The towing of illegally parked vehicles is a topic that is regularly brought to our attention. In most instances, the problem involves a commercial vehicle, motor home, trailer or truck that that is parked in violation of the Association’s covenants or rules. It may also involve a vehicle that appears to have been abandoned or is not properly registered with the State of Colorado. In more egregious instances, the vehicle is parked illegally in a designated handicap parking space or fire lane. In any instance, the question is: “Can we tow the illegally parked vehicle?
Once again the holiday season is upon us, and that means that many homeowners associations will be hosting parties and putting up lights and other decorations on the common areas. While there is nothing wrong with fully celebrating the holiday season, associations should take care to ensure that decorations and holiday displays do not give the impression that the community favors one particular religion over another. This could subject the association to discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and other federal and state fair housing laws.
Times change, people change, laws changes, can your covenants change too? The simple answer to this question is yes, they can. Two of the most frequent questions we get is how is this done and when should we consider it? Below are our answers to these questions.
When Should Your Covenants Be Amended?
At WLPP we don’t believe there is any hard and fast rule as to when your covenants should be amended. In general, we recommend that they be reviewed at least every ten years to make sure that they are up to date with current laws and practice. However, a sooner review may be warranted whenever there are significant changes to Colorado law addressing homeowners associations (for example, Senate Bill 05-100). There may be terms that are no longer applicable to your community, outdated restrictions, or terms that no longer comply with current law.
Sometimes we get inquires from owners and managers unfamiliar with Colorado law addressing homeowners associations. This article is intended as an introduction to the field of community association law in Colorado. Feel free to contact one of our attorneys if you have any questions regarding the application of CCIOA to your community.
Homeowners Associations in Colorado
Homeowners associations are entities organized to govern the operation of common interest communities in Colorado. They are generally created by the developer (also called the declarant) of a new community and organized before the first unit is conveyed to a purchaser. Most commonly they are organized as nonprofit corporations, although they may also be organized as for-profit corporations or LLCs.
The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”), C.R.S. 38-33.3-101 et seq., was enacted in 1991 with the purpose of establishing a clear, comprehensive, and uniform framework for the creation and operation of common interest communities (including homeowners associations) in Colorado. A common interest community is defined in CCIOA as a community in which ownership of real property within the community obligates an owner to pay for the real estate taxes, insurance premiums, maintenance, or improvements of other real property (typically the common elements) within the community. Common interest communities are classified by CCIOA into three categories, (1) condominium communities, (2) cooperatives and (3) planned communities. Planned communities are typically single family home communities that…
The migration away from paper products is a hot trend these days. The benefits of such a move for a homeowners association are clear – not only does it save trees, it also saves money (less paper, postage, and storage costs). In short, being green saves green. But can an Association truly become paperless? Not yet, but as computer technology and the use of the internet become more and more advanced, the answer is closer to becoming yes. Below are some steps your Association can take to start freeing itself from the paper weight:
The young man living at 101 Crazy Daisy Avenue hasn’t mowed his lawn in over a month. The couple just down the street has two beagles that embark on a nightly duet with the moon. Another couple has been camping in their motor home for over a month…in their front yard. And don’t forget the bank owned ranch sitting vacant on the corner. The rest of the community is up in arms and demands action. What is a conscientious Board to do?
Sometimes unexpected things happen that require the special attention and input of the members of your Association. If a matter pops up that can’t wait until the next annual meeting, a special meeting is in order. When this happens, the question we often are asked by Boards and managers is: What type of notice must we give the members before a special meeting?
The levying of fines against rule-breakers in the community is an effective tactic used by homeowner associations to curb misbehavior and to maintain a harmonious appearance within the community. In order to enforce and collect these fines, however, it is imperative that associations follow proper fining procedures as set out in the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA), as well as any additional requirements that may be set forth in the Association’s governing documents or policies.
As part of the changes to Colorado’s foreclosure law that become effective January 1, 2008, C.R.S. §38-38-103(1)(c) will read:
If a recorded instrument does not specify the address of the party purporting to have an interest in the property under such recorded instrument, the party shall not be entitled to notice and any interest in the property under such instrument shall be extinguished upon the execution and delivery of a deed pursuant to section 38-38-501.
Meaning, if your association’s current contact information is not listed in your Declaration, a lender foreclosure could extinguish your association’s super priority lien.
A CHECKLIST FOR BOARDS TO FOLLOW
1. Check your governing documents: what is required for the Association under your Declaration, Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws?
A. Also, what optional coverage are you authorized (by the documents) to consider?
B. What insurance coverage must the Owner have?