A year ago, Colorado law changed the requirements for budget ratification for HOAs which were created before July 1, 1992.  Whether your HOA was created before, on or after July 1, 1992, join the Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority (APCHA) to learn what you need to know about the budget ratification process.  In addition, since summertime inevitably brings headaches relative to covenant and rule violations, we will also discuss what you can do to encourage compliance with the governing documents of your HOA, the obligation of HOA boards to comply with and enforce the governing documents of their communities and tools available for enforcement.

If you are a member of the board of directors of your HOA, manage HOAs or live in an HOA, this class is for you!  This class which is sponsored by APCHA, is free of charge and will be held on Wednesday, July 24th from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm in the City Council Chambers at City Hall which is located at 130 South Galena Street in Aspen.  Molly Foley-Healy will be presenting this class for APCHA. To RSVP for this class, please call APCHA at 970-920-5050.

Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution with the goal of finding a solution and reaching an agreement that is acceptable to all parties involved. In some counties, mediation is mandatory and if a case becomes contested, the parties are ordered to attend mediation prior to scheduling a trial. In some instances, however, even if not court ordered, it may be beneficial for the parties to attend mediation depending on the facts of the case.

During mediation, the parties will meet with a neutral third party mediator who may sometimes be an attorney or even a judge, but in any case, the mediator is a trained professional whose job is to look at the facts of each case objectively and not to take sides or play favorites.  In mediation, unlike arbitration, a mediator is there to facilitate a resolution of the case but does not have authority to make any rulings or to bind the parties to a particular outcome, as would an arbitrator.  The mediator can also not give legal advice to the parties, but can use common sense reasoning to assist in decision making.

One advantage of mediation is that the parties can come to a resolution on their own terms and essentially control the outcome of the dispute.  At trial, the judge or jury decides the case where the outcome can be less favorable than the parties may have agreed to prior to trial.  Consequently, depending on the facts of the case, the parties may find it more beneficial to resolve the issues on their own terms than face the uncertainty of trial.

An important thing to remember is that mediation is confidential and anything said in mediation, either to the mediator or to the opposing party, is held strictly confidential and cannot be used against that party. The mediator is not allowed to be called as a witness at trial or any other hearing, nor can a party testify to anything that was said during the mediation. This is helpful as it permits each party to speak freely and allows full disclosure of all of the issues which may have otherwise gone unknown or unsaid. Mediation also allows the parties to express his or her feelings about the case in an informal setting. The parties are not, however, required to enter into an agreement and if one cannot be reached, the mediation may be terminated and the case will continue through the court process.

Although mediation may not be a viable option in every case, mediation can be an invaluable tool in assisting parties to work together to reach common goals, which can ultimately help keep relationships intact.

For those of you who had been following House Bill 19-1212 during the 2019 legislative session, which would have reauthorized the community association manager licensure program and related requirements in Colorado, you probably already know that Governor Polis vetoed the bill on May 31st.  That means that as of today, the licensure of community association managers in Colorado is over.

Given the Governor’s alarming lack of knowledge on the positive impact of manager licensure for consumers living in HOAs in Colorado, the elevation of the profession of community association management and the evolution of homeowner protections placed in the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act over the past 10 to 15 years, it is not an overstatement to say this veto is senseless and the letter which Governor Polis authored explaining his veto is a testament to his lack of fundamental understanding of the legislative and regulatory  evolution of consumer protections for folks living in HOAs in Colorado.

As an attorney who specializes in community association law, I can tell you that during the period of time that licensed managers were required in Colorado to have a basic understanding of Colorado law pertaining to HOAs and to demonstrate the core competencies of community association management, I saw a significant decrease in basic management mistakes and oversights.  For instance, I rarely saw managers fining owners for covenant and rules violations without notice and an opportunity for a hearing, I saw managers understand when notices for membership meetings must be sent out and what those notices must contain, I saw an understanding and implementation of the open meetings provisions of CCIOA and the use of closed executive sessions and I also saw managers across the state appropriately applying the budget ratification provisions of CCIOA and their governing documents.

The lack of fundamental understanding which Governor Polis displayed in his letter explaining his veto, will set back consumer protections in Colorado well into the future.  The likelihood that manager licensure, which the Division of Real Estate in their sunset report recommended continuing, will be reauthorized in Colorado is slim to none.  Instead of doing his homework on all of provisions in CCIOA which promote and guarantee transparency in HOAs, Governor Polis used this tired excuse to set back the entire industry and important consumer protections.  In my humble opinion, the veto of HB 19-1212 was a destructive and uniformed action.

