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!

Continue Reading Posted In Governance
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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:

Continue Reading Posted In Governance
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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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We're Moving and Taking You With Us!

Our law firm is moving to new offices this month and we promise to take you with us!  Beginning on Monday, October 27th, our new address will be: 

Winzenburg, Leff, Purvis & Payne

8020 Shaffer Parkway, Suite 300

Littleton, CO 80127

 

Our telephone number will remain the same – (303) 863-1870

 

On Friday, October 24th, our computer and telephone systems will be down as we make the actual move. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience and will be back up and running the following Monday.

 

After the first of the year, we will be holding an Open House and look forward to showing you our new digs! 

Attorney Stephane Dupont makes his new Littleton office a little more like home.

 

Posted In Community Association News
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I object (to your shed), your Honor!

A judge in Michigan recently sued her homeowner’s association seeking a declaratory judgment (a judgment from a court that determines the rights of parties without ordering anything be done or awarding damages) that the more than six foot tall shed she installed in her yard does not violate the association’s covenants.   The homeowner’s association claims the shed violates a deed restriction in the covenants and the association has threatened to sue the judge if she doesn’t remove or downsize it.   

Continue Reading Posted In Covenant Enforcement
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Board Communications and E-mails

In 2012, the Colorado legislature changed the laws governing community association records, including requirements that Board members' e-mail addresses be retained as official records.  At first, many of our clients balked at the new requirement.  As many of you are aware, it's very easy to allow electronic communications to become uncivil, and Board members didn't want these communications going to their private or work e-mails.

To address these concerns, we recommend that our association clients create e-mail addresses for the Boards, and that the Boards pass these along to new Board members as they are elected.  This ensures continuity of communications for homeowners, and it also protects Board members from the risk of having their personal or work e-mails subject to discovery in the event of litigation.  Board members can also create their own personal association e-mail addresses, although this does not have the bonus side of maintaining continuity as the Board turns over. Either way, Board members should have dedicated association e-mail addresses.

Continue Reading Posted In Governance
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