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July 2012 Newsletter

Dear Owner

Below you will find a report from Martyn and David regarding the meeting that took place between the various Owners Associations and the Administrator on the 22nd June. This meeting was preceded on the 20th by a meeting between the various OA Committees and Rosemary de Rougement of lawyer Neville de Rougement lda.

As stated the main concern affecting QDM Owners is the question of Golf Rights. This proved a vexing issue with conflicting information being provided by the Administrator and a lack of concise clarity in information provided by the lawyers. As a result several OA Chairmen expressed concerns re this at the meeting on the 20th.

Fortunately QDM Owners do not face some of the serious issues such as missing property deeds etc facing some owners on other PDF developments.

At one stage we were advised by the Administrator that by instituting a claim Golf Rights would be lost and Owners would simply become creditors of Golfe Santo Antonio and any compensation may not be available for a number of years. He therefore recommended claims be withdrawn. This was consequently refuted by the Lawyers who stated the claims were “conditional” i.e. would only be exercised in the event of GSA going into liquidation. If GSA continues to trade, as is expected at this time, by the Administrator, then these rights would not be affected.

Unfortunately this clarification was not forthcoming until the deadline for submitting claims had almost elapsed. I would also like to clarify the relationship with Neville de Rougemont lda. Whilst your OA asked them to represent Owners interests, their relationship is directly with individual Owners, as they do not believe the OA has the authority to speak and instruct them on specific matters affecting individual properties. Thus any fees incurred will be debited directly to Owners. The cost of submitting a claim was £95 plus VAT per Owner. We intend that any fees incurred by the OA in seeking general clarifications from our own lawyer Celia Ramos will be met by OA funds. Therefore it is important that everyone ensures there 2012 subscriptions of €20 for full Owners and €5 for ¼ shareowners are paid up to date

Turning to the matter of Owners Funds. You will recollect that Owners Funds had been ring-fenced within PDF lda a company that had not applied for Administration, with Mark McFadden being the sole Director of this company. Due to a failure to submit a business plan by Mr McFadden the Lagos Court removed him as a Director of Golfe Santo Antonio leaving only the Administrator to run this company. To further protect Owners Funds it was decided by the Administrator to move these funds back into GSA where he has total and exclusive control.

Finally you may be aware that a number of staff within Owner Services have recently suspended their employment due to non payment of salaries. Although the Administrator has confirmed his intention to ensure ongoing services are maintained, if you are planning a visit or have any guests arriving it might be wise to check the position regarding services.

And lastly I believe you, like me, would wish to thank, Martyn, David Murphy and Jim for the amount of work and time that has been given free of any charge by them to represent our interests.

Best Regards

Nigel Chairman QDM Executive Committee.

QDM Swimming Pool

Hope you like the new colours on this latest Newsletter. Yellow is also the colour of the new sunbeds recently delivered to the Swimming Pool. We think that this is a real improvement and the whole area once again looks clean and bright. We have also authorised long overdue repairs to the wooden pergola which should soon (we hope) be looking tidier and with a new roof.

There are twenty new sunbeds, enough (we believe) for everybody’s needs. However these are only for use by people AT the pool. Please do not “reserve” them with towels or other belongings when you are not there. Unattended articles will be placed inside the kitchen area.

With the agreement of Vigia, notices have been erected at the pool stating that this is a private pool and only for the use of residents, tenants, and guests of those houses that are paying for its upkeep. Vigia will remove from the area anyone who is not entitled to be there, and have provided two contact phone numbers for this purpose – 968776928 and 968776921. They will provide on-site support or even call the authorities.

Meeting with the Administrator

On 22June 2012 David Murphy, Jim Lorimer, and Martyn Uttley (QDMOA) met with the

Administrator, Dr. Bruno Vicente. Also present were Mr. Eduardo Pereira Lawyer (for Mark McFadden), Mr. Mark McFadden, and representatives from the OAs at The View, QdEV and PDF Phase 1, 2 and Golf Village Houses.

