The Colorado Department of Regulatory Affairs ("DORA") has promulgated an Emergency Rule that will provide a grace period for HOAs to register with the Division of Real Estate ("Division") through February 28, 2011. In fact, the Rule states: "The purpose of this rule is to provide an immediate and automatic temporary registration to HOA’s who have not been required to register in the past, but are now required to do so pursuant to House Bill 10-1278."

As you know, prior to this Rule being created, HOAs were required by statute to register with the Division by January 1, 2011. Since the Division’s online registration procedure has not yet gone live and is not expected to be operational until December 30th, it’s currently impossible to register. As a result, the "automatic and temporary registration" will temporarily protect HOAs from statutory penalties associated with failing to register by the January 1st statutory deadline.

We are also expecting DORA to announce the hiring of Mr. Aaron Acker as the HOA Information Officer. Mr. Acker will report to the Director of the Division and is charged with creating a clearinghouse of information on the rights and responsibilities of unit owners, associations and declarants. This information will ultimately be made available online and Mr. Acker will not be providing legal advice or alternative dispute resolution to unit owners or associations.

Mr. Acker will also be responsible for tracking inquiries and complaints relating to HOAs and to make an annual report to the Director of the Division regarding the number and types of inquiries and complaints received. It is expected that a system will be created where inquiries and complaints will be registered with the Division electronically. Further, neither Mr. Acker or the Division will have any authority to investigate or take action on the complaints.

We will continue to monitor the Division’s online registration process and will provide you with an update when it goes live.