On Tuesday, March 26th, House Bill 19-1212 (HB 1212) finally cleared the House Committee on Transportation & Local Government with several amendments and was referred to the House Finance Committee for consideration of the Fiscal Note.  For those of you who follow this blog, you know that HB 1212 is an extremely important bill that will reenact the Community Association Manager Licensure Program in Colorado, which is set to expire on June 30, 2019, unless this bill is signed into law by Governor Polis.

Continuing this important program will protect the significant investment in licensure already made by managers and management companies across Colorado, will continue to elevate the profession of community association management and will provide important consumer protections.

Eight amendments to HB 1212 were considered in the House, with seven of them passing.  This preamended version of the HB 1212 shows the amendments to the bill which include:

• The authority of the Director of the Division of Real Estate, in consultation with the Advisory Committee, to establish by rule the credentials that will be recognized as qualifying for licensure;

• Provides that all fees, including transfer fees, must be included in the manager’s contract with the HOA or an addendum to the contract, in order to be enforceable;

• Includes a comprehensive process which must be utilized by the Division of Real Estate to investigate and adjudicate complaints brought against a licensed Community Association Manager;

• The authority of the Director of the Division of Real Estate, in consultation with the Advisory Committee, to establish rules relating to the appointment and removal of Advisory Committee Members; and

• In the future, a sunset review will be prepared to determine whether this Community Association Manager licensure program will sunset on September 1, 2025.

The heavy lifting for amendments was handled in the House Committee on Transportation and Local Government, and the House Finance Committee will next consider whether to approve the fiscal note for this program – which should not be an issue.  Once this is accomplished, HB 1212 will go before the full House for a vote on second reading of the bill.

Stay tuned to this blog for significant updates on HB 1212 as they become available.

Many Colorado communities are facing the need to impose special assessments as a result of recent wind and hail events in the state. Special assessments may be imposed in circumstances where the association lacks cash on hand to pay for a large or unexpected expense. Such assessments have become increasingly common due to changes in the insurance industry.

Historically, condominium communities and other associations that are obligated to insure roofs and exteriors against damage have paid a flat deductible for various claims. Due to the expense and frequency of hail claims, insurance companies are no longer offering flat deductible amounts, and are instead requiring associations to pay a percentage based on the value of the insured property. Now, instead of a community paying a predictable $5,000 or $25,000 for a hail claim deductible, communities are facing unexpected six-figure deductibles.

Because this change is recent, and the deductibles are high, many communities do not have sufficient cash reserves to pay the deductible. Other communities choose not to reallocate reserve funds that may be earmarked for other projects, like asphalt replacement. As a result, communities turn to their members to bear the deductible by way of a special assessment. Many homeowners have loss assessment or additional coverage on their personal insurance policies, which can help pay some or all of that special assessment.

If your community is facing an unexpected deductible and you aren’t sure how to pay for it, contact legal counsel to determine the process for undertaking a special assessment. In the meantime, as the weather starts warming, hope for rain – and no more hail!

As Lindsay Smith recently reported in a blog post, House Bill 19-1212 (“HB 1212”) was introduced in the Colorado General Assembly on Monday to extend the Community Association Manager (“CAM”) licensure program in Colorado, which is currently scheduled to end on the last day of June.

As you may recall, a bill introduced to extend the CAM licensure program during the last legislative session, was killed in the Senate which was controlled at the time by Republicans who were looking to reduce government regulation.  As a result of the recent elections, the Senate, House and Governor’s office are now controlled by the Democrats.  That means there is a strong likelihood that HB 1212 will pass both chambers of the Colorado General Assembly and be signed into law by Governor Polis.

This is great news for those CAMs and their management companies who have invested a great deal of time and money to obtain and maintain their license.  Licensure also elevates the specialized profession of community association management and provides a consumer protection for folks who live in community associations in Colorado.

HB 1212 was introduced in the House by Representatives Brianna Titone (D-Jefferson County) and Monica Duran (D-Jefferson County).  The bill has been assigned to the House Transportation & Local Government Committee and is scheduled for a hearing on March 12th.  The bill does the following:

1,  Recreates and reenacts the CAM licensure program with a sunset date of September 1, 2024;

2.  Provides that rountine ministerial functions relating to community associations may be handled by unlicensed individuals and gives the Division of Real Estate the authority to determine what functions may be carried out by unlicensed individuals and what functions must be handled by licensed CAMs;

3.  Addresses the supervision requirements relating to apprentice community association managers who are not yet licensed; and

4.  Removes the automatic acceptance of the non-state specific examination component of licensure for managers who hold the CMCA credential awarded by the Community Association Managers International Certification Board and the AMS and PCAM designations awarded by CAI National.  However, this will not affect those CAMs who are already licensed in part under the CMCA certification and the AMS and PCAM designations.

