Note from the Chairman, Executive Committee
Since our last Newsletter we have had our Annual General Meeting, the Summary Record of which has been agreed and is on the QDM OA web site, together with the record of our latest meeting with GSA management. This Newsletter addresses a number of updates and general information vis-à-vis QDM and GSA.
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
The 2016 AGM was held on 22nd March with nearly 70% of the membership represented through attendance, proxies or hand-delivered votes – thank you for that support. In summary, the AGM approved the re-election of the Committee, approved the Fiscal Board Report including the OA accounts, and agreed to look at a number of solar options at QDM. The full details are in the agreed Summary Record of the AGM (see link on right).
QDM Swimming Pool – Pool Rules
We are into the summer season with a growing number of owners and their tenants and guests using the pool and the surrounding area; and again it is necessary to remind everybody that there are Pool Rules, they are there for a reason and should be respected at all times. The Pool Notices have been updated identifying the non-authorised Owners and, for the key system to continue to be effective, the need to ensure that the gates are not just closed but also locked.
Road and Calçada Safety – please ensure that you and your tenants and guests abide by the warning signs that are placed at the start of each of the calçada. We are into the season of young children running up and down the steps to the pool and, despite reminders, we still have individuals and service companies ignoring the signs.
QDM Repairs and Infrastructure Update
Speed bumps – these have now been painted – the first and last rows of stones in white and the top row in yellow. There is one exception where we are waiting for a change to the length of the speed bump.
Wooden railings to the pool – these have been repaired and re-painted, and new railings have been installed either side of the steps down to the pool – both sides of the gate.
Domestic water pump 3 – this has been repaired with the replacement of a complete electronic module, together with a number of modifications and checks to ensure the pumps’ continued efficient running.
Swimming pool – we are currently awaiting a quotation for the renovation of the pergola including new roofing straw. The pool heating is on and the temperature will be maintained at around 26-27oC. The pool heating was switched on later this year to save some of the electricity costs – this assists in keeping the QDM Budget at the same levels. The sun beds are also going to be cleaned after their winter storage.
Kitchen – GSA will put some book shelves by the fridge so that the books can be tidied up. In addition, we are disconnecting the cooker hob – this is because of an incident earlier this year when the hob units were left on (on full) and could have led to a serious accident with children burning their hands.
QDM Communal Gardens
As we have agreed previously, we will continue to work with GSA to address a long-term strategy for the gardens, including the trees surrounding the pool area – this may include a regular minor pruning and, potentially, the removal of some of the trees. Affected Owners will of course be consulted.
Community & Urbanisation (C&U) Payments,
Reserve Fund & OA Subscriptions
The C&U payments (monthly or quarterly) pay for the maintenance of QDM’s communal areas (gardens, calçada and paths) and supporting infrastructure assets – relating to the pool (heating and circulation), domestic water (pumps) and irrigation; and also includes the supporting utilities (water and electricity).
It is important that our Owners continue to keep up to date with these payments to ensure that GSA continue to be paid up-to-date and keep up the good work – to date, we have a good record of C&U payments with GSA from QDM.
Non-payers – these account for approximately 10% of QDM’s contributions. An important aspect relating to this is that the Judicial Administrator has recently agreed to not only pursue non-payers through Court action in Portugal but also, for those with addresses in the UK, in the UK through the County Court judgement approach. This latter approach has now commenced through specialist debt collection solicitors in the UK.
The Reserve Fund is important to QDM as it provides the funds (as stated in the Community Services Agreement) for the replacement of items covered by GSA’s maintenance. This includes the pumps and heat exchangers associated with our domestic water, irrigation and swimming pool infrastructure. The Reserve Fund will continue at €100 per property per annum and managed by the OA on behalf of the Owners.
OA Subscriptions – your subscriptions are there to cover our legal and accounting costs. This year we have (through our Accountant – Sandra Curtis Silva in Lagos) formalised the OA’s position with Finanças (the tax office) and Segurança Social (Social Security). As a result, later this summer, we will be providing her with the Owners’ payment details in order that formal Receipts can be provided to you for the Reserve Fund and OA Subscriptions.
GSA staff continue to be fully paid up. For QDM, they continue to do a good job for the pool and communal gardens.
Sale of GSA – this continues to await the completion of the legalities with respect to the golf course – this concerns the notarisation of pieces of land and the formal registration process.
C&U Payments & Credit Control – it is with regret that Patricia Vieira (C&U Supervisor) has left GSA for a new job in Lagos. We had a very good working relationship with her and she was very reactive to our requirements. The roles of Credit Control and C&U Supervision are now being undertaken by Jorge Ricardo – with 2 e-mail addresses – firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Main Reception ATM – we have had notification from GSA that they have received a communication from Crédito Agricola Bank stating that they will be removing the ATM machine located at the Main Reception (part of the Bank’s removal of a number of their ATMs nationwide). A date has not yet been set so it is not certain if the ATM will be removed before or after this summer season.
Summary – in general, we continue to be satisfied with the way in which GSA maintain our communal areas and supporting infrastructure; and we will continue to monitor this closely through the quarterly Standards Surveys.
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 good summer and enjoy your holidays.