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OA Service fees – To pay or not to pay?

With all of the recent press coverage about Owners Association and delinquent service charges, many owners are wondering if they should pay their service fees. This sentiment is especially true as owners watch their common area amenities being arbitrarily shut down. This practice affects both the owner-residents and investors as it is very difficult to rent out your property when, for example, the neighborhood pool has no water!

Under these circumstances the unit owners don’t want to pay if they are not receiving the expected level of services and the management can’t maintain the services if the unit owners won’t pay.

It’s a no-win situation for all concerned.

What’s the solution?

Move forward. All parties need to set aside their old grievances and turn their minds to solving the problem at hand. There are no amenities. No one will service the amenities unless they are paid. There is no money. There’s no money because no one pays their service fees. The immediate short term solution is to pay your service fees and to convince your neighbors to pay their service fees. Then, you both persuade other owners to pay, and so on.

Next, make sure that Management has a plan to resume services (get that pool running!!) as well as paying past due bills that have accumulated. Perhaps the OA can establish a mutually accepted payback plan with service providers to settle outstanding accounts over a period of time.

You and your neighbors are all in the same situation and you can work together to solve the problem as, by ignoring or boycotting the problem it will only get worse. We wish you success!

Newsworthy Events

Stratum is in the news! We hope that you read the interview in the Gulf News where our business partner and Executive Director, Saeed Al Fahim talked about the OA industry and trends.

Senior Stratum Manager, Ellen Rosenbaum, also authored the Expert Eye column on 18th of June 2012.

Stratum will continue to provide timely articles and a “Q and A” column addressing issues and problems affecting the OA industry. If you have a question you would like addressed, you can submit it (anonymously) to:




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