Since the likelihood that HB 1212 will ultimately be signed into law is high and the licensure program will continue, licensed CAMs should seriously consider not delaying too long in obtaining your normal 8 hours of continuing education credits needed for renewal of your license on July 1st.  In the unlikely event that the bill is killed during the legislative process, you will always benefit from continuing education courses.

Stay tuned to this blog for more information on HB 1212 as it proceeds through the legislative process.



Yesterday, Representatives Brianna Titone and Monica Duran introduced House Bill 19-1212, which, if passed, will re-create the community association manager licensure program that is currently set to end in July of this year. The proposed bill includes provisions responsive to comments made throughout the industry since the original advent of community association manager licensing, and will create a seven-member advisory committee tasked with making recommendations for rules and guidelines related to manager complaints.

We will regularly update this blog as the bill makes its way through the legislature.

On January 11th, Representatives Dafna Michaelson Jenet (D) and Colin Larson (R) introduced House Bill 19-1076 (“HB 1076”), which would amend the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act. In addition to prohibiting smoking in many public places, the Clean Indoor Air Act also currently prohibits smoking in the restrooms, lobbies, hallways and common areas of HOAs in Colorado.

From the HOA perspective, HB 1076 would not change the fact that folks are prohibited from smoking in the restrooms, lobbies, hallways and common areas of HOAs.  However, the bill does amend the definition of “smoking” to broaden that definition to include a prohibition on the smoking of electronic smoking devices like e-cigarettes.

HB 1076 defines “Smoking” as “Inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, or pipe or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, including marijuana, whether natural or synthetic, in any manner or in any form.  “Smoking” also includes the use of an Electronic Smoking Device.”

In addition to amending the definition of “Smoking,” HB 1076 also provides that smoking is only permitted outside of the entryway of an HOA (and other public places) if the smoking takes place at least 25 feet outside of the entryway.  Currently, the Indoor Clean Air Act permits smoking which is at least 15 feet outside of any entryway.

Finally, HB 1076 eliminates exemptions to the Indoor Clean Air Act and eliminates the ability in some settings to create areas where folks are permitted to smoke.  However, these provisions of HB 1076 do not apply to HOAs.

HB 1076 will be heard before the House Health and Insurance Committee on January 30th at 1:30 pm.  Stay tuned to this blog for updates on HB 1076 as it proceeds through the legislative process.

On January 4th, the 2019 Colorado Legislative Session opened.  With both chambers of the General Assembly controlled by the Democrats, it will be interesting to see the types of bills which will be introduced that impact HOAs in Colorado.

While it will be particularly interesting to see whether a bill will be introduced to preserve the licensure of community association managers in Colorado, I have to say that the first HOA bill to be introduced is a real chin scratcher.  In fact, at least from the HOA perspective, my first impression was this xeriscaping bill is a solution in search of a problem to fix.

Representative Brianna Titone, a Democrat from Jefferson County, has introduced House Bill 19-1050 (“HB 1050 “) which would in part stop HOAs from prohibiting the use of xeriscape or drought-tolerant vegetative landscapes to provide ground covering to the common elements of common interest communities (commonly referred to as “HOAs”).  Since the boards of HOAs (and sometimes the architectural control committee, if the declaration for an  HOA provides the ARC with control over common element landscaping) typically have exclusive control over the landscaping on the  common elements, why would they need a statute to provide them with the right to xeriscape on their common elements???

While the HOA specific provision of HB 1050 is not necessary to promote the installation of xeriscapes on common elements, I am concerned that this provision could wrongly imply that owners have the right to install xeriscapes on the common elements of their HOAs.  Hopefully, CAI’s Colorado Legislative Action Committee (“CLAC”) will identify this potential problem and run an amendment to address it during the hearing before the House Energy & Environment Committee, which has not yet been scheduled.

Keep your eye on this blog for updates on HB 1050 as it proceeds through the legislative process.


And knowing is half the battle. – G.I. Joe

When owners in community associations sell their homes, associations and their management companies inevitably get involved in the transactions by providing governing documents for the buyers’ review and status letters showing assessments and other amounts due at the time of closing. These document disclosures typically fall within the sellers’ obligations under Section 7 of the Colorado Real Estate Commission-approved Contract to Buy and Sell Real Estate (Residential).

