|An Owner’s Experience of Trying to Get Answers from Onagrup & Co. |
My name is Edward Crisp. I have been an owner at Los Claveles since purchasing my first week in 1993 and later, a second week in 2006. The following is my experience of trying to get answers from WimPen, Onagrup and Trustee FNTC.
At the 2011 Los Claveles AGM, Ivan Pengelly, when seeking the extension of WimPen’s contract, warned us of the dangers of appointing unknown management companies who he said had raised maintenance fees to force owners out and then resell the resort as a different format. When asked about this in 2015. Mr Castro never replied.
At past AGM’s Mr Pengelly has always said that WimPen has no interest in acquiring weeks. In Sept 2015 when questioned, if that was true, why had WimPen’s number of votes increased over the years? Mr Pengelly never replied.
In May 2017, in relation to maintenance fees, it was suggested to Mr Castro that the correct response for WimPen was for them not to invoice individual Club members but to invoice the Club for the proportion of fees due to the DOA. Mr Castro never replied.
Again in May 2017, regarding Mrs Parkinson’s arrest; she was at the resort as President of the Club to assist any owner facing problems with WimPen blocking them at reception when it re-opened after the maintenance period. She was stalked by “manager” hired specially by Onagrup who later verbally assaulted her, saying he would force her to commit a vile sex act upon him. This was to a lady in her 70’s. Later, during an argument in reception, the same “manager” claimed she had damaged his expensive sun glasses though she suffered bruising when he smacked her arm. Unknown to her, the “manager” called the police who arrived in numbers and arrested her in full view of owners. The case went to court but was eventually dismissed through a lack of evidence despite Onagrup claiming they had video of the attack but refused to show it. Her injuries were deemed inadmissible as she had not consulted a doctor; this was because the police did not have an interpreter and refused to allow her to see a doctor. Her allegations of sexual verbal assault and threat, and of physical assault were rejected despite the latter being witnessed by an owner who provided evidence in court. The British Consul became involved on Mrs Parkinson’s behalf. Philip Broomhead of FNTC was contacted about the verbalthreat of sexual assault asking if they were the actions of a respectable company and would he like it if it had happened to an elderly member of his family. Mr Broomhead never replied.
In August 2017 WimPen was asked about credit card statements dating back to 2007 which showed that all payments made by credit card through Wimpen’s online facility were received by Wimpey Leisure SA, Fasnia. However, Wimpey Leisure SA is not a registered company, and has not been since 2004, it is listed as ‘Extinguida’. The credit card company says this seems suspicious. WimPen never replied.
In October 2017 WimPen was questioned about why they had sent out an invoice having already acknowledged that they do not have a contract with the Club, and that this was clearly in breach of the Spanish Data Protection Act. WimPen never replied.
The arbitrator (Scotland’s premier arbitrator who helped write the Scottish Arbitration Act 2010) made two interim awards. One was that the Members’ Register legitimately belongs to the Committee, that under Spanish Law WimPen is only the custodian of it, and he ordered WimPen to hand it over. The second was that the Committee was legitimate and was entitled to financing from the Club account and as such he ordered to WimPen to transfer a substantial amount to the Club to pay legal expenses. Wimpen never complied.
The 1990 Club Constitution stated that Wimpey Homes Holdings Ltd was ‘the Company’ and a ‘Founder Member’. In later versions WimPen amended this to WimPen Leisure Management SA. WimPen never raised a resolution at an AGM for this amendment to the Constitution. Records at Companies House show that Wimpey Homes Holdings Ltd became George Wimpey UK Ltd and then Taylor Wimpey UK Ltd. Letters in 1997/8 from Ivan Pengelly and George Wimpey PLC state that the management buy-out was for the assets, resort management and leisure interests of Wimpey Leisure. Wimpey Leisure SA was a subsidiary of Wimpey Homes Holdings Ltd. The 1997/8 accounts for Wimpey Homes Holdings show that they disposed
• Wimpey Leisure Management SA
• George Wimpey Iberica SA
• Wimpey Leisure SA
• Wimpey Villas Lanzarote SA
• Wimpey Villas Tenerife SA
• Wimpey (Las Palmeras) Ltd
All of these companies were acquired by Ivan Pengelly; Wimpey Homes Holdings Ltd was not. WimPen never has had the right to be Founder Members When asked to explain the reason why Club members are not allowed to vote on matters concerning the DOA Ivan Pengelly said the DOA was governed by the Law of Horizontal Property and the Club was not. In addition, as the Escrituras for Club property were held by 5 Owning Companies and not by the individual members, the members could not vote. How does this differ from Las Casitas where Mr Barrow is the President and co-Director of the Holding Company which now holds the Escrituras of owners who have transferred them into it? As those owners do not actually hold the Escritura but a contract guaranteeing rights, very much the same as the Club certificate does at Los Claveles, how are they entitled to vote on matters concerning the common areas? Why has WimPen one set of rules for Las Casitas and different ones for Los Claveles on this matter? Mr Pengelly never replied.
Research over the last 2½ years has revealed one important point. The resorts that have been closed or ‘acquired’ have all been Club system resorts. At Diamond Club Calypso, Lanzarote, owners were so concerned of the ulterior motives of the developer that they mounted a campaign to safeguard the resort despite denials and underhand tactics by the developer. The owners eventually succeeded and found that the developer had already sold some of the property as residential and that that was his plan for the whole resort. Moness in Scotland is going a similar way, as, it now appears, is Butlin’s Blueskies timeshare resort.
Madeira’s Regency Resort was lost, Club Jardines del Puerto is closing down despite members protestations and they have been told to expect very little in return. Pueblo Laguna Beach Club closed, with some owners receiving a small sum but it is still being operated by the same developer, though not as timeshare. Vera Beach Club, Almeria has closed as has Oceana Beach Club, Mijas Costa. Some owners at Los Claveles lost their weeks at Palms Golf & Country Club, being reluctantly moved to Chayofa where they eventually lost their weeks completely.
Surely, having read the above, as you sit there safe in the knowledge that the Escritura you hold is safe and secure, you can understand the doubts and reservations Club members have about Onagrup who have done absolutely nothing to dispel those doubts, acting exactly as predicted they would back in 2015 – by using threats, intimidation and bullying against those who refuse to comply, to get their own way. Something that is familiar to others who own at other Onagrup resorts or who have crossed their path. They are hardly the actions of a reputable and honourable company and that if they have changed from the past then why have they not announced that? But then again, although they have changed ownership, the CEO has always been the same, Carlos Barrau; the CEO generally being the most important person in a company, dictating direction, modus operandi and response.
8 March 2018