Manager Licensure Clean-Up Bill Sails Through House Committee

Yesterday, under the stewardship of Representative Angela Williams who is the Chair of the House Business Affairs & Labor Committee, House Bill 1343 sailed through that Committee with unanimous bipartisan support!  The bill will now be considered by the House Appropriations Committee where we do not expect any problems.  Next week, we anticipate that HB 1343 will be approved by the full House and will then move over to the Senate under the guidance of Senator David Balmer who is the Chair of the Senate Business, Labor & Technology Committee.

As a reminder, here is a synopsis of the key provisions of HB 1343: 

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Construction Defect Bill Faces Major Problems in House

Yesterday, as expected, the Colorado Senate passed Senate Bill 177 on third reading and the bill is now headed to the House for consideration.  While the spin put on this bill by the Metro Mayors Caucus and Denver Chamber of Commerce has been astounding, there is no question that this bill destroys the rights of homeowners to hold builders fully responsible for their defective construction. 

The good news is that SB 177 is expected to die in the House.  We also expect to see bills introduced in the House to promote quality construction.  What a breath of fresh air!  Let's focus on providing incentives to build quality construction rather than providing builders with immunity for their defects.  Also, I am hopeful that these anticipated bills will reframe the discussion on construction defects toward a balanced and fundamentally fair solution for both homeowners and builders. 

 

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Manager Licensure Clean-Up Bill Introduced with Bipartisan Support

House Bill 15-1343 ("HB 1343") has just been introduced in the Colorado House of Representative to clean-up and improve the manager licensure law which is currently on the books. Given the bipartisan nature of this bill, there is plenty of time left in the legislative session for this bill to proceed through the process. 

Key Republicans and Democrats have signed on as co-prime sponsors in the House and Senate.  In the House, the co-prime sponsors are Representative Angela Williams (Democrat and Chair of the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee) and Representative Dan Thurlow (a freshman Republican who serves on the Business Committee). In the Senate, the co-prime sponsors are Senator David Balmer (Republican and Chair of the Senate Business, Labor & Technology Committee) and Democratic Senator Nancy Todd.   The bill has been assigned to the House Business Committee and we expect that a hearing will be held on the bill as early as next week.

Here is synopsis of the key provisions of HB 1343:

1.  The bill more clearly defines who is classified as a community association manager who must be licensed and who is exempt from the licensure requirements;

2.  The bill establishes an apprentice license and related requirements;

3.  The bill provides that management company CEOs are not required to be licensed and more clearly establishes the "designated manager" required for management companies;

4.  The bill clarifies that individuals holding the CMCA credential, AMS designation, PCAM designation or other credential approved by the Director of the Division of Real Estate need only take the Colorado law portion of the licensure examination;

5.  The bill provides that for community association managers who have not passed both sections of the licensure exam by July 1, 2015, the Director of the Division of Real Estate has the authority to grant those managers a provisional license through December 31, 2015; and

6.  Specifies that the funds used for implementation of the licensure program will be maintained in the Division of Real Estate cash fund. 

Stay tuned for important information as this bipartisan bill proceeds through the legislative process! 

 

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The Bare Facts about Covenant Enforcement

It’s that time of year again, when the weather is changing and people are spending more time….naked in their doorways?  No, this is not an early April Fool’s joke.  According the neighbors of the Cardinal Glen's HOA in North Carolina, this is a problem they’ve had to deal with without any help from the police.  Because their neighbor remains within his home on private property, he is not legally indecently exposing himself, and criminal prosecution is not an option.

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Debunking the Myths of SB 177: Installment Number 2

A week ago, I started a series of blog entries intended to debunk the myths being disseminated on Senate Bill 15-177 (“SB 177”) by a coalition of special interest groups led by the Metro Mayors Caucus and Denver Chamber of Commerce. This coalition has one goal and that is to destroy the rights of homeowners to adequately recover from builders for construction defects to their homes. 

The first debunked myth was that SB 177 will promote the construction of quality affordable housing. While it certainly didn’t take a rocket scientist to debunk that myth, the spin on affordable housing was just the tip of the iceberg for this coalition.

