Two bills that would have negatively impacted HOAs in Colorado are dead for the session. Here is what you need to know:
House Bill 1165
House Bill 14-1165 (“HB 1165”) was taken up last week by the House Business, Labor, Economic & Workforce Development Committee and was defeated by a vote of 1 Representative in favor of the bill to 9 against.
HB 1165 would have capped the retainage permitted in construction contracts to 5% and rendered unenforceable provisions in these contracts with higher a retainage. This bill would have impacted construction contracts for all HOAs with more than 4 units. In other words, almost every HOA in Colorado could have been affected by this bill.Continue Reading Posted In From Capitol Hill/Legislation
House Bill 14-1254 (“HB 1254”) has just cleared the Colorado House of Representatives and will soon be introduced in the Senate. HB 1254 was heard last Thursday in the House Business, Labor, Economic & Workforce Development Committee. After extensive testimony on the bill by CAI members and illuminating questioning led by Representative Chris Holbert (R-Douglas County), the bill was unanimously reported out of the House Business Committee with no amendments and with a favorable recommendation to the full House of Representatives. The House passed the bill on 2nd reading yesterday. The full House passed HB 1254 on 3rd reading this morning with no amendments and a vote of 58 to 8 in favor of the bill, with 3 Representatives excused from the morning session and not voting.
The original draft of the bill, that was not introduced, would have capped transfer fees charged by management companies at $50.00. Obviously, management companies have every right to be compensated for the services they perform that are related to the sale of a home in an HOA and the costs attributed to the sale of an individual home should not be charged to all of the homeowners in an HOA. Instead, these are closing costs related to the sale of a particular home. Had the original draft version of this bill been introduced and passed, it would have led to an increase in assessments for all HOAs in Colorado since management companies would have been forced to increase their management fees to recover the costs of work performed on the sale of individual homes.Continue Reading Posted In From Capitol Hill/Legislation
Transfer Fee Disclosure Bill Unanimously Passes to Committee of the Whole
After extensive testimony in the House Business, Labor, Economic, and Workforce Development Committee this afternoon, the HOA transfer fee bill (HB14-1254) passed out of committee, with no amendments, for consideration by the House of Representatives. The HOA transfer feel bill is sponsored by Rep. Labuda (D-Denver) and Senator Balmer (R-Centennial) and received bipartisan support by a unanimous vote of the committee.
The HOA transfer fee bill requires management companies to affirmatively disclose their fees to the associations they manage, including those fees charged when a unit transfers ownership. The bill also requires management companies to disclose remuneration they receive from third parties as a result of their relationships with the associations they manage.
Several Community Associations Institute (CAI) members attended today's committee hearing to testify in favor of the transfer fee disclosure bill. Those CAI members primarily represented management companies and offered legislators a full picture of the services that management companies provide in exchange for the transfer fees they charge.Posted In From Capitol Hill/Legislation
House Bill 14-1125 (“HB 1125”), introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Diane Mitsch Bush (D-Steamboat Springs), has cleared the House with no amendments and was introduced just yesterday in the Senate and assigned to the Senate Local Government Committee. Senator David Balmer (R-Centennial) is the Senate sponsor of the bill.
As you will recall, HB 1125 permits an association to publish email addresses and telephone numbers of members and residents of the association, if those members or residents first provide written consent to their association to publish this information. Owners and residents may withdraw this written consent, but such withdrawal of consent does not require their association to go back and “change, retrieve or destroy” previously published telephone numbers or email addresses. Also, the bill permits owners and residents to electronically provide or withdraw their consent to their associations.Continue Reading Posted In From Capitol Hill/Legislation
When we hear the term “burden of proof”, many of us think of the television crime shows we all watch such as Law and Order or CSI, and how we always hear that the prosecution has to prove the defendant’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”. This “reasonable doubt” standard is the burden of proof in criminal cases. In general, the burden of proof, or burden of persuasion, is the duty placed upon a party to prove or disprove a disputed fact. Depending on the case and the arguments, either party can bear this burden.
In civil cases, however, the burden of proof is a lower standard and only requires that the party who bears the burden prove or disprove a disputed fact by a preponderance of the evidence or by clear and convincing evidence. Colorado courts define “preponderance of the evidence” as proving that it is more probably true than not, and have defined “clear and convincing evidence” as proving that it is highly probable and there exists no serious or substantial doubt. It is up to the judge or jury hearing the case to decide whether a party has met its burden.
