Victoria, B.C. (March 24, 2014) — After several months of further legal debate, the actual court orders arising from
last fall’s B.C. Supreme Court proceedings initiated by Northmont Resort Properties Ltd. over the Sunchaser Resort in Fairmount, B.C. have been settled.
The first of the orders made by the Supreme Court of British Columbia on November 15, 2013, dealing with the resort operator’s right to unilaterally impose a fixed termination fee on any vacation interest owner who wished to surrender their time share interest, clearly states that no such unilateral right exists.
Shortly after the November decision, the resort operator, Northmont Resort Properties Ltd. posted on its website that their unilaterally fixed cancellation fee had been ruled to be an “entitlement”. That information was not accurate. The court order recently filed in the B.C. Supreme Court Registry says
“Northmont is entitled to offer the cancellation fee to the owners, which, if accepted, leads to a collateral contract….”
This is substantially different than what Northmont had led the owners to believe and understand.
The resort operator continues to appear to adopt “timeshare sales tactics” to pressure timeshare owners with the threat of legal action if the substantial fee is not paid by those who no longer wish to participate. It is clear that the owners are not obligated to pay any fixed amount, and indeed some owners have already negotiated settlements on an individual basis for different amounts than Northmont’s “fixed fee”.
The second order of the court, upholding the proposed fee for renovating and upgrading the resort, which was set by Northmont without any approval from the owners, is headed for the B.C. Court of Appeal. A hearing has been set for May 12, 2014 in Vancouver.
The appeal is being brought on behalf of in excess of 800 owners, and counting. The owners will argue that they were not given any opportunity to challenge many aspects of the large fee, which amounted to in excess of $12,000 for some owners. Nor did the owners have an opportunity to express their view on the need for the very substantial upgrades planned by Northmont.
For vacation interval owners seeking more information, they should contact Michael Geldert, a Vancouver solicitor representing many of the owners in the litigation at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information relating to the court proceedings, contact L. John Alexander or Lindsay R. LeBlanc, counsel for the owners in Victoria, B.C. (email@example.com), or (firstname.lastname@example.org).