Tomorrow is the beginning of the legislative process to determine whether the licensure of community association managers will continue for another five years or whether the licensure program will be sunset.  On Tuesday, January 30th, the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee will consider the 2017 Sunset Review:  Community Association Management Practice Act (Sunset Report) prepared by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) to determine whether a bill should be introduced during the 2018 legislative session to continue the licensure program for five years and whether the bill should include the recommendations outlined in the Sunset Report which are:

1.  Continue the CAM licensure program for five years, until 2023;

2.  Authorize the Director of the Division of Real Estate to establish renewal fees for management companies;

3.  Amend the definitions of “community association management” and “Community Association Manager,” and authorize the Director of the Division of Real Estate to promulgate rules clarifying the supervision requirements for support staff who are providing clerical, ministerial, accounting or maintenance functions to a licensee and specify any activities that would trigger support staff to be licensed;

4.  Amend the supervision requirements for the Apprentice License and require the Director of the Division of Real Estate to define by rule the appropriate level of supervision related to specific activities of an Apprentice and detail any supervision requirements that are necessary to protect the public;

5.  Repeal any references to private, professional credentials and authorize the Director of the Division of Real Estate to approve, by rule, any credentials, examinations or education deemed equivalent or superior to the education and examination otherwise required by the Director; and

6.  Enhance the due process protections of a cease and desist order.

In addition to these recommendations relating to continuing the CAM licensure program for another five years, the Sunset Report also recommends that the Director of the Division of Real Estate should create an advisory committee to assist with drafting rules regarding the use of unlicensed support staff and Licensed Apprentices.

It is expected that the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee will approve the introduction of a bill, which should be introduced within a week or two, consisting of the recommendations outlined above.  Once the bill is introduced and assigned to a committee for hearing, there will be a full vetting in testimony of the recommendations outlined in the Sunrise Report and additionally addressing the need to streamline the complaint and investigation process.  However, all indications are that the House and Senate will approve continuing with the CAM licensure program for an additional five years.

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

Following the construction defects drama from the 2017 Colorado Legislative Session, the 2018 Legislative Session for HOAs was expected to be relatively quiet and early on the session is proceeding according to script.  While there have been some landlord/tenant bills, financing for affordable housing and other procedural bills introduced that only lawyers would be interested in, from a substantive perspective for HOAs here are two bills of interest:
House Bill 1126:  Following the complaint of a constituent who was unable to find an HOA that would let her keep her 2 german shepherd dogs, Representative Paul Rosenthal introduced HB 1126 which would stop HOAs from enforcing provisions in their declarations that prohibit dogs based solely upon their breed, weight or size.  However, the bill would permit HOAs to enforce provisions in their declaration or rules which regulate things like the number of dogs permitted per household, prohibiting nuisance barking, picking up poop, keeping dogs on leashes while in the association and the like.
HB 1126 has been assigned to the House Local Government Committee and is currently scheduled for a hearing on February 14th at 1:30 pm.  Given the fact that HB 1126 is inconsistent with many municipal ordinances prohibiting breeds of dogs which have been classified as vicious, I suspect HB 1126 faces an uphill battle for passage in its current form.  There will also likely be testimony from folks living in stacked condominiums with hard surface flooring, who will be concerned about the noise generated by larger dogs on wood and tile floors. Stay tuned for an update on HB 1126 following the hearing on Valentine’s Day.
Senate Bill 62:  Senator Dominick Moreno has introduced SB 62 which would make void provisions in contracts between HOAs and snow removal companies requiring the HOA or snow removal company to indemnify, hold harmless or provide a legal defense to the other party for legal actions and damages resulting from snow removal in the community.  In other words, HOAs and snow removal companies cannot hold each other responsible in a contract for slip and falls relating to snow removal.
SB 62 has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee and is also scheduled for a hearing on February 14th at 1:30 pm.  Since Senator Moreno is a Democrat and the Republican controlled Senate is typically not interested in interfering with the contract rights of parties, it will be interesting to see what happens to SB 62 in Committee.
Be sure to stay tuned to this blog for information on substantive HOA bills as they are introduced and proceed through the legislative process.

Is your association increasing, or even decreasing, its annual assessment fees for 2018? If so, it is important that the association follow its governing documents when providing notice of the change to all owners.   In addition to providing owners with proper notice of any change, the association should also notify its attorney. This will help to ensure that any accounts and/or payment plans that are with the attorney for collection are properly noted, and any increase is accurately accounted for and collected.

In addition to payment plans that may be affected by the increase of assessment fees, there are also notification requirements and deadlines the association must comply with for certain owners who have filed for bankruptcy.  Advising the association’s attorney of any change will allow the attorney to take the proper measures to ensure that the association retains the right to collect the new assessment fee.

If you haven’t already notified your attorney that your assessment fees have changed, or will change, for the New Year, pick up the phone or send an email to your attorney – I’m sure he or she would love to hear from you!

Winzenburg, Leff, Purvis and Payne, LLP is pleased to announce our Warehouse Lecture Series for the 2017/2018 year. The Series is comprised of quarterly, half-day sessions providing Community Association Manager Continuing Education credits approved by DORA.

