HOA Information and Resource Center Gets More Power

Loura K. Sanchez | Monday, January 21, 2013 | State Legislation

In HB13-1134, introduced last Friday, Senator Carroll and Representative Ryden are proposing that the HOA Information and Resource Center be expanded in several keys ways:

  1. Mandating that the Center:
    1. compile a list of all registered associations with name, address and telephone number of each association;
    2. Coordinate and assist in the preparation of educational and reference materials for owners, board members and association managers related to understanding their rights and responsibilities;
    3. Monitor changes to federal and state laws relating to associations;
    4. Provide FAQs on the Division of Real Estate’s website.
  2. Allowing (but not mandating) the HOA Information Officer to:
    1. Have one or more assistants;
    2. Request records from associations;
    3. Recommend rule changes concerning filing, investigation and resolution of complaints;
    4. Refer “disputes” to ADR;
    5. Offering mediation in “disputes”.
  3. Mandating that the HOA Information Officer:
    1. Report any alleged violations of CCIOA or any rules adopted by the Officer to the Director of the Division of Real Estate;
    2. Act as a liaison and give owners, boards and managers explanations of laws and regulations governing associations but NOT give legal advice;
    3. Monitor and review association procedures related to elections;
    4. Monitor and review any disputes that arise in associations related to elections;
    5. Recommend enforcement action if misconduct occurs in an election;
    6. Appoint an election monitor and conduct an association election if 15% of the voting interests in the association or 6 units owners, whichever is greater, petition the Officer to do so.


In order to fund the increased role of the HOA Information and Resource Center the annual registration fee will be calculated by taking the total costs of operation of the Center and dividing it by the total number of all units that are in communities that are registered and not exempt from paying fees. This will result in a per-unit fee and each association’s annual registration fee will be the per-unit fee multiplied by the number of units in their association. Thus the larger the association the greater the registration will be.

In addition, the bill clarifies that the registration process and all the amendments proposed in this bill apply to pre-CCIOA communities.  This clarification is consistent with HindmanSanchez’ interpretation of the statute in the past. 

While this is only the initial draft of the bill and we will likely see modifications, there are many questions and concerns raised in the bill and therefore, we would suggest that you:

  1. Read the bill carefully;
  2. Consider the pros/cons it will have on your association and our industry;
  3. Provide comments and insights on this post;
  4. Contact the bill sponsors if you feel strongly on any issues.


As always HindmanSanchez will continue to monitor the progress of this bill and keep you up-to-date on changes.

Comments

The # of units calculation changes almost every hour and could be in big numbers. The fees that are paid does not seem to realistic if based on total units. Builders add units every day. Solution: Use a step fee schedule, start at 10-50 or less and increase by 10, 20 odr more. Pick a cut off date each year, ie 1/1 and go from there. Also, what about those Assoceations with many hundreds or even thousands of units. Pretty big budget line item?

I knew this was a classic example of government boondoggle when this was introduced in 2010. Now just 2-3 years later they are back at the trough - growing the agency and charging associations more for the pleasure of an unwanted headache. Bigger government is not what we need, but it is to be expected by a democratically controlled legislature.

The Bill is a good first step. It, however, lacks improving the very weak enforcement provisions of CCIOA and other HOA related laws. The empowerment of the HOA Officer is very weak and simply allows for overt recommendations and review but not authority: more of what "should be" but little in enforcement from the homeowners perspective. The next step should be to set up in this office an out of court binding medi-arb (mediation with decision making arbitration authority) process for HOA disputes. HOA cases, with a few exceptions, don't belong in court and cost taxpayers unnecessarily. This process would allow for affordable, timely, and accessible dispute resolution and make current HOA law very effective without costly the taxpayers and relieving the Courts of these minor cases. www.coloradohoaforum.com

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