January 1st is Fast Approaching - Is Your HOA Ready To Comply With the New HOA Records Law?

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already behind us and 2013 is approaching quickly.  While folks are busy preparing for the holidays, it's important for managers and boards of directors of HOAs in Colorado to also prepare now to comply with the new HOA records Law ("HB 1237") which goes into effect on January 1st.   

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HOA Records Bill - Start Preparing Now to Comply! Blog Entry #6

Charges for Assembling, Producing and Copying Records

Yesterday I blogged that Governor Hickenlooper had signed the HOA records bill (“HB 1237”) into law. In order to be prepared to comply with the new law when it goes into effect on January 1, 2013, we are recommending that managers, management companies and HOA boards familiarize themselves with the requirements of the new law and to begin preparing now to comply.

For those of you who have been following my blog series which outlines the requirements, of HB 1237, you know we have covered: (1) records which HOAs will be required to maintain and produce to owners upon request; (2) records which may be withheld from production to owners; (3) records which must be withheld from production to owners; (4) restrictions which owners in HOAs must follow when utilizing membership lists; and (5) procedures which HOAs will be permitted to utilize in obtaining and processing records requests from owners.

 

Today I am going to cover what HOAs may charge, beginning on January 1st, for assembling, producing and copying records. Here’s what you need to know:

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HOA Records Bill Just Signed Into Law!

Just moments ago, Governor Hickenlooper signed the HOA records bill ("HB 1237") into law.  The bill will become effective on January 1, 2013.  As a result, there's no time like the present for managers, management companies and HOA boards to become familiar with the requirements of the new law and to begin preparing to comply on the 1st of the year. 

Check out this blog entry to learn more about:  (1)  records which HOAs will be required to maintain and to produce to owners upon request; (2) records which may be withheld from production to owners; (3) records which must be withheld from production to owners; (4) restrictions which owners in HOAs must follow when utilizing membership lists; and (5) procedures which HOAs will be permitted to utilize in obtaining and processing records requests from owners. 

Important Note:  Since HB 1237 does not go into effect until January 1, 2013, HOAs should continue to follow the current law and requirements of their Records Inspection Policy until the 1st of the year.  If your HOA obtains a records request prior to January 1st and you are unclear on the requirements of the current law, please consult with legal counsel for guidance.

Tomorrow I will be blogging on what HOAs will be permitted to charge owners for assembling, producing and copying records under the new law.  Also, continue to stay tuned to this blog for more information and tips on complying with HB 1237!

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HOA Records Bill - Start Preparing Now to Comply! Blog Entry #5

Procedures for Requesting HOA Records

As we prepare managers, management companies and HOA boards to comply with the HOA records bill (“HB 1237”) when it signed into law and becomes effective on January 1, 2013, we have covered: (1) records which must be maintained by HOAs and produced to owners upon request; (2) records that may be withheld from production to owners; (3) records which must be withheld from production to owners; and (4) restrictions which members of HOAs must follow when utilizing membership lists

Today we are going to cover procedures which HOAs will be permitted to utilize in obtaining and processing record requests from owners. Here’s what you need to know: 

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HOA Records Bill - Start Preparing Now to Comply! Blog Entry #4

Use of Membership Lists

HB 1237, the HOA records bill, has not yet been signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper. However, we expect that to happen in the very near future. Since the new law will ultimately go into effect on January 1st, we are posting a series of blog entries on what managers, management companies and HOA boards need to do to prepare to comply with the new law. Here’s what we have covered thus far:

 

  1. HOA records which must be maintained by the HOA and produced to owners upon request;
  2. HOA records which may be withheld from production to owners; and
  3. HOA records which must be withheld from production to owners

Today we are going to cover the restrictions on members relating to the use of a membership list they obtain from their HOA. While this provision mirrors current law, it’s worth a reminder. Here’s what you need to know:

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HOA Records Bill - Start Preparing Now to Comply! Blog Entry #3

HOA Records Which Must Be Withheld from Production

As we continue on our journey to prepare managers, management companies and HOA boards to comply with the HOA records bill (“HB 1237”) which will become effective on January 1, 2013, let’s review what we have covered thus far. In our first blog entry, we covered the records that HOAs will be required to maintain and produce to owners upon request. In our second blog entry, we covered the records that HOAs may withhold from inspection and copying by owners. Today we will cover the small category or records which HOAs are required to withhold from production and inspection by owners. 

The following records maintained by an HOA are not subject to inspection and copying, and must be withheld, to the extent they are or concern:

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HOA Records Bill - Start Preparing Now to Comply! Blog Entry #2

HOA Records Which May Be Withheld From Production

Last Friday, House Bill 1237 (“HB 1237”) was sent to Governor Hickenlooper for action. As we have noted in previous blog postings, given the bipartisan support for the bill, we fully expect HB 1237 to be signed into law. While the new law will not go into effect until January 1, 2013, now is the time for managers, management companies and HOA board members to get acquainted with the requirements of the new law and to begin preparing to comply with them by the 1st of the year. 

I began a short series of blog entries last Thursday to bring everyone up-to-speed on the requirements of HB 1237. The first blog entry provided a list of the records that every HOA will be required to maintain and provide to owners upon request. This blog entry will cover records which associations may withhold from producing to owners.

 

The following records maintained by an HOA may be withheld from inspection and copying to the extent they are or concern:

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HOA Records Bill: Start Preparing Now to Comply!

HOA Records Which Must Be Maintained and Produced

House Bill 1237 (“HB 1237”), the HOA records bill, has been prepared to be sent to Governor Hickenlooper for action. Based upon the bipartisan support the bill has enjoyed, we fully expect the Governor to sign HB 1237 into law. Once that happens, the bill will become effective on January 1, 2013. 

In addition to the advice Suzanne Leff gave in her blog on Monday, this short series of blog entries will provide guidance to managers, management companies and HOA board members on what you need to know to be prepared to comply with the new law. 

 

Beginning on January 1st, here is a list of the records which HB 1237 requires associations to maintain and produce to owners upon request:

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For the Record ... Effective Records Policies Start Now

With the passage of HB 12-1237 during the final hours of the 2012 legislative session last week, associations moved one step closer to new requirements concerning the official records that they must make available to owners upon request. We fully expect this bill to clear the final hurdle on its way to becoming law. Once HB 12-1237 is signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper, associations will have until January 1, 2013, to implement new records policies and practices.

It's not too early for associations to start reviewing their mandatory inspection and copying of records policies and making necessary updates before the effective date of HB 12-1237. All associations should have clear policies that do the following:  

  1. Ensure availability of all documentation expressly declared a "record" by statute plus any additional records defined in an association's governing documents
  2. Exclude specific documents from owner review

The biggest change most associations will make to their policies involves the removal of any requirement that owners state a "proper purpose" before getting access to records. Under HB 12-1237, associations must maintain certain records, and owners are entitled to access that information. Associations can help minimize the impact of owner requests for records on other association business by adopting clear policies, keeping records up to date, and making documents easily accessible.

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