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[ 2020 ] THE FINAL CHAPTER: Denial of Use Notice for Atlantis / Harborside

Are you a Harborside Owner? (phase I or II)


  • Total voters
    12

HenrySiegel

TUG Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2010
Messages
2
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1
Points
111
Location
Lexington, Ky 40505
Resorts Owned
Harborside Phase II
I have written extensively on Redweek about the HOA fees at Harborside, and also posted on a number Harborside HOA pages on Facebook.

UPDATE: I have just received a Denial of Use Notification from Vistana Management, Inc. This is a result of my refusal to further fund the erroneous charges tucked away in the yearly budgets, that no one has control of, except Vistana Management. Since 2009 I have written to Vistana requesting evidence and documentation, verifying the nature and necessity of budget estimates and actual expenditures. The most significant considerations are the piling on of a 10% management fee and VAT Tax for “expenses” that are no more than accounting entries, and not actual expenses and costs to operate the HOA.

To Wit:

1. Bad debts - Vistana, collects a 10% management fee for every Owner that fails to make its yearly HOA payment. Those missing fees are then passed on to each Owner that actually do pay their HOA fees, in the following year’s budget, which includes Vistana’s 10% cut for passing this on. When asked if their 10% fee is refunded (to the HOA), if the Owner eventually pays the HOA fees, Vistana refuses to respond.

2. When a unit goes into foreclosure and is eventually resold (as mine will, at full price by Harbourside sales people) how are any delinquent HOA fees or unpaid mortgages accounted for? If a portion of the proceeds, from a resale of the foreclosed unit, are used to liquidate the delinquent HOA, are portions of the proceed's credited back to the HOA for the prior delinquency? Are the 10% Management fees credited back to the HOA? No response from Vistana

3. Every year Reserves, in excess of $3.5 million, are charge to the HOA. Vistana charges their 10% Management fee. These funds are the meant to cover future refurbishment/replacement expenses after the expiration of an “Expected Life” of any particular asset (roof, elevations, building painting, furniture, etc). When these replacements costs are finally incurred, one can be certain that Vistana charges another 10% Management fee on top of the invoices that are remitted by future vendors making such repairs or replacements. This is called Double Dipping. Vistana refuses to comment on this matter.

4. VAT TAXES * As we all know the Bahamian Government have imposed a VAT tax for goods and services, which is reflected in the annual budgets used to calculate HOA fees. VAT taxes are imposed on some goods and services, but not all. In behalf of all HOA members, I had demanded that Vistana address the following, prior to the upcoming Board meeting, so that proper action may be taken to identify errors and correct them prior to the budgets being prepared for the next year. Corrections will greatly impact what each HOA member is required to pay.

* Since 2015 our Association has charged its Owners an additional 7.5% VAT tax on every line item listed in Annual Statements. In emails to Vistana, I had attached are three years worth of Budget - 2015 / 2016 / 2017. Notated on the 2017 budget, I highlighted items in Yellow along with comments in the right margin requesting a clarification from Vistana. Vistana refuses to comment on this matter.

* On behalf of all Harborside Phase I and Phase II Owners, we need a thorough explanation on the following VAT questions. Are the categories of expenses below exempt from VAT?

* Uncollected Fees from Owners (not an actual “expense” but a charge-back to Owners) Licenses and Permits (a VAT tax on top of a Bahamian Business Licenses and Permits?) Utility Bills - VAT is already included in the actual Utility bill

* Accounting and Financial Services which are for the benefit of Non-Resident Owners Real Estate Taxes (VAT on a R/E Tax?) Reserves - These are funds charged to Owners, but are not actual expenses/costs when the Reserve is collected, just an accounting entry.

* Eventually the collected Reserves are actually spent in later years when building roofs, furniture, common areas, etc need repair or replacement. At the time of expenditure a 12% VAT will be charged on the respective purchase(s), effectively charging VAT twice.

