|Creating a resort run by the Owners|
for the benefit of all Owners
|Christmas Newsletter December 2017|
As Christmas rapidly approaches it is time to wish all of our Owners a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
First a brief recap of the last year
This time last year the Club Committee and others were busy with giving evidence to the Arbitrator as part of the Arbitration process, as were Onagrup and WimPen.
This part of the process was completed in January and legal arguments were heard on 31st January.
We then had a very long wait for the Arbitrator’s decisions.
In April there was an SGM where a new constitution was agreed modernising the existing constitution and removing all the parts that related to the beginnings of Los Claveles.
In May the new WimPen (now controlled by Onagrup) took over the running of the resort despite their contract with the Club having come to an end on 3rd May 2017. At that date they ceased to be the administrator of the Club which comprises of about 85% of the resort. Despite this they stayed on as Club administrators and had a very heavy-handed approach with several armed guards on site.
Carol Parkinson, the Club President was assaulted both physically and verbally. She was arrested and held in a cell by the police on charges that were totally fabricated and she was subsequently released.
Owners were only allowed to occupy their villas if they paid their maintenance to WimPen even if they had paid the legally appointed administrator of the Club.
In August the Arbitrator announced his findings in a partial award. Although the Club Committee did not win everything it achieved a positive result. The Committee was subsequently able to inform members that the contract with WimPen ended on 3rd May 2017 as WimPen / Onagrup had admitted this and that all the assets and money belonging to the Club should be returned to the Club. We were also able to confirm that the Club Committee was legally appointed as per the Constitution.
In September a Club AGM was held with record numbers of owners either attending in person or being represented by proxy votes. Carol Parkinson and Albert Fletcher were elected to be President and Chairman, respectively, for a three-year period and Terry Smith was elected onto the Committee to fill the vacancy left by Albert Fletcher taking on his new role. The vast majority of owners supported changes to the new Constitution and the continued action against WimPen and FNTC.
WimPen wrote letters to all owners stating that they had won the arbitration, but they then decided to appeal. Obviously the statement that they had won was untrue.
This appeal is being heard by a judge in the highest civil court in Scotland and is progressing fast through the process. The Club Committee is very optimistic about a positive outcome but cannot say any more due to strict rules of confidentiality that are in force and has no desire to upset the judge hearing the case. The final hearing for the appeal is set for 15th December 2017.
In November three members of the Club Committee attended a conference for independent timeshare resorts organised by DaE and as usual, paid their own travelling expenses. The Committee supported this event for two reasons. Firstly, DaE has supported the Club through these difficult times. Secondly, it was an opportunity to meet the professionals at the conference who we may need in the near future. Committee members found this conference very useful and good links were made with a number of other independent resorts – mostly in the UK.
What happens next?
The appeal process is progressing very quickly and a hearing date is set for 15th December. We should know the outcome early in the New Year.
The Club Committee are also in the Scottish court trying to get FNTC to hand over the trusteeship to Hutchinson. This handover was originally agreed by Ivan Pengelly and the Club Committee as it was in March 2012, and FNTC were part paid for carrying out the transfer, but to date they have not done this. This could happen quickly once the appeal is resolved.
A solicitor is working for the Club in Spain and will soon be taking various actions in Spain. This is necessary as Onagrup is a Spanish company and the Resort comes under Spanish jurisdiction. Unfortunately, we cannot give any more information at this stage.
The Chairman has met with an experienced Resort Manager who is keen to take on our resort and the manager would receive assistance from the new Administrator.
The Committee is exploring resort management software to enable a smooth transition once we win back the resort.
Frequently asked questions
What is the Club Committee aiming to achieve by all this legal action?
The Club Committee is working for the owners to turn Los Claveles into a fully funded, family friendly resort run by the owners for the benefit of all owners. This aim was supported by the vast majority of Club owners that attended or voted at the 2017 Club AGM. The Club committee has taken no significant decisions relating to this dispute without the agreement of the majority of Club members that it can contact at either a SGM or AGM. We do not act unilaterally and, as owners ourselves, only have members’ interests at heart.
Why won’t the Committee meet with WimPen to reach an amicable solution to the dispute?