Effective January 1, 2019, the standard residential real estate contract form includes additional documents that sellers must disclose to buyers. This means that associations and their management companies will receive requests for different documents starting January 1st. The following table lists the documents required under the old contract and those that associations and management companies will need to gather and provide as of January 1, 2019, under the new contract:

Declarations Declarations
Articles of incorporation Articles of incorporation
Bylaws Bylaws
Articles of organization Articles of organization
Operating agreements Operating agreements
Rules and regulations Rules and regulations
Party wall agreements Party wall agreements
Responsible governance policies adopted under § 38-33.3-209.5, C.R.S.
Minutes of most recent annual owners’ meeting Minutes of the annual owners’ or members’ meeting; such minutes include those provided under the most current annual disclosure required under § 38-33.3-209.4, C.R.S. and minutes of meetings, if any, subsequent to the minutes disclosed in the Annual Disclosure. If none of the preceding minutes exist, then the most recent minutes, if any.
Minutes of any directors’ or managers’ meetings during the six-month period immediately preceding the date of the Contract. If none of the preceding minutes exist, then the most recent minutes, if any. Minutes of any executive boards’ or managers’ meetings; such minutes include those provided under the most current annual disclosure required under § 38-33.3-209.4, C.R.S. and minutes of meetings, if any, subsequent to the minutes disclosed in the Annual Disclosure. If none of the preceding minutes exist, then the most recent minutes, if any.
List of all Association insurance policies as provided in the Association’s last Annual Disclosure, including, but not limited to, property, general liability, association director and officer professional liability and fidelity policies. The list must include the company names, policy limits, policy deductibles, additional named insureds and expiration dates of the policies listed.
A list by unit type of the Association’s assessments, including both regular and special assessments as disclosed in the last Annual Disclosure.

The most recent financial documents which consist of:

(1) annual and most recent balance sheet

(2) annual and most recent income and expenditures statement

(3) annual budget

(4) reserve study, and

(5) notice of unpaid assessments, if any.

The most recent financial documents which consist of:

(1) the Association’s operating budget for the current fiscal year

(2) the Association’s most recent annual financial statements, including any amounts held in reserve for the fiscal year immediately preceding the Association’s last Annual Disclosure

(3) the results of the Association’s most recent available financial audit or review

(4) list of the fees and charges (regardless of name of title of such fees or charges) that the Association’s community association manager or Association will charge in connection with the Closing including, but not limited to, any fee incident to the issuance of the Association’s statement of assessments (Status Letter), any rush or update fee charged for the Status Letter, any record change fee or ownership record transfer fees (Record Change Fee), fees to access documents

(5) list of all assessments required to be paid in advance, reserves or working capital due at Closing

(6) reserve study, if any.

Any written notice from the Association to Seller of a “construction defect action” under § 38-33.3-303.5, C.R.S. within the past six months and the result of whether the Association approved or disapproved such action.

These changes to the contract incorporate annual disclosure requirements that have applied to community associations since 2005 under Section 209.4 of the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”). Even though associations must provide many of these documents at no cost to individual owners pursuant to CCIOA, associations can charge to fulfill title company requests for these documents.

The 2019 Contract to Buy and Sell Real Estate may affect the timing for status letter requests as well. A new provision in the contract requires the seller to request a status letter “at least fourteen days prior to the Closing Date.” Associations and management companies may need to adjust procedures to ensure that payoff amounts remain accurate for longer periods of time.

With these new requirements in mind, associations and their management companies can take the following steps to prepare for and comply with requests under the new standard real estate contract:

  • Gather and maintain all documents required for disclosure under the standard contract form.
  • Determine pricing, if any, for the bundle of documents required under the contract.
  • Consider whether to offer the status letter as part of the document bundle or on its own for a separate fee.
  • Update management contract terms to reflect any pricing for the new document package and/or status letter.
  • Consult with legal counsel as needed.

Now you know!

Winzenburg, Leff, Purvis and Payne, LLP is pleased to announce the next session of our Warehouse Lecture Series. Register today for the November 30, 2018 classes!

The Series comprises regular half-day sessions, providing four hours of DORA-approved Community Association Manager Continuing Education credits. We are separately seeking CMCA approval for the classes from CAM-ICB.