The first session, titled “Meetings,” will take place Friday, October 27, 2017, from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. Session topics include the following:

  • Everything You Need to Know about Membership Meetings
  • Board of Directors Meetings
  • Action Plan for Meetings*
  • Mock Board Meeting.

Please e-mail Allison Grout at for information about pricing and how to register for all or some of the class sessions. Price increases apply for registrations received after October 23, 2017.

*Submitted for Continuing Education approval.

Mark your calendars!  Winzenburg, Leff, Purvis & Payne, LLP is pleased to announce the Warehouse Lecture Series.  On May 4, 2017, May 11, 2017, and June 16, 2017, WLPP will hold classes designed to help managers obtain credits they may need to complete their DORA Continuing Education requirements, as well as to help Board members better understand community association governance and operations.  The May 4 and June 16 classes will be held at our offices in Ken-Caryl.  Our class on May 11 will be held in Aspen.

Continue Reading WLPP CAM Continuing Education Classes

All the media and legislative talk of construction defect litigation and its impact on condominium construction in Colorado may seem like discussion that does not impact existing communities. But the changes to state and local laws concerning construction defect litigation do affect existing communities by creating owner notice and vote requirements that, in some cases, apply to construction undertaken by associations long after initial development of their communities. The impact of these requirements on communities will likely play out over time as defects occur and associations seek remedies.

While associations cannot unilaterally change the controlling laws, associations can take proactive steps when contracting for new projects. In particular, associations need to know how the potential for construction defects may affect insurance coverage on projects that associations contract to complete on their own. Did you know that many contractors’ insurance policies exclude multi-family housing projects from coverage?

Continue Reading Construction Defects and Insurance: Proactive Steps To Protect Your Community

On January 20th, Representative Kevin Van Winkle (R) introduced House Bill 17-1112 (HB 1112) which would provide immunity from penalties for individuals who engage in the unauthorized practice of a profession regulated by the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), like a realtor engaging in the unauthorized practice of community association management, under the following circumstances:

Continue Reading Bill Introduced Granting Limited Immunity for Unauthorized Practice of Community Association Management

As I mentioned in my blog entry kicking off the 2017 legislative session in Colorado, 8 to 10 bills relating to construction defects and the construction of affordable housing are expected to be introduced this session.  In my January 12th blog entry, I reported on the bipartisan introduction of SB 45 which is intended to reduce the cost of construction insurance for builders.
Yesterday, in an effort to provide financial assistance to those individuals who are seeking to purchase, finance or rehabilitate attainable housing, Senator Rachel Zenzinger (D) introduced Senate Bill 17-085 ("SB 85").  The bill is also intended to provide financial assistance to nonprofit entities and political subdivisions that make loans to folks in relation to attainable housing.  To secure these funds, SB 85 would increase the per document surcharge that is assessed by clerk and recorders on each document they receive for recording from $1 to $5.  The additional $4 added to each document surcharge on a yearly basis would be transmitted to the State Treasurer and deposited into the "Statewide Attainable Housing Investment Fund."
Will the fiscal note on SB 85 be a non-starter for the Republican controlled Senate?  If SB 45 makes it through the legislative process and is signed into law, will it assist in a meaningful way the citizens of Colorado in purchasing attainable housing?  It SB 85 dead on arrival in the Senate?  Only time will tell! 
Senator Bob Gardner (R) has introduced Senate Bill 17-078 ("SB 78") to address the taxation of "residential storage condominium units."  If my memory serves me well, this is the third time this bill has been introduced in the Colorado General Assembly.  Will the third time be a charm? 
This bill is pretty simple and isn’t something that condominium associations need to concern themselves with.  For folks who own storage condominium units and submit an affidavit to their tax assessor’s office that the unit is being used "to store items from or related to the owner’s residence," then under SB 78 the storage unit will be taxed as residential real property with a rate of around 7.96%, as opposed to being taxed as nonresidential property at a rate of about 29%.  SB 78 does not impose upon storage condominium associations any obligation to participate in the process to determine whether any particular storage unit should be taxed as residential or nonresidential real property.
Stay tuned to this blog for updates on SB 78 as it proceeds through the legislative process. 
On the first day of the 2017 legislative session in Colorado, President of the Senate Grantham (R) and Speaker of the House Duran (D) introduced Senate Bill 17-045 to require courts to allocate defense costs in construction defect claims when more than one insurer has a duty to defend.  Senator Angela Williams (D,) a longtime advocate for homeowners living in HOAs, is the co-prime sponsor with the President of the Senate on this bill.  The bipartisan nature of this bill is truly impressive. 
This bill is intended to have courts fairly and equitably allocate the costs of defending construction defect claims between insurance companies with a duty to defend.  It also permits insurance companies to  bring claims against builders (referred to as "insureds" or "additional insureds" in SB 45) who did not procure liability insurance during the period of time the alleged claims for defects arose.
This bill is intended to reduce the costs of construction insurance.  Builders have long claimed that the costs of procuring construction insurance makes it cost prohibitive to build condominiums.  It will be interesting to see how the insurance industry responds to SB 45. 
As always, stay tuned to this blog for updates on this important bill and other bills impacting HOAs in Colorado!