After much debate between interested parties, HB 1212 has passed and is on its way to the Governor in a form that is substantially different than existed on Monday. Rather than recreating Colorado’s manager licensure program, HB 1212 revives prior licensure legislation until September 1, 2020, and creates a stakeholder process to gather information from owners and managers and make recommendations to the director regarding community management, such as the complaint process and credentialing. Be sure to check this site for updates as we await the Governor’s signature, and analyze the impact of the new process on communities and community association professionals.

After much debate and discussion, the amended version of House Bill 19-1212 has been laid over until tomorrow, May 1, when it will be sent back to the Senate Finance Committee for a vote. After Finance, the bill will go to Appropriations, and then to second and third readings on the Senate floor. If the bill is amended during this process, it will go back to the House for concurrence.
Be sure to check www.cohoalaw.com for all the latest happenings as this legislative season races to a finish!

With one week left in the Colorado Legislative Session, an amended version of House Bill 19-1212 (“HB 1212”) has just cleared the Colorado House of Representatives on a 44 to 22 vote, with 1 excused, and is moving to the Senate.  While one week doesn’t seem like a lot of time to get the bill through the Senate, with the Colorado General Assembly working crazy hours until adjournment for the year, passage through the Senate is definitely doable.  Senator Rhonda Fields, the Assistant Majority Leader in the Senate, and Senator Nancy Todd are the Prime Sponsors of HB 1212 in the Senate.  Both of these legislators are capable leaders with the ability to get HB 1212 across the finish line before the 2019 legislative session adjourns.

Stay tuned to this blog for updates on HB 1212 as it continues to proceed through the legislative process!

First off, I would like to thank all of you who responded to our Call to Action to contact members of the House Finance Committee to ask that they report House Bill 19-1212 (“HB 1212”) out of Committee without any amendments.  Your commitment to help us get HB 1212 out of the Finance Committee worked.  On April 17th, the Finance Committee reported HB 1212 out of Committee without amendments on an 8 to 3 vote, which exceeded our expectations!  This morning, HB 1212 was also passed out of the House Appropriations Committee on an 8 to 3 vote and sent to the full House for a vote on second reading.  The bipartisan support of this bill in the House Finance and House Appropriations Committees was really great to see.

HB 1212 will now be voted on by the full House on second and third readings.  Given the make up of the Colorado House of Representatives, we expect the bill to be voted out of the House and sent over to the Senate for action.  The bill will be on a tight schedule, since the Colorado General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on May 3rd.  To that end, it’s essential that HB 1212 clears the House and makes it through the Senate without any further amendments.  This will prevent the need for HB 1212 to go to a conference committee, which would eat up time.

Please keep your eye on this blog for updates on HB 1212 as it continues to move through the legislative process and for Calls to Action that may be necessary to keep the bill moving without amendments.

 

 

As you probably know by now, the Community Association Manager Licensure Program (“CAM Licensure Program”) in Colorado is currently scheduled to end on the last day of June.  To ensure that the licensure of Community Association Managers continues, House Bill 19-1212 (“HB 1212”) was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Brianna Titone and Representative Monica Duran to improve the CAM Licensure Program and extend it through August of 2024.

 

HB 1212 cleared the House Committee on Transportation & Local Government with amendments and is currently scheduled to be heard on Wednesday, April 17th by the House Finance Committee.  Since the fiscal note on the bill is rather insignificant, HB 1212 should normally sail through the Finance Committee with no issues.  However, some folks have been lobbying members of the Committee to water down this important licensure program by asking this Committee to amend HB 1212 to convert it into a voluntary certification program.

 

What would that mean?  It would mean that that the investment which management companies and community association managers have already made to be licensed will be lost. It also means that managers will no longer be required to demonstrate through passage of an examination that they have the core competency necessary to effectively manage their communities.  In addition, it means the managers will not be required to participate in continuing education to keep them current on changes in the law impacting HOAs and on the latest industry standards relating to management and governance of HOAs.

