Building Reserve Fund Studies in Dubai RERA Approved: Unlocking Property Potential through Building Reserve Fund Studies in Dubai

In Dubai, the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) enforces specific guidelines and legislation governing the management of jointly owned properties. These properties, defined as ‘the whole or part of a building or land, divided into units intended for separate ownership,’ encompass apartments, villas, and entire communities sharing common areas. Typically, a firm appointed by the Owners Association (OA) manages the overall building or land, handling day-to-day tasks such as maintenance, security, cleaning, and finance. RERA mandates the OA or the OA manager to establish budgets and two separate funds – the general fund and the building reserve fund – both funded by owners through the service charge.
For service charge budget approval, RERA requires a formal real estate reserve fund study. While specific details on the study’s methodology or composition are not provided, consultants conducting the study must hold a ‘Property Observer’ trade license, indicating sufficient experience in building construction and condition assessment.

It is crucial to note that not all firms with the license can conduct a building reserve fund study. Competent chartered surveying consultants with ample local experience, adherence to international standards, and customization to Dubai’s preferences should be engaged. The use of foreign cost data is discouraged.
The building reserve fund study plays a pivotal role in future budgeting for property managers and forms the foundation for forecasting capital replacement costs. Overlooking its significance may result in a deficit in capital for essential asset replacements.

To determine the funds needed for future replacements as assets reach the end of their serviceable life, surveyors adopt a two-tier approach. They gather relevant property data, assessing the current condition of each asset, including type, location, exposure, installation quality, maintenance history, and their impact on the remaining useful life. This analysis identifies the replacement year for each asset.
Using this life expectancy forecast, surveyors develop a tailored financial model, considering current and future replacement costs, inflation effects, and interest accrued in the savings account. The objective is to project expenditures over approximately 60 years, presenting this data in a 10 or 20-year window.

Client involvement, especially the Facility Management (FM) team, is crucial in obtaining accurate information on maintenance procedures and past replacements. The FM and building management team should comprehend the model’s establishment and its ongoing usage. It’s important to recognize that the cost model is a forecast, albeit as accurate as possible.

Reference: Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, “Direction for Association Constitution Issued in accordance with Law No. (6) of 2019 Concerning Ownership of Jointly Owned Real Property in the Emirate of Dubai,” Dubai Land Department.