A GROUP of senior citizens, who own The Garden studio apartments beside the El Greco hotel in Montego Bay, have vowed to take civil action if the hotel's management opens a cafe a few feet away from them.
The government is part owner of the hotel through the National Investment Fund.
The residents, most of whom live abroad, visit Jamaica for a few months each year to relax in their apartments bought in the 1970s and 1980s. They contend that El Greco's decision to convert one of its apartments to a cafe, was a breach of the strata plan under which both properties were constructed.
Their contention is based on section 34 of the Registration (Strata Titles) Act which states, among other things, that proprietors shall not use their lots for any purpose that may be illegal or injurious to the reputation of the building, or make any undue noise in or about any strata lot or common property.
"How inconsiderate can one be to one's neighbour? If, in fact, such an enterprise is legal within a strata plan, couldn't it have been located within a more central situation within El Greco's compound so as to not directly influence the peace and quiet of their only adjoining neighbour on the property?," complained Robert Clarridge, one of the angry apartment owners.
Clarridge has mobilised the occupants of the apartments into a group. He told The Gleaner that his attempts to negotiate an amicable settlement with the hotel had failed so far.
Jeanette Lynch, general manager of the hotel, said the hotel was not breaking any law by converting the apartment. "We are not breaching any strata plan, we are simply opening a cafe," she said.