In response to a Colorado Open Records Act (“CORA”) request, I was provided with the 2011 Annual Report of the HOA Information and Resource Center. This is the long-awaited report that focuses on the activities of the HOA Information and Resource Center (the “Office”) including a synopsis of inquiries and complaints. Below I have outlined just a few interesting points made in the Annual Report. However, to be clear, these are snippets of information and I highly recommend that you review the entire Report for context and a full understanding of the data and related issues.
Here are just a few of the interesting points made in the Annual Report:
● In 2011, the Office received 8,037 HOA registrations which covered 838,211 units.
● The Office estimates that roughly 2 million Coloradoans live in an HOA.
● During 2011, the Office received 3,053 inquiries and complaints. “The communications varied from questions regarding HOA registration to detailed questions regarding particular situations in HOAs.”
● As of December 15, 2011 – “The Division received a total of 478 Complaints and hundreds more inquiries and questions regarding HOA living and board procedure.”
● The major inquiries to the Office were as follows:
○Inquiries regarding the rights and responsibilities of an HOA or a homeowner under CCIOA;
○General inquiries regarding HOAs and HOA living;
○Questions regarding the Office’s registration process and the new registration law;
○Requesting contact information for an HOA or manager;
○Queries regarding whether their HOA was registered with the Division of Real Estate;
○Questions regarding how to receive information pertaining to HOA financial records;
○Questions regarding how to receive HOA covenants and other governing documents.
● Manager complaints constituted 32.8% of all complaints received.
● “The most frequent complaint types filed against managers mirrored those pertaining to HOAs to include access to records; transparency and communications, not communicating with homeowners; harassment and selective enforcement of covenants. There were a few complaint types that were unique to managers which were the following: managers controlling HOA boards and making decisions that are appropriate for the HOA board to make; managers manufacturing delinquencies; aggressive collections, and allegations pertaining to the unauthorized practice of law.”
● Failure to produce records constituted 17.11% of all complaints received.
● Section 317 of CCIOA (Association Records) was the most frequently implicated statutory provision in the complaints.
● Transparency constituted 16.67% of all complaints received.
● “What we discovered was that the complaints that we received primarily involved the failure to follow corporate governance rules and procedures of the HOA; the transparency of the board of directors, particularly as it related to the finance of the HOA; and harassment and bullying of homeowners by the board of directors and management company by arbitrary fining, preclusion from providing input into the associations’ affairs, and verbal harassment. These complaint types were much more serious than the aforementioned three P’s because they substantially interfered with a homeowner’s ability to enjoy his property and to have avenues of democratic participation in the HOA to remedy their issues.”
As I mentioned, these are just a sampling of the points made in the report. Whether and how this Report will be used by legislators or regulators during the 2012 legislative session is currently unclear. However, CAI’s Colorado Legislative Action Committee (“CLAC”) will remain vigilant and proactive in addressing legislative and regulatory initiatives relating to HOAs.