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
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
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
We all know that everybody hates their homeowners association - or do we? Many people might be surprised, particularly those who do hate their associations and think that everybody thinks the way they do, and maybe our state legislators, who tend to hear the complaints but not the good stories. Whatever the case may be, apparently not everybody hates their homeowners associations - far from it. A recent survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies finds that 90% of people rate their overall community association experience as positive; 90% of people say the association's board members "absolutely" or "for the most part" serve the best interests of the community; 92% say they are on friendly terms with their association boards; 83% say their community managers provide value and support to residents and their associations; 88% of residents who had direct contact with their community manager say it was a positive experience. Here is a copy of the survey results.Continue Reading Posted In Community Association News
Community Association Managers - Topics to Study for Colorado Law Test
Community Association managers in Colorado know that licensure is just around the corner. Beginning on July 1, 2015, every community association manager in Colorado must be licensed by the Colorado Division of Real Estate. Part of the licensure requirement is that managers must pass an examination that tests their basic understanding of applicable provisions of Colorado law. However, what topics could actually be on the Colorado law examination have remained a mystery - until now.
The Colorado Division of Real Estate has posted the areas of Colorado law, and some federal law, that managers should study to prepare for the exam. Here is the list of topics published by the Division. However, don't let this list freak you out! Winzenburg, Leff, Purvis & Payne is presenting free teleconferences for managers held during lunch for the purpose of helping you prepare for this exam.
If you aren't already participating in these classes and would like to sign up, please email Allison Grout to register for the classes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our next class will be held October 8th from noon to 1:00 pm on covenant enforcement. Don't miss out on these great opportunities to prepare for the exam a little bit at a time!Posted In Community Association News
Those of you who follow our blog know that during the 2014 Colorado legislative session, Senate Bill 220 was introduced with the intent to spur condominium construction in Colorado – an honorable goal. However, instead of providing incentives for developers to build quality construction, SB 220 was drafted to destroy the rights of homeowners living in condominium associations to hold builders responsible for their defective construction.
SB 220 was the brainchild of the Homeowner Opportunity Alliance which called itself the HOA Alliance. This “HOA Alliance” tirelessly lobbied legislators to eviscerate the ability of HOAs to assist homeowners who live in them to hold builders responsible for their shoddy construction. The Homeowner Opportunity Alliance was incorporated by Mayor Murphy himself.Continue Reading Posted In From Capitol Hill/Legislation
In an improving economy, the important of monitoring a public trustee foreclosure sales has additional benefits above and beyond making a claim for payment of the association’s super priority lien. As most of you are aware, following the filing of a public trustee foreclosure, CCIOA provides for recovery of up to six months of delinquent assessment fees. For years, the importance of monitoring a public trustee oftentimes had little significance above and beyond making a claim for the super lien and determining the new owner following the sale of the property.
Information for Managers on Obtaining the CMCA Credential
On behalf of the Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority (APCHA), I was privileged on Tuesday to present my annual legislative update on HOA issues. During the course of my presentation, we talked at length about the requirement that community association managers must by licensed by the Colorado Division of Real Estate by July 1, 2015.
In order to take an important first step toward licensure, I recommended that community association managers think about obtaining the Certified Manager of Community Associations ("CMCA") credential offered by the Community Association Managers International Certification Board ("CAMICB) - formally known as NBC-CAM. Here is a link to the CAMICB website that tells you everything you need to know about obtaining the CMCA credential.
I have also communicated with CAMICB about offering CAI's M-100 course and the CMCA examination in the Aspen area. Stay tuned to this blog for more information on when and where this class will be offered. You can also check the Rocky Mountain Chapter of CAI's website for updated information as it becomes available.
Thanks to all of my mountain friends who attended this annual event. The amazing turnout and your continued quest to stay updated on the latest laws impacting HOAs is truly humbling and exciting!Posted In From Capitol Hill/Legislation
We get questions about property insurance for community associations all the time - What insurance is the association supposed to carry? What insurance are the owners required to carry? Who pays the deductible under the association's policy? Are there special coverages that the association should carry, even though it is not required to? These, and a whole host of other insurance questions are the topics of whole books on the issue. We don't pretend to be experts in insurance - there are insurance professionals (and even some attorneys) who are. But it is probably useful to provide some basic understanding of association insurance coverage. This topic will warrant additional discussion in future blog posts. But for now, here's some basic information.
As with so many other issues that an association has to deal with, when you need to know what insurance your association must carry, you should review your governing documents. Most of the time the declaration will set out in some detail what the requirements are. However, sometimes we see declarations that simply say that an association will carry the insurance required by CCIOA.Continue Reading Posted In Governance