The 2015 legislative session in Colorado is set to kick off tomorrow and it promises to be an interesting one. Following the November elections, the Republicans will control the Senate by a 1 seat margin and the Democrats will control the House by a 3 seat margin. Since by all accounts the Colorado General Assembly isn’t interested in replicating the gridlock and destructive partisan politics we have all witnessed in Washington, D.C., I’m feeling optimistic that both parties will work to find common ground on issues that are important to the citizens of Colorado.
Construction defects is one issue that is certain to be the subject of several bills. The implications of construction defects on homeownership should never be a partisan issue. For almost every Republican and Democrat in Colorado, the single largest investment we will ever make in our lives is in our homes. To provide immunity to builders for their construction defects and leave homeowners with no recourse should not be acceptable to either the Republicans or the Democrats. In Colorado, we don’t leave the little guy holding the ball!
The Denver Chamber of Commerce has not received this message. Yesterday at their annual Legislative Preview, Kelly Brough, President and CEO of the Chamber, promised they would focus on “construction litigation reform.” She then promised a reintroduction of the construction defect bill introduced during the 2014 legislative session.
The bill she was referring to is Senate Bill 220. There is no question about it, this bill would not have “leveled the playing field” between builders and homeowners. Instead, Senate Bill 220 would have provided absolute immunity to the construction industry for their defective construction.
While it is understandable that the Denver Chamber of Commerce would throw homeowners under the bus; it is unfathomable that the Metro Mayors Caucus would sacrifice their constituents for the sole purpose of building their tax bases.
Providing immunity to the construction industry will guarantee one thing – shoddy construction. In the condominium context, this means the construction defects will become a repair responsibility of the condominium associations. How will these associations pay for the repairs? Through the levying of significant annual assessments and special assessments on the unfortunate folks who unknowingly purchased the defective homes. In other words, the homeowners will be left holding the ball and paying to repair the defects!
Please join me in calling on the Denver Chamber of Commerce and the Metro Mayors Caucus to come to the table to talk about a fundamentally fair and balanced approach to dealing with construction defects. The days of this coalition claiming they are supporting homeowner rights by spurring condominium construction must come to an end. Defective construction with no recourse is devastating to homeowners and much worse than a sluggish condominium market.
Finally, as always, keep your eye on this blog for the latest news on legislation impacting HOAs!