Community Association Residents Don’t Want More Legislation

Loura K. Sanchez | Thursday, May 15, 2014 | Legislative Miscellaneous

In an independent national survey of community association residents conducted early this year by Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of CAI, 80% of community association residents opposed additional regulation of community associations. I wonder if our Colorado legislators are aware of this number?  This is a staggering statistic given the significant stream of steady legislation our legislature adopts each year related to community associations.  However, as we know, much of our legislation is spawned by one constituent’s grievance with his or her community.  If you want to make a difference and get involved in laws that may affect your association we encourage you to follow our Blog for up-to-date information on legislation.  There are many times where reaching out to your legislators or testifying at a hearing can make a difference. 

Comments

Homeowners want enforcement of regulation. that's the matter to address

I'm an HOA professional on Colorado's west slope (Grand Junction area). So many of our HOAs are very small, self-managed single family communities with small budgets and few volunteers willing to work. The increase in Colorado HOA laws has many of these associations literally paralyzed. The attention of the Board is diverted from the important work of running the community because the Board is confused by the onslaught of continual new legislation. Additionally, these small associations do not have the thousands of dollars needed to pay for legal document upgrades mandated by new laws. These laws are generally regarded as an unreasonable burden, with many believing that a statehouse full of lawyers is simply trying to further enrich lawyers. Whether or not this is true, the current conditions do not promote respect for HOA law or generally help HOA residents. If the legislature wants to do something meaningful, I suggest they advise the small number of HOA complainants that their concerns have been heard, but they do not represent the vast majority of HOA residents. Further, free "how to run an HOA" education would greatly assist small HOAs that either prefer to self-manage or cannot afford professional management. I must note that as a Colorado employer, I get more state education on how to pay my employer taxes (a relatively simple matter) than our unpaid, untrained, unappreciated HOA boards receive in their duty to comply with very complex regulation.

The study does not surprise me. I do hope the legislators and their committees take a hard look at this all. I have property in 3 HOAs and have been a Director and continue to be an Officer in one of them. All three HOAs run only with volunteers and none are paid. They do a reasonable job, and very good job under the circumstances. I can not count the hours I have put in to help. There is no hired manager in any of them. We are blessed with good volunteers. I agree with the coments by Ms. Lucks. I agree, if the legistlatures want to do anything, support these HOA's. Spend our money (yes, only a very small portion comes from their taxes) wisely by educating, talking to parties to helping resolve complaints, and simplyfying regulations. Sorry, legislators and committees, you won't need near the budget if you do so. Such simple things to do. There are already too many rules, many are confusing, and plainly over regulating for those few times someone can't work with their HOA to solve issues. My rule when I took over as Director and President: I don't mind if you have a complaint or want something done. Here is what needs to happen. Bring your complaint, what you think the resolution(s) should be, and be prepared to volunteer to help get it done. If you can not provide all three aspects, then stop complaining. I am still amazed about how most complaints have disappeared, how the ones that do come are more material, have been able to be resolved amiably between the parties, and how much the community has come together - saving lots of costs by volunteering more. And I'll have to say, several of the biggest complainers over the last 8 years have moved out. Must have been too boring for them. Sometimes there is not a good solution, we do the best we can do. Many times complainers are just that, something to complain about. Don't get me wrong. There are good complaints. When complaints are worked on by having conversations, volunteering time, and resolving those matters, you get a better HOA community. Many have noticed a huge change, many more are coming to the Annual meeting and we have had few issues, if any. We still have some complainers. ;o( I recall how our HOA was back in the early 2000s. What a change. There is no regulation that could have changed that. Only people willing to listen, volunteer their time to worek with others to resolve issues. Finally, (this is my personal opinon) I believe the complaints mainly come from HOAs in the cities/large towns, which the HOAs are too large for their own good, have managers with too much power, residents who don't spend enought ime getting involved, and feel everyone else should do something for them. I suggest the legislators focus on these type of HOAs. Do not impose regulations on the rest of us who are doing a good job and rarely have the complaints of these larger HOAs. Finally, the best way to manage these risks are: be friendly, listen from the aother paties perspective, talk about the issue in an open environment, and have them suggest what they think are the solutions, and how they are can hep resolve the issue. Life is too complicated already without our neighbors making it more so.

Thank you! I have been saying this for years! Until there is a dispute-resolution system in place, with mandatory fines for violations of state laws and governing documents, CCIOA should not be amended any further. Our current method of legislating to solve one person's grievances is ridiculous.

I am a bit surprised that 80% opposed further regulation because it seems that I hear so many accusations of management and / or board abuse. Maybe my large HOA is more contentious then most. Maybe the complainers are just a vocal minority. It would be interesting to see how the survey was worded. The one piece of legislation that passed and which I definitely liked was the licensing requirement for managers because it helps keeps out amateurs who don't have a clue. I do realize the initial impetus of legislation were a few vocal "activists", but I think legislators did a reasonable job of coming up with regulation that addressed real issues and steered around the unreasonable complaints.

I agree with you. My small HOA (60 units) has had numerous problems with the Property Manager. While the Board is a volunteer board (on which I serve), I think the only fair survey would have been limited to Board Members of HOAs since the general membership is typically apathetic to what is going on in the community unless it deals with raising dues or Special assessments. I note that the need for Special Assessments is typical the result of poor property management (particularly as it relates to Reserve studies and funding) or insufficient monthly dues (caused by Board Members that refuse to take their fiduciary responsibilities seriously and refuse to raise dues (an unpopular act to be sure) when it is required). Most Board Members would rather kick the "financial" can down the road when they do not plan on being on the board. So I support legislation that deals with the qualifications or Property Managers and that address the inevitable need for FUNDED capital reserves. As said earlier, if the survey had been limited to board members serving HOAs and the results had been 80% in opposition to new legislation, I would be dumbfounded. I hear from other Board Members from many HOAs and the problems sound eerily similar.

The fees to support the HOA Information Office rose $11 this year. In addition we had to spend many volunteer hours AND pay $495 to update our policies. I hope the fees increase goes to educating and supporting Boards in communicating and spreading good will with homeowners in their neighborhoods. The number of complaints to the HOA information office simply do not justify these knee jerk bill introductions by our state government.

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