Rainbow Beach Club owners accuse developer of terrorism

POSTED: 02/8/12 3:38 PM

Johnny Erato: “Unable to provide services if we’re not paid”

CUPECOY – “It’s like terrorism; they are holding us hostage now.” On Tuesday homeowners at the Rainbow Beach Club (RBC) awoke to find that all of the amenities that they had grown accustomed to in the common areas of the property were now being restricted. The electricity used to power elevators was cut, the maintenance crew had been directed to empty both ocean side pools and the staircase to the beachfront was now blocked. Chairman of the West Building Homeowners Association, Jim Taffeiren said that there was no notice and it all resembled a high school movie gone horribly wrong. “It was a complete surprise, every few minutes we are finding out something new about what they are doing. This developer is making it difficult for us to live in peace,” Taffeiren lamented.
But Rainbow beach club spokesman Johnny Erato told this newspaper yesterday that the home owners know already since December 14 that services would be restricted if they did not pay their monthly maintenance fees that amount to – depending on the apartment they own – between 4400 and $500. The developer says he is unable to provide services without getting ;aid for them. Yesterday Taffeiren advised other home owners in an email not to pay the February maintenance fees. Erato says that he still provides necessary services like gate security and garbage disposal.
Last Wednesday the home owners recorded a partial victory in a court case where they requested the right to choose and set their own conditions for a maintenance and security service provider. Since the Rainbow Beach Club Company had already terminated its maintenance agreement with the homeowners, the judge also ruled that the agreement was now unchangeable. The court also ruled that RBC Management should take care of the management of the common areas within the footprint of the five buildings on the Rainbow property, but that it was not to be involved in managing the disputed so-called Rainbow Beach Club Facilities – commonly identified as the hotel facilities. These are the facilities Taffeiren claims are now being “hijacked.” The facilities are established outside the footprint of the five buildings on the property that belongs to developer Sabra N.V. They include the swimming pool, tennis courts and security. Sabra N.V had established easements on these facilities for the 150 condo-owners that entitled the owners to use them. “The judge ruled that they were not to interfere but this is what they doing now,” he said. Each resident still holds the individual responsibility for GEBE connections to their unit.

Taffeiren explained that a few tenants in the Tower, West and Tennis Buildings were handicapped and would not be able descend nine flights of stairs to make it to the property grounds because the elevators were rendered inoperable.
The Canadian-born Taffeiren has been coming to the island for the past ten years and also owns property at the Pelican Resort. He posited that homeowners like himself are often demonized when they are really just supporting the legitimate development of the island.
“What’s really sad about the whole situation is that a lot of people paint us as ugly North Americans. Because we come down to the island they think we just want to take advantage of it. The truth is we contribute to the building of the economy. We are not a burden. But developers come in and they just want to rape and pillage the island in any way they can and then a lot of them just go somewhere else after robbing us too.”
Solutions Accounting and Management N.V is now the new service provider for the homeowners’ security and maintenance.

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