Diamond Resorts wins verdict worth $100,000 – Court orders whole-owner out of Royal Palm condo

POSTED: 02/24/15 9:52 PM

St. Maarten – Diamond Resorts Palm Management booked an interesting court victory against Amazing Grace A.V.V. – a company established in 1991 in Aruba, but with an address on Back Street in Philipsburg. After a legal battle that began on June 9, 2011, when Diamond voided the lease agreement with Amazing Grace, the resort stands to collect more than $80,000 in compensation for unpaid maintenance fees for an apartment at the Royal Palm Beach Resort in Simpson Bay. Amazing Grace furthermore has to pay more than $22,000 in legal costs; Diamond does not have to refund the more than $353,000 Amazing Grace paid for the whole-ownership of the apartment in 1991.

The conflict between the two parties revolves around maintenance fees Amazing Grace failed to pay since 1999. The company claimed that it has an agreement (with the former owner Pelican Resort) that exempts it from paying maintenance fees until 2014.

The court found however that the documents Amazing Grace presented to justify this claim, are forgeries and that the exemption existed only until 1999.

Diamond Resorts voided the lease agreement with Amazing Grace in 2011, because the company kept refusing to pay the maintenance fees. The resort complained that the company had left its apartment in a big mess and that it had to make expenditures to clean it up.

Diamond stated to the court that the whole-owners at the resort pay far too little in maintenance fees compared to the interval owners. Diamond wants whole owners who occupy a two-room apartment to pay $992 in maintenance fees per week – this would amount to an annual charge of $51,584.

As in earlier court cases, Diamond maintains that the maintenance fees have to go up “otherwise a bankruptcy is imminent.” The resort claimed more than $210,000 in damages from Amazing Grace.

The resort also asked the court to order its defaulting tenant to vacate the apartment and to allow it to call in the authorities to remove the tenant from its premises.

On the other side, Amazing Grace had ten demands on Diamond Resorts – among them claims for damages to the tune of almost $45,000 and repayment of the purchase price of more than $353,000. Amazing Grace argued that it had bought an apartment at the resort.

The court ruled however that Amazing Grace did not obtain the right of apartment. “The intention of parties was to grant whole-owners like Amazing Grace the exclusive right of use for an apartment for a very long time (until 2988!).”

The court ruled that the contract parties signed is a lease agreement – even though the lease term is extremely long.

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