 

We need your help to ensure that HB 1212 is reported out of the House Finance Committee on Wednesday without amendments!  By Wednesday morning, please call and email the members of the House Finance Committee to ask them to pass HB 1212 out of Committee without amendment. Tell them the following:

 

  • The Community Association Manager Licensure Program has elevated the profession of community association management by ensuring that managers of these communities have demonstrated the basic competencies required to effectively manage HOAs in Colorado;
  • Since a home is typically the largest investment anyone will make in their lives, boards, homeowners and residents of HOAs have a right to expect that the manager of their HOA is competent to manage their community; and
  • The Community Association Manager Licensure Program has been essential in promoting the competent management of HOAs and must be continued to ensure that HOAs are well managed and to protect the investment the citizens of Colorado have made in their homes. 

Members of the House Finance Committee

Representative Leslie Herod,   Chair 303-866-2959

leslie.herod.house@state.co.us

 

Representative Kerry Tipper 303-866-2939

kerry.tipper.house@state.co.us

 

Representative Susan Beckman 303-866-2953 susan.beckman.house@state.co.us
Representative Adrienne Benavidez 303-866-2964

adrienne.benavidez.house@state.co.us

 

Representative Shannon Bird 303-866-2843

Shannon.bird.house@state.co.us

 

Representative Rod Bockenfeld 303-866-2912

rod.bockenfeld.house@state.co.us

 

Representative Matt Gray 303-866-4667

matt@matthewgray.us

 

Representative Janice Rich 303-866-3068

janice.rich.house@state.co.us

 

Representative Shane Sandridge 303-866-2965

shane.sandridge.house@state.co.us

 

Representative Marc Snyder 303-866-2932

marc.snyder.house@state.co.us

 

Representative Tom Sullivan 303-866-5510

tom.sullivan.house@state.co.us

 

Thank you for contacting these members of the House Finance Committee and for helping us to ensure that the licensure of Community Association Managers continues!

Winzenburg, Leff, Purvis & Payne is pleased to announce the next session of our Warehouse Lecture Series, which will be held on Friday, April 12th from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm in our warehouse classroom located at 8020 Shaffer Parkway, Suite 300 in Littleton.  

The classes we will be teaching have been approved by DORA for 4 hours of Community Association Manager Continuing Education Credits.  We are also seeking approval for the classes from CAM-ICB.  Session topics include the following:

√  Fair Housing – Handicaps, Disabilities, Tales from the Trenches and Lessons Learned

√  Property Insurance Coverage and Claims – Who Pays for the Damage?

√ Common Element Management and Improvements

√  Hot Topics – Reports from the Capitol, Courts and Communities

The full half-day session costs $75.00.  Individual credits for attendance at select one-hour classes are available for $20.00 per class.  To register for the half-day session or individual classes, please email Allison Grout at agrout@wlpplaw.com.  We look forward to seeing you on April 12th!

 

On Tuesday, March 26th, House Bill 19-1212 (HB 1212) finally cleared the House Committee on Transportation & Local Government with several amendments and was referred to the House Finance Committee for consideration of the Fiscal Note.  For those of you who follow this blog, you know that HB 1212 is an extremely important bill that will reenact the Community Association Manager Licensure Program in Colorado, which is set to expire on June 30, 2019, unless this bill is signed into law by Governor Polis.

Continuing this important program will protect the significant investment in licensure already made by managers and management companies across Colorado, will continue to elevate the profession of community association management and will provide important consumer protections.

Eight amendments to HB 1212 were considered in the House, with seven of them passing.  This preamended version of the HB 1212 shows the amendments to the bill which include:

• The authority of the Director of the Division of Real Estate, in consultation with the Advisory Committee, to establish by rule the credentials that will be recognized as qualifying for licensure;

• Provides that all fees, including transfer fees, must be included in the manager’s contract with the HOA or an addendum to the contract, in order to be enforceable;

• Includes a comprehensive process which must be utilized by the Division of Real Estate to investigate and adjudicate complaints brought against a licensed Community Association Manager;

• The authority of the Director of the Division of Real Estate, in consultation with the Advisory Committee, to establish rules relating to the appointment and removal of Advisory Committee Members; and

• In the future, a sunset review will be prepared to determine whether this Community Association Manager licensure program will sunset on September 1, 2025.

The heavy lifting for amendments was handled in the House Committee on Transportation and Local Government, and the House Finance Committee will next consider whether to approve the fiscal note for this program – which should not be an issue.  Once this is accomplished, HB 1212 will go before the full House for a vote on second reading of the bill.

Stay tuned to this blog for significant updates on HB 1212 as they become available.