Oh yes we can.

It is not unusual for us to encounter communities with strict restrictive covenants that have not been enforced in a strict manner.  Much of the time, this is due to apathy or ignorance.  In other circumstances, Board turnover results in more or less enforcement.  Some Boards hate to enforce against their neighbors, and offer so many variances the covenants might as well not even exist.  Some Boards will interpret documents in a manner different than other, future Boards, but when the documents remain the same, we have to figure out what to do to follow those documents in light of the community’s history.

A recent case in California provides a bit of guidance for those of us facing the historical enforcement challenge.  In The Villas in Whispering Palms v. Tempkin<!–, No. D065232 (Cal. Ct. App. May 18, 2015), No. D065232 (Cal. Ct. App. May 18, 2015) the California Court of Appeals held that an association board that had historically offered numerous variances to a one-dog rule was not required to offer variances.  The homeowner claimed the Board was unreasonable because it had provided variances and allowed multiple dogs in the past.  The Court ruled that the Association’s prior variances did not impact its ability to deny the requested variance.


Continue Reading

NOW OFFERING

CLASSES FOR THE COLORADO LAW PORTION

OF

THE MANAGER LICENSE EXAM

 

As you all know, the July 1st deadline for Colorado community association manager licensing is fast-approaching. We’re hearing a lot of “buzz” about the Colorado law portion of the licensing exam. Many managers have asked for a consolidated review of Colorado laws to help prepare for the test. With your requests in mind, we are excited to announce classes on the areas of Colorado law that community association managers need to know.


Continue Reading

I don’t typically make New Year’s resolutions because I believe that if something needs to be fixed, it should be fixed at that time – not on an arbitrary date.  However, many folks do like their resolutions, and I’ve heard several resolutions from my clients. 

We resolve to adopt our policies.  The responsible governance policies mandated by Senate Bills 100 and 89 have been required for nearly a decade!  Adopt your policies, already!


Continue Reading

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

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

It is not uncommon for homeowners to wonder where all their dues are going.  Some owners might see their dues go up with no visible changes to the property and even get suspicious.  Of course, associations often bear a lot of expenses that are not directly related to property condition, such as insurance, management, and

I do not have a green thumb. Our new attorney, Doug, is an excellent gardener, so I am trying to figure out ways to convince him that beautifying my lawn is a requirement of his employment. I think he’s starting to figure me out.

I’m not the only one who wants a nicer lawn. Now that it’s Spring, many homeowners throughout Colorado are breaking out their shovels and trowels, turning their soil, and installing velociraptor lawn ornaments.


Continue Reading

Winzenburg, Leff, Purvis & Payne, LLP is pleased to announce free lunchtime teleconference classes for community association managers designed to help prepare managers to take the Colorado law portion of the licensing examination. While community association managers will not be required to be licensed until July 1, 2015, now is the time to start preparing for the examination on

WLPP attorney Doug Stallworthy recently wrote a post on transparency in association boards. His thoughts follow.

Transparency in decisions made by the board of a homeowners association fosters a sense of confidence in those decisions.  By following correct procedures for meetings on all issues, whether simple or complex, both the board and members will gain a familiarity with the process, and members may understand how complex the issues faced by a board really are.

When residents contact a board member about an issue in the community, the board member should always refer them to the HOA manager, ask the resident follow complaint procedures, or raise the issue at the appropriate time in an open meeting.  Board members should not give opinions or make decisions outside of a meeting. Open meetings allow the board as an entity to discuss an issue, and receive comments from interested members.


Continue Reading

If there is one thing people hate almost as much as an assessment increase, it is properly funding reserves.  Some owners look at those lonely accounts, chock full of unused cash just sitting there, and think, "Hey, let’s use that money now! That way, we don’t have to raise assessments this year!"  Other owners look at the reserves and wonder if perhaps it’s okay to defer reserve contributions until a time when finances loosen up.

Hogwash. 


Continue Reading