Continue Reading Posted In Money Matters
Are You Feeling the Love?
For many folks, Valentine’s Day is traditionally thought of as a day of roses, chocolate, stuffed bears, hugs and kisses. I would like to get a bit off the traditional track of Valentine’s Day and wonder aloud if you are feeling the love in your HOA. So are you?
As homeowners, residents, board members and managers in HOAs, what does it mean to “feel the love?” Obviously, we are not talking about romantic love. Instead, I believe this means that our thoughts and concerns are actually being heard when we express them. If someone doesn’t agree with our point of view, at the very least we are treated with respect. We reach out to each other to constructively discuss and work through conflict and do not resort to sending nasty grams or lodging personal attacks or threats at meetings. We do not make assumptions. Instead, we do our research first and ask questions before jumping to conclusions and reacting. We tell the truth in a constructive way and do not hurl insults.
What steps can your HOA, the homeowners and residents take to ensure everyone in your community feels the love? Since a peaceful and harmonious community is so vital to our happiness and even health, I think this question is worth a few moments of reflection.Posted In Governance
This afternoon, House Bill 1125 (“HB 1125”) was taken up by the House Business, Labor, Economic & Workforce Development Committee (“House Business Committee”) for consideration. As you will recall, HB 1125 is intended to fix an inadvertent oversight in the association records law which was overhauled during the 2012 legislative session and went into effect on January 1, 2013. Currently, the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”) prohibits associations from publishing the telephone numbers and email addresses of members. Obviously, this limits the information associations may publish in membership directories.
HB 1125 permits an association to publish email addresses and telephone numbers of members and residents of the association, if those members or residents first provide written consent to their association to publish this information. Owners and residents may withdraw this written consent, but such withdrawal of consent does not require their association to go back and “change, retrieve or destroy” previously published telephone numbers or email addresses. Also, the bill permits owners and residents to electronically provide or withdraw their consent to their associations.Continue Reading Posted In From Capitol Hill/Legislation
WLPP Welcomes Douglas Stallworthy
Winzenburg, Leff, Purvis & Payne, LLP, is pleased to announce that Doug Stallworthy will join the firm on February 10, 2014. Doug previously focused his practice on real estate, commercial leasing, corporate law, civil litigation, community associations, and employment law. At Winzenburg, Doug will focus on the transactional and business needs of community associations throughout Colorado.
Doug holds dual citizenship in the United States and New Zealand, and before becoming an attorney he obtained a Bachelor's degree in surveying and worked as a Planner and Survey Project Manager.
I personally am very excited to have someone around to translate metes and bounds descriptions!
Please join us in welcoming Doug to the firm!Posted In Off the Top
HOA Information and Resource Office Releases 2013 Annual Report
Earlier today the Colorado HOA Information and Resource Office released its 2013 Annual Report. Interestingly, the number of complaints more than doubled - from 576 in 2012 to 1,248 in 2013 - but the number of people logging complaints only increased slightly from 309 complainants in 2012 to 327 in 2013. The most complaints in 2013 related to association and management communication with homeowners (or lack thereof), which moved up from fourth place in 2012. The report contains other details about the number and types of communities registered with the Office, and the outreach work that the Office undertook in 2013.
For those of us who work with community associations on a daily basis, the report contains few surprises. Even so, the trends revealed in these annual reports are important to consider because they can sometimes have an influence on legislation and regulations affecting community associations.
The report is also a good reminder for boards to ensure that owners and directors receive their annual education, as mandated by the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act. Education can help prevent problems and complaints in your HOA. Our "CCIOA 101 for HOA Boards" blog series is a great resource for board members to learn about basic association governance laws. In addition, our attorneys work with association clients to prepare board and owner education classes tailored to an individual community's needs. Contact one of our attorneys directly if you have questions about education options.
Posted In Governance
I have to admit, I’m not a fan but was intrigued when I discovered that Porscha Williams from the hit show ‘The Real Housewives’ was hit with a Judgment of nearly $18,000.00 for failing to pay association assessment fees and other charges. Apparently, a garnishment was authorized to attempt to collect the outstanding debt. http://rollingout.com/tv/reality-tv-tv/porsha-williams-accused-owing-18000-homeowners-association/Continue Reading Posted In Money Matters