The following were the main points arising from the meeting :

  • the Administrator stressed the need to preserve the interests of the Owners;
  • Bank accounts – previously Owners have been paying into Parque da Floresta Lda (e.g., Reserve Fund, House Accounts); this will change – monies will in future be paid into a GSA account established by the Administrator, under the SOLE control of the Administrator; Owners House Accounts will be moved to a GSA account – eventually accessible by the Owners (after the IT has been sorted out); the Administrator will be issuing a letter to Owners when the new process has been established [Note – the GSA account is protected from any Creditor];
  • GSA survival – Administrator is confident that GSA will survive; it is recognised that there is a need for a different commercial approach; The Administrator represents the Court – to preserve the rights of the Creditors and ensure the recuperation of the company;
  • Creditors’ Meeting – Administrator must present a survival plan in Court to the Creditors of the future viability of GSA; the Camara at Vila do Bispo has already agreed to extend payment of monies owed and grant a 2 year grace period;
  • Services – the Administrator recognises that GSA is a Service Provider offering services to the Owners; however, money coming into GSA from the Owners is not currently meeting the costs – it can be anticipated that Owners will be expected to pay higher Community & Urbanisation (C&U) charges – a 10-20% increase based upon the 2011 budget was proposed; there is also a likelihood of further reductions in personnel [Note – this is the view of the Administrator; any budget proposal will still have to satisfy the scrutiny of the OA Committee.];
  • Maintenance of services – services need to be improved but these remain subject to receipt of C&U monies; provision of services is the priority, including paying salaries of employees;
  • Non-payers – a total of approximately 1m Euros is currently owed by Owners (e.g., through non-payment of C&U charges (for various reasons), and overdrawn House Accounts (also for various reasons)); the Administrator is urging Owners to pay their outstanding C&U charges and maintain their House Accounts in credit;
  • Golf Rights – the Administrator was fully aware of the legal actions to register claims for Golf Rights; there was a lengthy discussion on this matter. The Administrator’s view is that, provided GSA survived the Administration process, Golf Rights for all will be preserved (i.e. the contractual commitment by GSA to grant Golf Rights will be expected to continue)
  • the Administrator stressed that this a start point of a set of ongoing discussions with the OAs;
  •  2012 Budgets – the Administrator will initiate discussions on the budgets for 2012 as a matter of priority in order that C&U charges for the first 6 months of 2012 can be invoiced to Owners

Note – The Creditors Assembly was held, as anticipated, on 27th June; the Administrator was granted a 45 day extension in which to submit a survival plan for Golfe Santo Antonio (which includes, inter alia, the Golf Course, Owners Services, Main Reception and the Spa). The OAs are expected to be working with the Administrator to ensure that the resultant plan is satisfactory to both the Creditors and the Owners.

A22 tolls

A22 tolls are now fully established and continue to be one of the most controversial issues in the Algarve. Considerable pressure is still being exerted on the Government from all quarters (including Spain) to remove the tolls on the basis that they are counterproductive and damaging to tourism.

Local car hire companies are still confusing their customers with bad advice or, in some cases, no advice at all on how payments should be made. At least one of the larger (international) companies is now fitting its cars with transponders. Many of the smaller companies are ignoring the issue on the basis that payment is the drivers’ responsibility. Added to this is the issue that payment cannot be made until 48hrs after a journey is completed, meaning that there is still no way to pay for final trips to the airport on departure from Portugal.

Let us know….

If you have recently hired a car at Faro Airport let me know what advice they are giving you regarding payment of tolls on the A22 motorway.

I would also like to know if a fuel policy has been forced upon you. Some of the car rental companies have started insisting that you return the car full of fuel, in exchange for which they charge you for a full tank at the outset, at inflated prices.

I will be collating your responses and publishing the results.

Drive safely

Please take care when you drive to your house to offload luggage. The calcada access roads within QDM are primarily for pedestrian use.

At this time of the year there are children around (as well as cats and dogs). On more than one occasion, a person has stepped out of their front door to be almost knocked over by a car being driven far too quickly. Small children should be able to play safely everywhere on QDM and parents not have to warn them about looking out for speeding cars. Please be considerate …   . and advise your tenants of the need to drive slowly.

Cars should be parked in the parking spaces provided on the roadside – not outside individual properties.


2012 Membership Fees

2012 OA Membership subscriptions are now overdue for a few owners. These are needed urgently to cover legal c osts incurred in seeking advice on golfing rights etc., on behalf of owners during the Administration process.

Please make payment of your 2012 fees €20 or £18 IMMEDIATELY to either Martyn Uttley QDM 8, David Murphy at QDM 24 or by post to David Curtis 13 Blackdown Mead, Cheddar, Somerset BS27 3XW.

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