 

Myth Number 2: SB 177 Will Protect the Right of Homeowners and Builders to Rely Upon the Fundamentally Fair Arbitration Provisions in the Declaration

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DORA Makes Rules Permanent

Following the rule making hearing last week, and much input from industry stakeholders, on March 9, 2015, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) adopted the permanent rules regarding managing licensing, effective upon expiration of the temporary rules on May 6, 2015. You can find the revised rules here: http://cdn.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/DORA-DRE/CBON/DORA/1251651466155. Posted In From Capitol Hill/Legislation
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Roll Out the Barrel!

House Bill 15-1259  ("HB 1259") was just introduced in the Colorado House of Representatives to permit the use of rain barrels to collect water to irrigate lawns and gardens.  While there's little question that this bill would affect water rights, from the HOA perspective, HB 1259 would also make it impossible for HOAs to prohibit the use of rain barrels "to collect precipitation from a residential rooftop . . ." 

The rooftops contemplated by HB 1259 include the roofs of single family homes and "an individual residence that is part of a row of residences joined by common sidewalls."  In many cases, row houses are created as condominiums in Colorado.  That means the roof of such a row house would not be part of the unit which the homeowner purchases.  Instead, the rooftops would be common elements that are commonly owned by all of the owners of condominium units in the association.  In this context, the condominium association (not an individual homeowner) should be the entity to collect and utilize the water on behalf of all of the owners in the community.

In the HOA context, there is also the question of liability to consider.  What happens if a child were to drown in a rain barrel located on the common elements of a condominium association?  There is no doubt the association would be sued.  Why should the HOA be held liable for such a horrific event if the association cannot regulate or prohibit the placement of rain barrels on common elements? 

While there is no doubt that HB 1259 is well intended, from the HOA perspective there would be many unintended and potentially costly consequences.   

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No News is Good News

You've probably heard the news by now--an HOA refused to allow Make-A-Wish to grant a young cancer patient's wish by constructing a playhouse in the girl's back yard. The reason? Outbuildings are against the covenants. Of course, the HOA ends up taking the heat with press coverage and outspoken support for the sympathetic young girl.

The story has quickly blown up, with multiple sources reporting the details. One source reports that the HOA board member names and telephone numbers have been removed from the association's website. Other stories give updates on the HOA's reconsideration of the matter and willingness to compromise after talking with Make-A-Wish and the construction contractor.

For now, it sounds like one young girl will get her wish. It remains to be seen whether other kids in the neighbor will be permitted to have their own playhouses constructed or what kind of pressure the volunteer board members will face from neighbors who do not appreciate the compromise in this case. Unfortunately, boards can come under fire even when following the rules and fairness to others guide their decision-making.

We've previously written about what to do if your HOA ends up in the news (because we all know that making the headlines is rarely, if ever, a good thing). But, on this Friday afternoon, I'm curious about how you and your association may have handled the playhouse wish differently to avoid the headlines from the start. Ideas?

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Manager Licensing Class Registration

NOW OFFERING

CLASSES FOR THE COLORADO LAW PORTION

OF

THE MANAGER LICENSE EXAM

 

As you all know, the July 1st deadline for Colorado community association manager licensing is fast-approaching. We’re hearing a lot of “buzz” about the Colorado law portion of the licensing exam. Many managers have asked for a consolidated review of Colorado laws to help prepare for the test. With your requests in mind, we are excited to announce classes on the areas of Colorado law that community association managers need to know.

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Division of Real Estate Releases Changes to Proposed Rules

As you probably know, the Colorado Division of Real Estate is holding a hearing on permanent rule-making for manager licensure on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 10:00 am at the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center in Conference Room 1D.

In advance of this hearing, the Division has released the following changes to the proposed rules which were originally published.  The first changes relate to proposed rule D10 which now allows management companies to be named as an "additional insured" on the fidelity coverage which associations are required to carry.  The level of fidelity coverage required to be carried has also been revised. You will also notice that the initial license renewal period (proposed rule D1), annual renewal (proposed rule D2) and reinstatement timeframe (proposed rule D5) have also been revised. 

Finally, minor revisions were made to proposed rule B1 relating to when continuing education is required. 

A big hat goes off to CAI's Manager Licensure Task Force for their diligent work on the issue of fidelity insurance coverage.  Your work has made a huge difference for management companies in Colorado!

 

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