Altamira
Rio Real


News 2018

Latest News

For next year's news please click here.

Garden Shredder

We spend a significant amount on the removal of garden waste. The garden staff now have a shredder which reduces the wooden waste to chips. This much reduces the volume of the waste reducing the number of containers we use and therefore the cost.

New 5* Hotels

Earlier this year it was announced that a new "W" hotel is to be be built in the dunes between Rio Real and Elviria. More recently it was announced that we will soon have a new Fourseasons Hotel on our doorstep. It is to be built on the Villa Padierna site. There will be additional residential development of villas and the site will connect to a new beach club via a tunnel under the N340.

Internet

Permission has recently been signed to allow ORANGE to put fibreoptic cables into the Altamira buildings. You will now have a choice of provider between, Avatel-Wikiker, Telefonica and Orange.

Garden Terrace 

Some of the tiles around the swimming pool have been replaced in the past. Others have deteriorated due to weather and chlorine from the pool. There are plans to replace the worst affected.

Tennis 

For those who enjoy tennis a new raquets club has opened at Hotel Los Monteros. It is well equipped and reasonably priced for such a smart facility.

Deluge 

There was a thunder storm on 9 October which dumped an estimated 200 mm of rain in a short time. Altamira had some flooding although the previous work to prevent leaks was well tested and worked well. There was considerable damage to the golf course and one bridge was washed away.

Terrace Leaks 

As discussed at the last General Meeting a policy for dealing with leaking terraces was developed and circulated to Owners. The Board has a protocol for dealing withy this matter which includes inspection, testing and levels of remedial action. As a test a known leaking terrace was inspected. Some of the grouting around the tiles had failed and this was confirmed by water testing. The grouting and mastic sealing was renewed and the area treated with a special water-proofing material. Early signs are that this has been successful but we await the test of the rainy season.

Swimming Pools 

The pump for the main pool was failing so the filtration and pool cleaning system was less efficient. Repair costs were analysed but eventually it became clear that the most cost effective measure was to replace the pump. It is reported that cleanliness and clarity of the water is 100% improved. The filter for the small pool is causing problems and options for repair or replacement are being investigated.

Palm Trees 

Following rains in the Winter and Spring the palm trees were thriving and did not need to be pruned. Now in late Summer many remain pristine but some have developed dead fronds. The matter is to be reassessed

Just be Thoughtful 

This is the Altamira version of the Google Motto (Don't be Evil) or the Hippocratic Oath (Firstly do no Harm).

An owner recently had rennovations undertaken. Much dust entered the apartment below and then to make matters worse the dust covers and the terrace which was used as a work area were hosed down. The dirt and debris were passed to the properties below.

Using a a hose pipe like this is not allowed but his would not need to be said if owners remembered to, "Just be Thoughtful".

Drying Towels and Laundry

There have been a number of complaints about people hanging towels and laundry from the balcony facilities within e. Altamira was built with adequate laundry facilities in every apartment. Hanging anything over the balcony is not necessary and is not permitted. There is a strong feeling that this detracts from the quality of the Community,

Short-Term Rentals

A number of apartments in Altamira are available for rent. In recent years the market has been disrupted by companies such as AirBnB. This has had various consequences and for Altamira we now see groups of young people. Their activities are largely nocturnal in the clubs and bars of Marbella and Banus but unfortunatley when full of alcohol they carry these activities over to Altamira.

The problem is not confined to Altamira or indeed Costa del Sol and strict National legislation has been put in place so that those who rent their property short-term are required to provide for their guests and manage their stay in much the same way as those who operate hotels and other types of accommodation.

We will seek the co-operation of Owners who rent their apartment. Please see here.

If you have been affected or have an opinion please contact us.
 

Ali Baba

Within recent months there have been two robberies in Block 2. On the second occasion a photograph was taken of the suspect car and is with the Police who continue to investigate. CCTV images did not show the faces of the theives. Please be aware of security and ALWAYS ENSURE THE PORTAL DOORS ARE CLOSED AND THE GATE TO THE ROAD IS CLOSED.

Anti Social Behaviour

There have been two episodes of serious disorder and antisocial behavior during the summer. These were caused by apartments that were rented short-term with tenants who party to live and live to party. There was alarm and nuisance with damage to Community and Private property. Ultimate responsibility lies with the apartment Owners who were contacted promptly on each occasion.

