For those of you who had been following House Bill 19-1212 during the 2019 legislative session, which would have reauthorized the community association manager licensure program and related requirements in Colorado, you probably already know that Governor Polis vetoed the bill on May 31st. That means that as of today, the licensure of community association managers in Colorado is over.
Given the Governor’s alarming lack of knowledge on the positive impact of manager licensure for consumers living in HOAs in Colorado, the elevation of the profession of community association management and the evolution of homeowner protections placed in the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act over the past 10 to 15 years, it is not an overstatement to say this veto is senseless and the letter which Governor Polis authored explaining his veto is a testament to his lack of fundamental understanding of the legislative and regulatory evolution of consumer protections for folks living in HOAs in Colorado.
As an attorney who specializes in community association law, I can tell you that during the period of time that licensed managers were required in Colorado to have a basic understanding of Colorado law pertaining to HOAs and to demonstrate the core competencies of community association management, I saw a significant decrease in basic management mistakes and oversights. For instance, I rarely saw managers fining owners for covenant and rules violations without notice and an opportunity for a hearing, I saw managers understand when notices for membership meetings must be sent out and what those notices must contain, I saw an understanding and implementation of the open meetings provisions of CCIOA and the use of closed executive sessions and I also saw managers across the state appropriately applying the budget ratification provisions of CCIOA and their governing documents.
The lack of fundamental understanding which Governor Polis displayed in his letter explaining his veto, will set back consumer protections in Colorado well into the future. The likelihood that manager licensure, which the Division of Real Estate in their sunset report recommended continuing, will be reauthorized in Colorado is slim to none. Instead of doing his homework on all of provisions in CCIOA which promote and guarantee transparency in HOAs, Governor Polis used this tired excuse to set back the entire industry and important consumer protections. In my humble opinion, the veto of HB 19-1212 was a destructive and uniformed action.