British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Oct 31, 2020

Over $500K Owed! Craft Alive Vendors Face Eviction

Over $500K Owed! Craft Alive Vendors Face Eviction

Following numerous attempts to reach a settlement on outstanding rent, the Ministry of Works, and Utilities, along with the Office of City Manager have serve some tenants of the Craft Alive Village with eviction notices.
The vendors of Craft Alive have a special fluctuating rental agreement that is under $300 per month, however it was announced that in some instances rent has been due for years.

In noting how the rental agreement works City Manager Janice Braithwaite-Edwards in an interview said, “The rent at Crafts Alive is $150 October through April and $250 from May through to September. The approximate rent is $200 a month; making the annual rent of $2,400 per year.”

Platinum news understands that the letter to vacate the premise is the last in a series of letters that were sent in hopes of coming to an agreement with the vendors. The City Manager explained that both her Office and the Ministry tried to reach out to the vendors to sort the matter out but saw no improvement to the situation.

“The Minister (Hon. Kye Rymer) had a meeting with the vendors of Crafts Alive on July 3 and that’s when he gave them notice that he was going to give them three-months so that they could try to pay their outstanding arrears,” The City Manager said.

However, it was explained that that vendors did not make significant effort to sort the situation of their overdue rent.
“In July there was no attempt to pay any outstanding [rent],” the City Manager disclosed.

Seeing no attempt to pay, it was mentioned that the Minister had to follow up with another letter in August. This letter was also met with no response; and caused the Minister to issue another letter in September which was a notice to settle.
With no substantial action following that letter, it was stated that the eviction notice was issued in October.

“Notice to settle the account was a situation where they were asked to come to the Office, so that we could discuss their bill and they would be able to set out their outstanding bill. The outstanding total was over half a million dollars for Crafts Alive,” Braithwaite-Edwards disclosed.

The City Manager also said that for six years some of the vendors have been notified that they needed to pay their arrears and for six years they have not paid.

“Efforts have been made to collect the outstanding balances since 2013. Some vendors have made efforts, but the efforts are not substantial enough based on the outstanding,” the City Manager stated.

“They are asking to go on a payment plan. The payment plan to me doesn’t make any sense, because if your rent is already $200 a month what payment plan can I put you on once you’ve passed over $10,000 rent,” Brathwaite-Edwards asked.

Despite the years of delinquency, it was noted that Hon. Rymer is still planning to give the vendors a listening ear.

“The Minister is preparing to meet with the vendors in the not too distant future to hear their concerns once again; and to reiterate that they need to pay their outstanding balances or they will be evicted,” the City Manager disclosed.
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