the answers to your questions in our FAQs section.

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