Note from the Chairman
Since our last Newsletter in July, we have had a number of meetings with the new Resort Director, Dr. Daniel Gama. The first impressions are good, he is keen to work with the Owners Associations, but he is still constrained to a degree because of the “liquidation” process. One area where he has already shown that he is willing to act relates to withdrawing or reducing communal services to our perennial non-payers.
Non-Payers – Latest Information
Following letters to a number of our perennial non-payers and zero financial response, the communal irrigation has been cut off from those houses. GSA is now considering the next steps. In parallel, information on significant debtors has been collated by GSA and passed to the Administrator – letters will be going out from lawyers with injunction processes being considered.
Payment of Community & Urbanisation (C&U) Charges and other GSA Bills
GSA will look to establish an internal procedure that, with the Owner’s appropriate authorisation, will allow GSA to automatically transfer an agreed amount on a monthly basis (for example, on the 15th of each month) provided that there is sufficient funds to support the transfer.
This could be applicable to, for example, transfers between Fractional Owners’ personal House Account and the overall House Account, and for C&U payments from an Owner’s personal House Account to GSA.
Through the monitoring of the implementation of the Service Standards through the quarterly surveys and check-list, the discount applied to the 3rd Quarter 2014 was 5.5%; a reduction from the previous quarter primarily due to the introduction of the long-standing legal requirement to display pool water quality readings. These are on the notice board in the kitchen area.
For the next quarter, we expect to see a further reduction in the discount as we are now working closely with GSA on the development and implementation of the Maintenance Plan for QDM’s domestic water and pool infrastructure.
Community & Urbanisation (C&U) Charges for 2015
Next month we will begin the discussions with GSA with respect to the QDM budget for 2015. These will represent a challenge given GSA’s need to apportion costs of, for example, Reception and Security, across a reduced number of contributors – given that GSA no longer supports Quinta da Encosta Velha’s (QdEV) communal elements.
In addition, the proposals from GSA may also address the issue of non-payers, with a potential budget line to cover the cost of non-payers. In 2013, QDM non-payment amounted to approximately 9% of the total C&U requested by GSA; a similar figure is expected for 2014.
This problem would not go away even if we chose to work with a new Management Company, with a new Community Services Agreement (CSA) between the Company and the Owners.
We hope that the actions being taken against our perennial non-payers will at least persuade them to start paying.
Reserve Fund and OA Subscriptions
We slowly receive contributions to the Reserve Fund, with approximately 70% paid up until now. We continue to stress the importance of the Fund as our domestic water and pool support infrastructure ages. The implementation of the maintenance plan will no doubt highlight the need for, for example, an appropriate spares and refurbishment programme which we will need to negotiate with GSA.
A reminder please – a number of Owners have not yet paid their 2014 subscriptions. These are important and we look for your continued support – it strengthens our position in relation to discussions and negotiations with GSA.
Owners’ House Accounts
The personal House Accounts are online, together with the Fractional Owners’ overall House Accounts, with the system now working more effectively.
House Account details – Owners should carefully check the details on their House Accounts, including the supporting Owner information. Any queries about the House Accounts should be brought to the attention of Mr. Eduardo Martins (Owner Services) at email@example.com
QDM Swimming Pool
At the end of half-term week (Sunday 2nd November), the pool heating will be switched off, and the fixed sun parasols will be dismantled and stored securely.
Reception – Receipt of Mail
During our recent meeting with GSA, we addressed the receipt of mail / courier packages at Reception, for collection by Owners. The way forward is that GSA will continue to accept mail and packages unless Owners specifically advise Reception otherwise.
GSA “Liquidation” Process
Since our last Newsletter, there has been little progress towards selling off the company. The Court has not yet formalised the “liquidation” process because of software problems with the Court’s IT system (CITIUS). The Administrator is close to having the valuation of the company but cannot begin the sale until the Court has completed the formalisation.
New Law on Tourism Rentals
For those of you who rent out your properties, you should be aware of the information provided in recent articles in the Algarve Daily News and Portugal News.
With the summer season over, the winter months will be a challenge for GSA but, as you will have seen, they have started to publish a lot more information about the resort facilities.
In particular, we welcome the recently-published Newsletter, and the information provided about Christmas and New Year golf, the Spa & Gym schedule, the Restaurant and Bars schedule, together with the Golf Membership fees for 2015 (including new options for membership).
This is a reflection of how the new Resort Director is getting to grips with GSA, including the good working relationship that is developing with the Owners Associations of the resort.
We will continue to keep you updated, either through a Newsletter or a short subject-specific Bulletin.
Chairman, Executive Committee