2013 Annual HOA Report

David A. Firmin | Monday, February 10, 2014 | State Legislation

Last week, the HOA Information and Resource Center released its Annual Report for 2013.  This report sets out in detail, the number of complaints received by the HOA Information and Resource Center, the types of complaints, and where these complaints are coming from.

This year’s report shows that the HOA Information and Resource Center received a total of 1,248 complaints.  This is up from 478 unique complaints in 2012.  However, the 1,248 complaints were only made by 327 different people.  So, while the number of complaints did go up, the people making the complaints only rose nominally. 

In looking at the breakdown of the complaints, the overwhelming number of complainants coming from the Denver Surrounding region (boarders being Arvada and Lakewood in the West, Aurora and Bennett in the East, Castle Rock in the South and Northglenn, Thornton and Westminster as the northern boundary) but excluding Denver.  This area being the largest population base accounted for 50% (126/327) of the complaints.  Denver proper had the second largest number of complainers comprising almost 20% of all complaints (64/327).

In past years, the largest number of complaints involved failure to produce records/transparency issues which made up almost 34% of all complaints.  This number led to the adoption of HB 1237 which clarified what constitutes a record of the Association.  This seems to have worked as the number of complaints relating to transparency and records has dropped to approximately 8% of the complaints.  The new report breaks down the areas of complaints as follows:

  • Communication with homeowners (175 complaints, 14%);
  • Not following the governing documents (168 complaints, 13%);
  • Improper or selective enforcement of covenants (154 complaints, 12%);
  • Not performing maintenance (140 complaints, 11.2%); 
  • Meetings (5%);
  • Elections and voting (4.5%);
  • Intimidation, harassment or retaliation (4.5%);
  • Conflict of interest (4.3%); and
  • Excessive assessments, fees or fines (3.5%)

As predicted, as more people become aware of the HOA Information and Resource Center, contact with the Office would rise.  Last year the office fielded 4767 separate inquiries.  However of these inquiries, only 1,248 were complaints. So, while the number of contacts rose, what was unexpected to me was that the number of actual complainers did not substantially rise, only the amount of times they contacted the office.  What is clear is that of the 8857 associations registered with the Office, accounting for over 880,326 units, only 327 people issued complaints or roughly .00037% of the unit owners complain about their association.

Comments

Now That's a number we can be proud of!

I don't think think 99.9% of condo owners know about this. I have over the past 15 years been actively involved in my COA and if I knew of this group, I would utilize it. It's all about getting the word out.

So it seems that some people are chronic complainers, probably under the mistaken impression that something is going to be done about their complaints. The percentage of owners who complain continues to be miniscule, but most owners (like myself), who know that nothing will be done with a complaint other than using it for statistical purposes, don't bother to file a complaint. Ever since I attended hearings on SB 05-100, I have maintained that there are a few owners whose egos lead them to believe that their issues with their CICs are more important than the issues of others, and persistently pursue them until they perceive that something is done about them. So, a law gets passed, and that satisfies them for a while, then they see that it doesn't, and they become frustrated, only to start complaining again, until another law gets passed. And on and on it goes, with legislators' taking these "statistics," which are mistakenly viewed as being representative of something, and using them as rationale for additional legislation. All this does is lead to perpetual amendments to CCIOA, which serve no purpose, because they are not enforceable (except in civil court) and there are no penalties for violations. This is precisely why I am not in favor of any further amendments to CCIOA, until there is in place a process to determine if there has been a violation of the law or of governing documents, and there are mandatory fines for violations of same. We know that SB 05-100, as passed bore no resemblance to the bill as originally submitted, and that it did not solve a single problem raised by those who testified in favor of it. We also know that the vast majority of complaints stem from the actions of board members, who feel they have the "power" to do as they please, and to treat people in whatever manner they please. People are becoming increasingly unreasonable, and legislators seem to think they can pass legislation to make them be more reasonable. But reasonableness is not something that can be legislated or even mandated. (Oh, that it were!) Indeed, if you tell some folks they HAVE to do something, they will do just the opposite just to prove a point (usually that you are not the boss of them). So, without a mandatory, binding and enforceable hearing process for disputes, this is all a very-senseless process. I do not look to the legislature to solve the problems that we in the CIC realm experience. And yes, this includes manager licensing. Just wait till we see how frustrated owners will become once they see how ineffective that legislation is! If you want to know what the real problems are in our industry, all you need do is ask a manager, instead of going through all this needless wheel-spinning. We can tell you EXACTLY what the issues are, how they arise, and how they can be solved. Homeowners will give you a story based on what they want, and legislators will act as if they know something about this industry, but the truth lies somewhere in between.

some one should inform legislature of the percentage of complaints (.00037%) so they don't start writing new laws. Enough already.

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