13th March 2020
The Truth, the Whole Truth & nothing but the Truth
Part 3: A Bright Independent Future for Los Claveles Owners
“The dispute has never been about whether Onagrup can maintain the resort, it has always been about
whether Onagrup can be trusted not to take control of Los Claveles for its own ends”
One of the big lessons learned from the dispute with Onagrup these past 5 years is that our independence as owners to make decisions about the future of the resort was a mirage.
We have had legal structures, and [democratic] processes and procedures in place that should have protected our independence yet we have found to our cost these can be ignored, circumvented, manipulated and challenged when the control is not with the owners. You name it and we have experienced it, as you will see when we publish our next article about what we have been up against.
There were 3 fundamental challenges that we faced.
1. Historically the management company had far too much control over the Club.
1.1 To overcome that challenge we have spent the last two years working to change that for Club owners, through the Arbitration Award of August 2017, bringing the administration of the Club under the control of owners through the return of Club accounting records, membership database and funds to the Club in the UK.
1.2 We democratically appointed Hiro Bulchand as Club Administrator, and legal advisor on Spanish Law, to replace WimPen Ona.
1.3 We established a limited company based in the UK in order to collect Club owners’ maintenance payments on behalf of the Club Administrator.
1.4 We plan to democratically appoint a trusted manager to run the Club at the resort as soon as WimPen Ona complies with the first arbitration and the outcome of the second arbitration is known.
1.5. As an important and vital part of our plan, Club members took a democratic vote in 2019 to give greater protection to the Club, its owners and their elected representatives by following democratically the recommendations of the Scottish Parliamentary working group to change the status of the Club from an unincorporated association to an incorporated company limited by guarantee.
The final stage of the plan will be to seek democratically to restructure the Club by bringing together the existing limited company and the company limited by guarantee.
2. The management company had, and currently has, far too much control over the Owners Association (DOA)
We are fighting to protect the rights of Club owners by legally challenging the way that they have been excluded from taking part in Development Owners Association (DOA) general meetings at which all the major decisions about the running of the resort are taken.
Once Club owners’ rights to take part in these meetings have been fully established – knowing that WimPen Ona lawyers acknowledged these rights in their recent submission to the Provincial Appeal Court of Santa Cruz – a much more democratic process can be followed to elect a President and Administrator of majority choice, so that owners have much greater control over the resort’s funding and operations.
3. The Trustee that the Club dismissed in 2012 is still there.
This should not be a problem for too much longer. The Committee, via legal action, are working to finally remove FNTC, replacing them with Hutchinson (as agreed 8 years ago). This is nearing its final stages, and Hutchinson has agreed to meet all the requirements of the Deed of Trust and the Club Committee on behalf of owners.
Beyond the challenges an exciting, prosperous ‘Independent Future’ awaits us
Once we have resolved these 3 fundamental challenges and we have full transparency over the resort’s financial health, we can start to engage owners in developing our future aspirations for the resort.
We will do this democratically by developing our existing business plan, and in consultation with Escritura owners.
Central to this is the Statement of Intent that we developed previously that still holds good today:
Our Statement of Intent
Our Purpose is to ensure that the family orientated resort of Los Claveles continues to develop and prosper long into the future for the benefit of its owners.
Our Mission is to ensure that Los Claveles remains free from commercial exploitation by partnering with the Administrator of our choice, and carefully selected professional and trustworthy service providers.
Our Aspirations are to unite the Club and Escritura owner communities by appointing a new Administrator and professional service providers whom we can trust to:
- maintain the family atmosphere of our resort whilst ensuring its financial viability with a vibrant rental and sales programme in keeping with its heritage
- improve our resort cost effectively to a standard that will delight our owners and renters alike, whilst keeping maintenance fees as low as possible
- deliver responsive and responsible governance of Los Claveles, working with a dedicated committee, and extended group of owner volunteers, to develop Los Claveles into one of the best and most prosperous resorts in Tenerife
Refurbishing our resort to the highest standard, and running it efficiently and effectively, will be a labour of love and we hope that owners will wholeheartedly grasp the opportunity.
Then it will be time to get excited and inspired about what we can do when we have the resort under our own control, and not having to shell out almost €200k a year on inflated management charges.
Here’s some ideas to get you started…..
In case you weren’t already aware, Timeshare was invented by Butlins (UK) in the 40’s/50’s to help cover resort costs during the off-season. Tenerife has no recognisable season and average occupancy for resorts is between 70-80% which is probably considerably higher than what it has been in recent years.
So, how about….
- A drive to zero maintenance fees for owners within 5 years – based on higher occupancy rates year-round.
- Special weekly deals for owners during times of lower occupancy, e.g. BOGOF.
- Special discounts, e.g. “Family and Friends” offering 50% off rental fees.
- Winter Special Bonus Weeks (as per DAE, RCI etc.) – How about spending the whole of January in Tenerife for example if ‘a deal’ could be formulated?
- A £multi-million investment programme into updating resort facilities and infrastructure – through savings made on management fees, increased profits from lettings, recovering the monies owing from Onagrup and possibly borrowings (crowd funding, bank borrowings with general low rates across Europe.
- A bona fide exit program for owners who increasingly find it difficult to make the trip to Tenerife and who can’t/don’t want to pass it on to heirs.
Thank you. Club Los Claveles Limited, Cric, 2 Beaufort Street, Crickhowell, Powys, Wales, UK, NP8 1BN Reg. No. 09719940
If you have some great ideas about how you you would like our resort to develop, please comment below.