The Committee met with WimPen and Onagrup several times in 2015 to try to come to an amicable settlement to the dispute. Onagrup were even offered a 1-year contract to see if a working relationship could be built up but all the negotiations came to nothing. For example, what was agreed at one meeting by Onagrup was not accepted at the next meeting by them. The Vice President Business Development Europe/Middle East/Africa for RCI has offered to host a meeting between Club Committee and Snr Castro (WimPen / Onagrup) in Kettering to see if they can help resolve some of the RCI related difficulties. The Committee has expressed its willingness to attend a meeting.
Why have the full results of the Arbitration still not been published?
The Arbitrator issued a partial award in August 2017. This is covered by confidentiality until the full award has been produced, including costs. We are still waiting for this to be completed. We have been advised by our solicitors that we cannot publish the full document until this happens. We must follow their guidance, not that expressed by others. We will place the report on our secure website once we are told we can do so by our solicitors.
Why should we pay the Club when they cannot guarantee access to our villa?
As mentioned above the only legal way to pay your maintenance fees is to pay the Club. The Club has a strategy so that no owner need pay twice to use their right to occupy their week. The situation is changing as court actions take effect over the next few weeks/months.
Why should we pay the Club when WimPen/Onagrup are still responsible for Escritura owners and the DOA/common areas?
The Constitution states that the Club is responsible for collecting maintenance fees from Club Owners. In the past this was delegated to WimPen but this ended in July 2015 when the Committee withdrew the delegation. The delegation ended again when the contract terminated on 3 May 2017. WimPen, as Administrator for the Escritura Owners, are responsible to collect the full maintenance fees from them only. The Administrator for the Development Owners Association (DOA) is obliged by the Statutes (Spanish laws) for that organisation to produce a Common Parts Service Charge to cover the costs of the common areas. The Club should then arrange to pay this charge out of the maintenance fees it collects. The Chairman of the Club has written to Ivan Pengelly, on three occasions, requesting details of this charge so that the Club Committee can agree and make arrangements to pay its contribution. Ivan Pengelly, as the current Administrator of the DOA, has failed to reply to the Chairman’s requests to date. The Club Committee is willing to abide by the rules of the resort (The Constitution and Statutes) but Ivan Pengelly and WimPen clearly are not.
Why not give WimPen a contract when they are making a good job of running the resort and other WimPen resorts are said to be in a much-improved financial position?
There is more to running a timeshare resort than just making a profit. The management company needs to have the respect of the Owners and it needs to respect them.
Do we want to use an organisation such as WimPen/Onagrup that:
Does not respect or abide by the Constitution and Statutes that apply to our resort?
Sacks well respected members of staff without justification?
Does not comply with the orders made by the Arbitrator, even though they are participating in the Arbitration?
Employs staff that physically and verbally assault our Club President, Carol Parkinson (who is over 70)?
Produces false charges to the Spanish Police about Carol Parkinson and Albert Fletcher, causing Carol to be arrested in Tenerife and having to return there later for a court hearing?
Lies to Spanish courts that they cannot contact Albert Fletcher whilst continuing to send him letters?
The Club Committee does not think so and it is supported by the majority of Club owners as demonstrated at the 2017 AGM, as well as by some Escritura owners who have expressed this informally.
If I pay the Club my maintenance fees and then ask for a refund so I can pay WimPen, do I still owe the Club?
Yes, but it will depend on what the Club gets in the accounts when the Arbitrators orders are enforced in Spain. The Club respects that some of the maintenance fee goes to the Development Owners Association to pay for the costs of the communal areas and paying the staff but there are other parts that WimPen should not be using the money for e.g. paying themselves when their contract has ended. Under the Constitution you have to pay the Club. If you do not you are in breach of it.
If I pay WimPen for my week(s) in 2018, what will happen when the Club Committee gets control of the resort? Will I still be able to use my week(s)?
We remind owners that the only legal way to pay your maintenance fees is to pay the Club. Payments paid to WimPen may be lost. You cannot be certain that they will hand back your money – given their past behaviour. We cannot guarantee that you will still be able to use your week(s) without paying the Club for 2018.
The Club Committee hopes that the above information will answer your questions and give you hope for our resort’s future. It remains for all of us to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope that the dispute will soon be resolved and we all can enjoy a relaxing holiday back in Los Claveles. This is what you bought into there! We recognise that not all Owners agree with everything that we do but we aim to represent everyone’s views as much as possible so that we can have an owner-run resort with the support of an Administrator and Resort Manager that benefits all owners!
Carol, Albert, Ann, Roger, and Terry
Your Club Committee