* Owners are being charged VAT (Output Tax) on statements we receive. However, we believe the Association's VAT (Input Tax) is already inclusive on the majority of actual invoices for goods and services to operate the Association…thus the VAT is already included in many of the expense line items. Yet, the HOA Management added another flat 7.5% VAT on top of the total expense, which (again) may be a double VAT taxation.

* VAT on Management Fees - Again, if VAT (Input Tax) is already inclusive on the actual invoices for goods and services to operate the Association and the HOA Management then charges 10% of these expenses (including Reserves, Uncollected Account and so on), the Owners are being charged VAT twice.

* Aside for the validity of what line items on these budgets are legally eligible to be VAT Taxed, or not, all homeowners have the right to know what VAT taxes they are being charged for and what line items are exempted by Bahamian Law.

* Currently VAT is 12% - The above issue is now exploding all HOA costs

* In behalf of all Homeowners, I had demanded that Management investigate and correct any and all reporting errors, reporting methodologies and Vat Tax collections though a proper and in-depth audit of the current and past three years worth of Harborside Phase II VAT Returns.

* No Response from Vistana on any of the above.

Where does leave me personally? I am letting go a $25,000 "bad investment” made in 2004. Having only vacationed at Harborside/Atlantis twice, due to the poor condition of the property and exorbitant prices of surrounding goods and services. Over the years, we opted to use our Star Options in Maui where the property is well maintained and the local government lacks the level of corruption that fuels the excessive expenses of Harborside. We now understand that Harborside/Atlantis is the breeding ground for the Attorneys that cooked up this elaborate Ownership and the "you’ll never get out of HOA Jail Scheme” in order to maintain your faux ownership (basically a right of use scheme) that is fundamentally worthless.

Wait...WORTHLESS
? ANYONE can simply rent an Owner’s unit for about the same cost (or less) as the yearly HOA fee, and basically come and go as they please from year to year.

Potential outcome? Am sure Vistana will turn over my indebtedness to a collection agency, with the typical threats to my 800 credit scores and with threats of legal recourse. If you, like myself, choose to bail out of this corrupted Timeshare scheme, feel free to copy and paste the above issues and communicate directly with Vistana Management, Inc at boardrelations@vistana.com.

Dispute your fees!!! You will then have substantiated your entitlement for protections against zealous debt collectors that Vistana will employ. Please review the FTC’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act …scroll down to § 809. (5)b. Validation of debts, where you will find the following Language:

(b) Disputed debts: If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) of this section that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector. Collection activities and communications that do not otherwise violate this subchapter may continue during the 30-day period referred to in subsection (a) unless the consumer has notified the debt collector in writing that the debt, or any portion of the debt, is disputed or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor. Any collection activities and communication during the 30-day period may not overshadow or be inconsistent with the disclosure of the consumer’s right to dispute the debt or request the name and address of the original creditor.

Should you device to hang on this “investment”, it is crucial you take action on what Dan Schaffer has shared:

* You will NEVER get straight answers or control escalating fees at Harborside UNTIL you hire a management company that puts OWNERS FIRST and works in YOUR best interests. There are such management companies, including VRI, TPI, and Tricom.
* NETWORK with other board members through the Timeshare Board Members Association (TBMA), and learn from timeshare boards, management companies, and industry professionals who have found answers to the challenges you are facing. Membership is FREE!
* The next free conference of the Timeshare Board Members Association will be held May 17-19 in Orlando, Florida.
* Registration is free to all timeshare board members and includes lunches and dinners. Here is a link to the TBMA website for more information on the upcoming conference.
* https://tbmassoc.org/timeshare-board-members-association-announces-orlando-2020-conference-may-17-19-2020/

So...my philosophy is to move onward, look forward and shed yourself of toxic relationships, no matter how much it hurts to clear out the muck…

Harborside, in all is physical beauty is MUBAR - Mucked Up Beyond all Recognition. Consider the absurdity of $23 Million a Year budget to operate a 254 Unit apartment complex with pool, amenities and access to Atlantis...it is only going to get worse.