The next session of 2018 will cover topics relating to Current Issues in Association Collections and will take place Friday November 30, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  This is a great opportunity for managers, Board members, account technicians, and everyone who has any interest in learning about the collection process from start to finish.   You will learn the steps to take before turning a file over to the attorney for collections and the process after an account is turned over.  We will discuss mediation, litigation, receiverships, foreclosures, and everything you never knew you needed to know about the process.

Session topics include the following:

  • Pre-Attorney Collections (1 hour)
  • The Effects of Bankruptcy on an Association’s Collection of Assessments (1 hour)
  • Collection of Delinquent Assessments: Protecting Your Association’s Fiscal Health (2 hours)

Please e-mail Allison Grout at agrout@wlpplaw.com to register.

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that the owners of units in the building formerly known as Trump Place had voted to remove the name from the building. The building will now be known by its address, 200 Riverside Boulevard.

A 2000 licensing agreement with the Trump Organization allowed the use of President Trump’s name on the building. As political sentiments changed, community members wanted to remove the name. One resident stated she would not remain in the building with the Trump branding. While community members wanted to remove the name, the Trump Organization claimed the 2000 agreement prevented this removal. In response, the community sought a declaratory judgment. The court determined that the 2000 agreement required superluxury maintenance, but did not require use of the Trump name. With a substantial number of owners voting to remove the name, and no appeal of the court’s decision, the letters came off the building this month.

The use of declaratory relief in this case allowed the community to determine whether it had the right to remove the name without forcing the Trump Organization to file a lawsuit to stop the removal from happening. This offensive use of declaratory relief likely saved the homeowners substantial legal fees, and is a viable means of determining the rights and obligations between parties to a contract without first forcing a breach of that contract.

Colorado gives courts the power to declare the rights, status, and other legal relations between parties to a written instrument, which could include a contract with the declarant, the Declaration itself, or even a provision of CCIOA. Be careful, however, as all homeowners may have to be joined in as parties to a declaratory judgment action for the judgment to apply to everyone. These actions are not to be taken lightly, and you should consult carefully with legal counsel before asking a court for this extraordinary relief.

Snow season is upon us! Most communities have secured their vendors for the season, with signed contracts already in place. For many communities, those snow removal contracts include snowfall triggers that obligate the vendor to mobilize and fulfill the contract obligations once a specific snowfall threshold is reached, such as two inches of snow. The threshold set in the contract drives both the cost to the association and the priority for vendor mobilization. In other words, if an association chooses a higher threshold of, say, three inches, the association will pay less but will also fall farther down the line of vendor priority when a heavy snowfall occurs because vendor crews will tackle one inch and two inch trigger properties first. Association boards must weigh these factors and make business decisions according to their communities’ needs when deciding on contract terms.

Boards should also consider potential liabilities as part of the snow contract negotiating and decision-making process. This attention to potential liabilities especially holds true now, after passage of Senate Bill 18-062 (“SB 18-62”) by the Colorado legislature. Senate Bill 18-62 addresses snow removal vendor liability in the context of contract terms. Generally, SB 18-62 creates a new statutory provision—C.R.S. 13-21-129—that makes void any contract term that would require a vendor to indemnify, hold harmless, or defend an association when damages or injuries result from the association’s acts or omissions if the contract or other writing prohibits the vendor from mitigating a “specific snow, ice, or other mixed precipitation event or risk.”

This statutory language, known as the Snow Removal Service Liability Limitation Act, introduces new legal protections for vendors and begs attention to different scenarios that could result in association responsibility for injuries from snow and ice accumulation on common areas. Association boards should take the following steps to protect their communities from potential consequences related to snow removal under the new law:

Submit any snow removal contract for review by the association’s attorney. Even if the association’s attorney drafted the contract originally, the new law should prompt legal review and updates. In consultation with legal counsel, the association may decide, among other things, to (1) alert the vendor to the expectation that the board receive communication about any problem areas on the property and options for how to address the issues most effectively and efficiently and (2) clearly state that the vendor remains responsible to indemnify, hold harmless, and defend against damages resulting from vendor’s acts or omissions unrelated to mitigation.

Discuss insurance coverage with the association’s broker, and update insurance as appropriate, in light of the new law and any contract updates.

Implement proper risk management, such as signage, ice melt, and proactive attention to drainage concerns, to help avoid slip and falls and escalating costs under the vendor contract during the snow season.

Communicate with owners about snow removal expectations throughout the community. Minimizing liability involves educating residents about risks on the property and how to protect themselves during Colorado winters.