The Holding Company: Wimpen Properties Las Casitas SL

Information and Frequently Asked Questions


Background

When Las Casitas was built, the weeks were sold as a share of the freehold with an Escritura (title deed) as, at the time, that was considered the most secure way to own a timeshare.

However, with the passage of time, there have been changes in the complicated Spanish property laws which added many complexities and with an aging population, selling or transferring ownership was proving a difficult and expensive process.

In particular, deceased estates were a serious problem with surviving spouse finding themselves in increasing debt and with a timeshare they could not sell, except at extortionate legal cost. They found themselves in a difficult position. The timeshare cannot be sold while the deceased owner’s name is on the escritura, and it cannot be relinquished. This was leading to an increasing number of weeks to be blocked which cannot be sold.

It should be noted that in any case where an escritura owner has not paid his fees, action will taken against them to recover the debt. Where joint owners are concerned proceedings will be taken against the survivor as the debt is joint and severable.

Creation of the Holding Company

So, it was decided, and approved by the AGM in 2009, to create a holding company to hold escrituras for the properties on behalf of owners and give owners the option of transferring their weeks to this holding company.

It is important to note that the Holding Company is owned by the Community, but as the Community cannot own a company, it is managed on our behalf, under contract with the Community, by Wimpen. The Holding Company are caretakers of all the owners’ weeks transferred to the Holding Company and any unsold weeks. It is clearly stated in our contract with the company and in the resolution that was passed by the 2009 AGM that this is the case and that in the event of a change of administrator, the Holding Company will change hands also.

You still hold FULL ownership rights

Effectively, the Holding Company is a Company which would hold the legal title to your weeks in the Land Registry, and you transfer your weeks to that Company by Deed of Sale. You effectively “sell” your weeks to that entity. However, instead of an Escritura, Owners receive a private contract, giving you full rights of ownership and occupation, including your voting rights.  

This contract can only be cancelled by the owner. WimPen cannot suddenly take over your weeks, it would only be on default of the maintenance fees that a process would be started and eventually the weeks are returned to the Community.

Both the Owners’ representative and Community President are independent directors of the company to ensure ownership is safeguarded and community interests are protected.

Transferring to the Holding Company

Because it is effectively a sale, there is a cost involved in the region of £1,000 for any number of weeks. There is no profit for WimPen in this charge, it is the actual cost of legal fees, notary fees, taxes and other costs relating to the transfer of the escritura from owner to the holding company.

While this cost might seem quite a lot, taken over all the years owners may have owned their timeshare, it is not so significant.

Owners will need an NIE number and have arranged Power of Attorney for WimPen to sell. WimPen can advise you further on this.

Advantages of transferring to the Holding Company

Importantly owners would have peace of mind and with a timeshare is no longer a binding obligation that owners can’t get rid of, preventing the situation described above if a joint owner should pass away, or in the event of divorce or separation.

If the time comes that an owner can’t use their weeks, they can just walk away from the property, with no penalty. Alternatively, the timeshare is much easier and cheaper to sell or transfer the ownership, for which the administration fee is just £100. If sold privately or passed to a relative or a friend, owners only have to change the contract at this reasonable fee.  

If sold through the resale programme, there will be some commission to pay, as always, but the selling fee remains the same.

Escritura weeks are not sold so easily, with various fees amounting to around £1,000 and owners cannot just relinquish their week, unless it is transferred to the Holding Company first.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Who owns the Property Holding Cº?

A: The Community managed under contract by Wimpen - there are contract clauses that protect the community and  Wimpen only act as caretakers of the company together with the unsold and owned weeks in the company. The Holding company can only be owned by a Spanish Company

Q: Can WimPen use the Holding Company to take full control of the resort and sell it for development

A: No, they cannot cancel the contract with the Community without AGM agreement.

Q: Can WimPen sell the Holding Company Shares to another company

A:  No. The community have a contract with the Holding Company which has a clause preventing the shares from being traded.

Q: If I transfer my weeks to the Holding Company, do I lose rights of ownership?

A: No. The escritura (title deed) is transferred to the Holding Company, and your ownership is by Contract with the Holding Company rather than the Escritura. You retain full ownership rights in perpetuity. The only difference is that if you can’t or don't pay your maintenance, ownership can revert to the Holding company and can be resold.

 Q: How do I transfer my weeks to the Holding Company?

A: You will need an NIE number (rather like a Spanish Version of your Social security Number), and Power of Attorney for WimPen ‘to sell’. These can be arranged when you are in Lanzarote, contact WimPen to arrange. There is a cost, but it is cheaper than trying to arrange it in the UK.

Q: What are the transfer costs and how much are they?

A: The cost of transferring the escritura to the Holding Co is around £1,000. This includes the cost of notary, taxes and land registry. One fee covers any number of weeks you own. The cost of the NIE Nº & POA documents is not included.

Q: I don’t really want to spend another £1,000, what do I gain by transferring my weeks?

A: Taken over the life of your timeshare, the cost is not really so great. You gain peace of mind. You are able to relinquish your weeks when you can no longer use them or can’t pay the maintenance. It is very much easier to sell your weeks and in the case of joint owners, there are no complications in the event of a death, divorce or separation.

If this prompts any further questions, please send me an email or contact nichola@wimpen.com

Thank you


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