Kindly,
Henry Siegel
 

theweaze21

Guest
Joined
Aug 4, 2021
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Points
1
I have written extensively on Redweek about the HOA fees at Harborside, and also posted on a number Harborside HOA pages on Facebook.

UPDATE: I have just received a Denial of Use Notification from Vistana Management, Inc. This is a result of my refusal to further fund the erroneous charges tucked away in the yearly budgets, that no one has control of, except Vistana Management. Since 2009 I have written to Vistana requesting evidence and documentation, verifying the nature and necessity of budget estimates and actual expenditures. The most significant considerations are the piling on of a 10% management fee and VAT Tax for “expenses” that are no more than accounting entries, and not actual expenses and costs to operate the HOA.

To Wit:

1. Bad debts - Vistana, collects a 10% management fee for every Owner that fails to make its yearly HOA payment. Those missing fees are then passed on to each Owner that actually do pay their HOA fees, in the following year’s budget, which includes Vistana’s 10% cut for passing this on. When asked if their 10% fee is refunded (to the HOA), if the Owner eventually pays the HOA fees, Vistana refuses to respond.

2. When a unit goes into foreclosure and is eventually resold (as mine will, at full price by Harbourside sales people) how are any delinquent HOA fees or unpaid mortgages accounted for? If a portion of the proceeds, from a resale of the foreclosed unit, are used to liquidate the delinquent HOA, are portions of the proceed's credited back to the HOA for the prior delinquency? Are the 10% Management fees credited back to the HOA? No response from Vistana

3. Every year Reserves, in excess of $3.5 million, are charge to the HOA. Vistana charges their 10% Management fee. These funds are the meant to cover future refurbishment/replacement expenses after the expiration of an “Expected Life” of any particular asset (roof, elevations, building painting, furniture, etc). When these replacements costs are finally incurred, one can be certain that Vistana charges another 10% Management fee on top of the invoices that are remitted by future vendors making such repairs or replacements. This is called Double Dipping. Vistana refuses to comment on this matter.

4. VAT TAXES * As we all know the Bahamian Government have imposed a VAT tax for goods and services, which is reflected in the annual budgets used to calculate HOA fees. VAT taxes are imposed on some goods and services, but not all. In behalf of all HOA members, I had demanded that Vistana address the following, prior to the upcoming Board meeting, so that proper action may be taken to identify errors and correct them prior to the budgets being prepared for the next year. Corrections will greatly impact what each HOA member is required to pay.

* Since 2015 our Association has charged its Owners an additional 7.5% VAT tax on every line item listed in Annual Statements. In emails to Vistana, I had attached are three years worth of Budget - 2015 / 2016 / 2017. Notated on the 2017 budget, I highlighted items in Yellow along with comments in the right margin requesting a clarification from Vistana. Vistana refuses to comment on this matter.

* On behalf of all Harborside Phase I and Phase II Owners, we need a thorough explanation on the following VAT questions. Are the categories of expenses below exempt from VAT?

* Uncollected Fees from Owners (not an actual “expense” but a charge-back to Owners) Licenses and Permits (a VAT tax on top of a Bahamian Business Licenses and Permits?) Utility Bills - VAT is already included in the actual Utility bill

* Accounting and Financial Services which are for the benefit of Non-Resident Owners Real Estate Taxes (VAT on a R/E Tax?) Reserves - These are funds charged to Owners, but are not actual expenses/costs when the Reserve is collected, just an accounting entry.

* Eventually the collected Reserves are actually spent in later years when building roofs, furniture, common areas, etc need repair or replacement. At the time of expenditure a 12% VAT will be charged on the respective purchase(s), effectively charging VAT twice.

* Owners are being charged VAT (Output Tax) on statements we receive. However, we believe the Association's VAT (Input Tax) is already inclusive on the majority of actual invoices for goods and services to operate the Association…thus the VAT is already included in many of the expense line items. Yet, the HOA Management added another flat 7.5% VAT on top of the total expense, which (again) may be a double VAT taxation.

