From the Atrium's newsletter (of today):
Festiva Resorts must pass along the never welcome news that a 10% increase in your annual maintenance fees and a
special assessment fee equal to two times (annual owners) or one times (biennial owners) your annual maintenance
fees per unit week are required from you as an owner in order to provide the funds necessary to satisfy the
previously mentioned needs.
Link to full story:
We own 3 weeks in March and 2 in Nov. Just read the newsletter and went into Island Shock... What seems to be going
on with these management companys. Artium had excellent management and was always had excellent maintenence. Simon,
the previous owner, even improved the property and units each year. Now the new owners, Festiva, say they are
running a loss and cannot keep up with improvements or even maintain the existing building. With an 80% sold
assessment on 85 units they would receive over $4,000,000. Seems a little excessive. We are also considering moving
on.... but with such a big investment in the island it will be hard.
There is a bright side maybe, JMB has a lot of information on their web site and quotes Stefan Fox a St Maarten
Stefan Fox is a St. Maarten attorney. (American attorneys really can’t file suits in St. Maarten. It’s a foreign
country with totally different laws, and court proceedings are all in Dutch.)
We wrote to Stefan about this mess. His reply:
“Time share rights are considered lease rights under the laws of the Netherlands Antilles. A sudden increase in
maintenance fees is unlawful, as long as the 'owners' have not signed up to same, in the very same lease / time
share agreement or in the association documents. So the content of the time share agreement is of essence.”
Our agreements only allow an increase in maintenance fees up to the St Maarten consumer price index, there is no
provision for any special assessments.
I know this is just the beginning of this problem for all timeshare owners on the island. Lets hope it gets resolved
quickly before the Island economy goes south.