Your Board's Presence Is Present Enough: Don't forget to say "Thank you" this holiday season

We've all received the party invitation with a note letting us know that gifts are not requested--Your presence is present enough. Some of us take the cue, while others go above and beyond and bring a gift despite the note. I like to think that association board members, through their election or appointment to their boards, receive an invitation to the big party of the boardroom. And I'd like to encourage you to thank your association's board members for their presence on the board this holiday season. I realize you're busy attending parties at work, gathering with family and friends, going to your places of worship, and finding time to relax amidst the bustle of the season. Whew--this is a busy time of year! But this one quick and easy task can be accomplished by email, in passing at the mailbox, or through a handwritten note or card. I sincerely encourage you to reach out and say "thank you."

This is my "thank you" note to board members:

Continue Reading Posted In Governance
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Emergency Rule-Making Hearing Scheduled for Manager Licensure

The Colorado Division of Real Estate is gearing up to get the rulemaking process rolling on the new manager licensure law that goes into effect on January 1st and here's the latest communication from the Division.  While community association managers will not have to be licensed until July 1, 2015, the Division is working on putting emergency rules into place that will be necessary for the initial licensing.  The emergency rules will address education, testing, licensing and insurance requirements needed for licensure. 

A hearing on the emergency rule-making, which will include public testimony, will be held on Friday, January 2, 2015, beginning at 10:00 am at the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center in Conference Room 1B.  The address for the Judicial Center is 2 East 14th Avenue, Denver, Colorado. 

We recommend that all management companies, managers, HOA boards and other interested individuals review the proposed rules prior to the hearing.  While Community Associations Institute will be providing testimony at the hearing, in the event you have any concerns or recommendations, you should also plan to attend and testify. To review the proposed rules which will be the subject of the hearing on January 2nd, please read the following sections:  Section A (Licensing, Qualification, Applications & Examinations), Section C (Licensing - Office) and Section D (Renewal, Transfer, Inactive License, Reinstatement and Insurance).   

Keep your eye on this blog for the latest information published by the Division of Real Estate relating to manager licensure! 

Posted In From Capitol Hill/Legislation
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Alcohol and HOA Board Meetings Just Don't Mix

After a long day at work, it's sometimes nice to sit down with a lovely glass of red wine or a cocktail.  However, at the risk of sounding like an old fuddy duddy, I have to say that alcohol and HOA board meetings are just not a good mix.

Directors attend board meetings to conduct the business of their HOAs.  It is not unusual for directors to consider complex or controversial issues which require their focused attention.  While I have luckily never witnessed an intoxicated director at a meeting, directors are required to fulfill their fiduciary duty to the associations they serve and to exercise their sound business judgment.  It's no secret that the consumption of alcohol can interfere with an individual's judgment.  

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Have Your Assessments Increased?

It’s that time of year again when Boards are planning for the New Year. If your Association has increased (or even decreased) its annual assessment fees for 2015, it is important that the Association follow its governing documents when providing notice of the change to all owners. 

In addition to providing owners with proper notice of any change, the Association should also notify its attorney.  This will help to ensure that any accounts and/or payment plans that are with the attorney for collection are properly noted, and any increase is accurately accounted for and collected.

This will also allow the attorney to take the proper measures to ensure that the Association retains the right to collect the new assessment fee against certain owners who have filed for bankruptcy.

If you have not notified your attorney that your assessment fees have changed for the upcoming year, now would be a good time! 

Posted In Money Matters
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Molly Foley-Healy Admitted to College of Community Association Lawyers

The law firm of Winzenburg, Leff, Purvis & Payne, LLP is proud to announce that Molly Foley-Healy has been admitted to the College of Community Association lawyers. Molly is now one of fewer than 150 lawyers nationwide to be admitted to this prestigious organization, and joins Mark Payne as the firm's second CCAL member. CCAL was established in 1993 by Community Associations Institute (CAI), with membership limited to attorneys who have distinguished themselves through contributions to the evolution and practice of community association law. CCAL members are also recognized for their commitment to high standards of professional and ethical conduct.

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A Community Christmas Carol (sort of)

My household includes a Grinch and a Clark Griswold.  "Clark' wants to put up holiday decorations last weekend.  "The Grinch" thinks holiday decorations are overly-expensive cat toys to be avoided at all costs.  The Grinch received the following poem by Nena Groskind this morning, and somehow is now in a bit of a Christmas mood.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we have, and prepare reasonable rules and regulations in the spirit of the season!

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Dear FHA: Please Loosen Lending Requirements!

 With single family home prices continuing to rise, many homeowners are electing to downsize by purchasing more affordable condominium units. Additionally, a condominium is now becoming the only affordable option for many first time homebuyers.

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Secret Ballots in HOA Elections - Keeping it Drama Free!

If you are like me, you will be happy when the election is over tomorrow and the nasty political ads are off the air for a couple of years. However, regardless of your party affiliation or beliefs, I hope you take the time to cast your votes and return your ballot. After all, we live in the greatest democracy on the planet and voting is at the heart of our fundamental rights.

The election also got me thinking about HOA annual meetings and the election of directors. While hopefully your HOA is drama free and every member votes, I thought this was a great time to remind boards, managers and homeowners about the requirements for utilizing secret balloting. 

 

The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”), at C.R.S. 38-33.3-310, requires secret ballots be utilized at membership meetings under the following circumstances:

 

●          Secret ballots must be utilized for contested positions on your board of directors. Simply put, this means secret ballots must be used when there are more folks running for the board than there are open seats. The requirement does not apply if your governing documents provide for the election of directors through delegates who cast votes on behalf of a segment of the membership. 

●          Secret ballots may be used at the discretion of the board of directors. Some boards like to use secret ballots for every item which is voted upon at a membership meeting. This gives members the ability to cast their vote without any perceived pressure from the board or their neighbors.

          Secret ballots must be utilized on any issue where 20% of the owners, present in person or by proxy at the meeting of the members, request use of a secret ballot on an issue. 

 

Once votes are cast at a membership meeting by secret ballot, here’s what you need to know:

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Our Move is Finally Here!

On Friday, October 23rd, we will be making the move to our new offices located at 8020 Shaffer Parkway, Suite 300 in Littleton, Colorado!  In order to facilitate our move, we will not have phone or email service on Friday.  While we regret any inconvenience this may cause, we will be back up and running normally on Monday.

As a reminder, our telephone (303-863-1870) and fax (303-863-1872) numbers will remain the same. 

Posted In Community Association News
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I Can't See the Forest for the Yard Signs

We are fifteen days from the 2014 midterm elections, and candidates are undoubtedly working hard to get those elusive swing voters to the polls. Yard signs are one tool that candidates use to build name recognition and sway votes. A multitude of signs for federal and state political offices, as well as several ballot initiatives, are jostling for real estate this year. In years past, community associations could rely on restrictive covenants to prohibit political signs from disrupting the neighborhood aesthetic. But, since 2005, Colorado law has outlawed any outright prohibition of political signs in covenant-controlled communities. Colorado statutes provide guidance on what political signs associations can regulate, where signs can be placed, and when political sign regulations can apply.

Continue Reading Posted In Covenant Enforcement
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