Note from the Chairman, Executive Committee
This Newsletter provides a number of updates relating to agreement to the QDM 2019 Budget with Golfe Santo António (GSA), the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Owners Association (OA) and the status of the ownership of our communal areas and infrastructure.
Having agreed the 2019 Budget with GSA, we addressed the impact on the Community & Urbanisation (C&U) charges for the villas and townhouses in a subject-specific Bulletin 01/2019 that was published in March. In summary, there is a small increase in charges for the townhouses to cover inflation and an increase in the cost of wages. We will continue to try and minimise the charges impact on owners, whilst trying to ensure that the standards are maintained at QDM.
Non-payers – the Portuguese Court processes continue slowly across the whole of the Parque, with a growing number of successes, including repossession of properties and freezing of assets including bank accounts. These also include a number relating to QDM.
Reserve Fund & OA Subscriptions
The Reserve Fund and OA Subscriptions have remained the same for 2019. The Reserve Fund, as clearly set out in our Treasurer’s e-mail to owners, continues to be important for QDM’s replacement of infrastructure items relating to our domestic water and pool infrastructures. The OA subscriptions cover, inter alia, any legal- and accountant-related costs.
For those of you that have already paid, thank you very much for your prompt attention to this; noting that this also includes a number of new owners who have recently purchased at QDM and that we welcome to QDM and our OA.
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
We are planning to hold the 2019 AGM in the June timeframe. The Agenda and supporting documents (for example, proxies and committee elections) will be sent out to you in the required time preceding the AGM. This year we will have the regular finance and infrastructure updates, together with Elections to the Committee.
There will be a number of vacancies on the Committee this year, including the Treasurer and the Chairman of the General Meeting, and we would welcome offers from Owners to become Committee members. The current Committee is UK-centric but we now have a growing number of non-UK owners and would particularly welcome offers to give a better balance of nationalities.
Articles of Association of the Owners Association
With recent changes in the Portuguese law affecting Associations, we have taken legal advice with respect to our OA’s Articles. As a result, we do not need to change the Articles with respect to the documentation relating to the founding members nor the Registered Office of the OA. One change to the Law could allow a reduction of Committee members from 9 to 6; however, any change is a lengthy and costly process (approximately € 2000). Given the above, we are not proposing to make changes to the Articles at this time.
As part of the 2019 Budget the communal gardens of QDM will continue to receive good attention from GSA’s gardeners. In addition, GSA will be landscaping the gardens to the right of the QDM Reception building. In the Autumn we will again address the perennial problem of the pine trees.
Painting of Villas and Townhouses
Comments have been made about the need for re-painting of a number of houses at QDM. There is no coverage in any of our Budgets and Funds for house painting and it is therefore the responsibility of owners. There are a number of local painters who charge reasonable rates and recommendations can be given.
Nearly all of our houses have access to the communal sewerage system from the gardens. In order to the simplify the process of inspection and unblocking the sewerage system, owners can install covers to replace the concrete covers that are in place in a number of gardens. GSA recently provided us with a quotation for the cost (excluding IVA of 23%), as follows :
• Cover with metal ring – 500cm x 500cm – € 42.25
• Cover with metal ring – 600cm x 600cm – € 60.00
• Cover with metal ring – 400cm x 400cm – € 22.50
• Labour cost of each sewerage box – € 32.52
Quotations can also be obtained from commercial companies, for example, Dr. Drain and Drain Doctor.
Sale of GSA – the sale of GSA continues to await a number of legalities to be completed before the next advertisement is placed in the national and international press. With the passing away of Dr. Bruno Vicente, the there is a new Judicial Administrator appointed, Dr. Carlos Inaçio, and hopefully we will have the chance to meet him in a forthcoming “all OAs” meeting.
C&U Payments & Community Services – the main point of contact in GSA continues to be Jorge Ricardo at email@example.com.
Eliot, Fryer & McFadden (EF&F)
In January 2018, the company that owned our communal areas (EF&F) was dissolved by the Registrar in Companies House in Lisbon (as a result of not providing accounts since 2010). Under Articles 163 and 164 of the Commercial Companies Code, assets could be sold by the previous shareholders of the now non-existent company.
However, the sale of assets is not a straightforward process, could (theoretically) be pursued, but would need the cooperation of ALL of the shareholders in place prior to the dissolution of the company. However, when you pay taxes on the acquisition of an asset (e.g., the QDM pool), Finanças could stop the sale due to an outstanding tax debt on the company, so the shareholders (except possibly Vigia) would have no interest in coming forward.
Under Portuguese Law dating back to the 18th Century, after 20 years of use and maintenance, QDM could have a “right of ownership” after proving an “intent of ownership”.
At the AGM, we (QDM) could declare that “from the date of the dissolution of the company (i.e., January 2018) there was an intent of ownership by the QDM owners” and then follow the 20-year rule under Portuguese Law whereby the Owners could gain ownership by right. Finanças could not block “ownership by right” under the Law.
Summary – in general, we continue to be satisfied with the way in which GSA maintain our communal areas and supporting infrastructure. We will continue to look to make improvements, and we will continue to monitor service levels through our quarterly Standards Surveys and regular meetings with GSA Management.
Please feel free to use the Comment section below this Newsletter. We would welcome your comments.
Finally, on behalf of the Committee, let me wish you all a happy Easter.
Chairman, Executive Committee