Spring Weather 2018

The Spring weather was very unsettled with more rain and wind than can be remembered for many years. The reservoirs are full to overflowing, the golf courses are in pristine condition and everywhere is a little greener. For Altamira the garden has benefitted and we notice that the palms did not grow so much and perhaps may not need to be pruned this year.

Bridge Rennovation

The bridge area was in a sorry state. many of the original palms had died and the shrubs never thrived with many weeds that were difficult to control. Our Garden Convenor has been busy. In conjunction with the Pueblo del Rio the area has been replanted and a membrane put down to supress weeds and conserve water. Finally decorative stone was added and the area was repainted. There was universal approval at the May AGM.

Swimming Pool

The pool is in good condition and has a new licence. The pump is making a a lot of noise and is wearing out. The most effective means of repairing or replacing it are being investigated.

The pool licence does not require a life guard so it is unattended. Some have commented about children who are not proficient swimmers using the pool without parental supervision. This is not good for the children, the parents and those who may have to make an unexpected rescue. Parents please pay attention.

Water Softening

There have been a number of concerns expressed about the effectiveness of our systems and the occasional failure of the water supply. This has been investigated and some shortcomings with our present maintenance provider have been identified. Negotiations are ongoing and at present we believe we have identified another provider.

Garage Doors

The garage door of Block 1 was problematic during the Spring weather. The culprit has been identified as the strong wind from the West which pushes the door off of the roller bearings. There were formerly two guides to keep the door in position but these caused jamming and were removed. A different internal guide will be fitted and is expected to resolve the issue.

AC Compressor Sound Nuisance

Compressors for all apartments are on an upper terrace adjacent to penthouse. Such an apartment is suffering unacceptable noise nuisance as described in an authoritative report made by a sound engineer. A constructive meeting has been held with the Owners representatives when we have expressed a desire to work with them to find a solution. It is recognised there is a challenge in identifying and remedying the source of the noise given the number of compressors with different owners.

The original compresors ar now old and coming towards the end of their useful life. It is recommended that owners consider, if they have not already done so, replacing their AC system with the new inverter technology. This costs about €3,000 with promised savings of 30 - 40% on electricity costs per year. Worth considering?

Annual General Meeting May 2018

A record of the Meeting will be published here in due course.The Meeting was aimiable and constructive with the routine business quickly dealt with. A few issues and decisions are newsworthy and are mentioned below.

Altamira Accounting

There is confidence in our accounts in all but one respect. The overall expenses are accurate but according to the Altamira Statutes we are then required to show separately the expenses of both Block 1 & Block 2. Experience has shown that this is prone to error and in some cases the numbers are approximations or estimates. The reality is that the expenses turn out to be much the same in any event.

The inaccuracy in separating the block expenses is confirmed by our Accountant and by our Auditors who are unable to verify the numbers. It does not seem sensible to continue the exercise of separating the Block expenses as required by the Statute when we are and have always been unable to properly comply with this requirement.

Unauthorised Building of Penthouse Glass Roofs

There are three penthouse terraces where a solid roof has been built without permission. Such a modification changes the external appearance of the building and requires authorisation. Some notice that when it rains the water now drains differently causing problems for those below.A proposal was put to the Meeting asking for retrospective permission but this was refused.

Leaking Terraces

Paul Simon wrote a song "One Man's Ceiling is Another Man's Floor" and so it is in Altamira. If someone has an accident inside their apartment and cause damage to the property below then they are to blame and they or their insurance will pay to repair the damage. The issue appears to be a little different when it comes to terraces. Owners are expected to keep their terraces well maintained and prevent leaks to the property below. The structure of the terraces are part of the Community building albeit they are for private use.The question of responsibility should there be a leak and subsequent damage below is not as simple as it might appear.

Taking account of the Altamira Statutes, the Horizontal Living Law, recent legal advice and the knowledge of SAGESA who have much experience in this area, it has been recommended that we have a "Policy" in place that provides more clarity in respect of responsibilities and the process by which these are determined. Such a Policy has been developed by the Board and published on this website. A direct link to the policy is here.

Solar Generated Electricity

We are grateful to the Owner of Apartment 221 for investigating the use of and cost of electricity in Altamira. A presentation was made to the General Meeting in May which sets out some of the issues and in particular looks at some of the barriers and opportunities of generating solar electricity. A copy of the presentation is in the 'Publications' page. A direct link is here

Block 2 Lifts

It was discovered that the lights in the lifts are permanently on. Following negotiation with the service company sensors will be fitted as will LED illumination.