* VAT on Management Fees - Again, if VAT (Input Tax) is already inclusive on the actual invoices for goods and services to operate the Association and the HOA Management then charges 10% of these expenses (including Reserves, Uncollected Account and so on), the Owners are being charged VAT twice.

* Aside for the validity of what line items on these budgets are legally eligible to be VAT Taxed, or not, all homeowners have the right to know what VAT taxes they are being charged for and what line items are exempted by Bahamian Law.

* Currently VAT is 12% - The above issue is now exploding all HOA costs

* In behalf of all Homeowners, I had demanded that Management investigate and correct any and all reporting errors, reporting methodologies and Vat Tax collections though a proper and in-depth audit of the current and past three years worth of Harborside Phase II VAT Returns.

* No Response from Vistana on any of the above.

Where does leave me personally? I am letting go a $25,000 "bad investment” made in 2004. Having only vacationed at Harborside/Atlantis twice, due to the poor condition of the property and exorbitant prices of surrounding goods and services. Over the years, we opted to use our Star Options in Maui where the property is well maintained and the local government lacks the level of corruption that fuels the excessive expenses of Harborside. We now understand that Harborside/Atlantis is the breeding ground for the Attorneys that cooked up this elaborate Ownership and the "you’ll never get out of HOA Jail Scheme” in order to maintain your faux ownership (basically a right of use scheme) that is fundamentally worthless.

Wait...WORTHLESS
? ANYONE can simply rent an Owner’s unit for about the same cost (or less) as the yearly HOA fee, and basically come and go as they please from year to year.

Potential outcome? Am sure Vistana will turn over my indebtedness to a collection agency, with the typical threats to my 800 credit scores and with threats of legal recourse. If you, like myself, choose to bail out of this corrupted Timeshare scheme, feel free to copy and paste the above issues and communicate directly with Vistana Management, Inc at boardrelations@vistana.com.

Dispute your fees!!! You will then have substantiated your entitlement for protections against zealous debt collectors that Vistana will employ. Please review the FTC’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act …scroll down to § 809. (5)b. Validation of debts, where you will find the following Language:

(b) Disputed debts: If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) of this section that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector. Collection activities and communications that do not otherwise violate this subchapter may continue during the 30-day period referred to in subsection (a) unless the consumer has notified the debt collector in writing that the debt, or any portion of the debt, is disputed or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor. Any collection activities and communication during the 30-day period may not overshadow or be inconsistent with the disclosure of the consumer’s right to dispute the debt or request the name and address of the original creditor.

Should you device to hang on this “investment”, it is crucial you take action on what Dan Schaffer has shared:

* You will NEVER get straight answers or control escalating fees at Harborside UNTIL you hire a management company that puts OWNERS FIRST and works in YOUR best interests. There are such management companies, including VRI, TPI, and Tricom.
* NETWORK with other board members through the Timeshare Board Members Association (TBMA), and learn from timeshare boards, management companies, and industry professionals who have found answers to the challenges you are facing. Membership is FREE!
* The next free conference of the Timeshare Board Members Association will be held May 17-19 in Orlando, Florida.
* Registration is free to all timeshare board members and includes lunches and dinners. Here is a link to the TBMA website for more information on the upcoming conference.
* https://tbmassoc.org/timeshare-board-members-association-announces-orlando-2020-conference-may-17-19-2020/

So...my philosophy is to move onward, look forward and shed yourself of toxic relationships, no matter how much it hurts to clear out the muck…

Harborside, in all is physical beauty is MUBAR - Mucked Up Beyond all Recognition. Consider the absurdity of $23 Million a Year budget to operate a 254 Unit apartment complex with pool, amenities and access to Atlantis...it is only going to get worse.

Kindly,
Henry Siegel
I am curious as to your outcome? I too am a victim of Harborside. Have they foreclosed?
 

DeniseM

Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
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Henry hasn't been back to TUG since April 2020.
 
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