With the passage of HB 12-1237 during the final hours of the 2012 legislative session last week, associations moved one step closer to new requirements concerning the official records that they must make available to owners upon request. We fully expect this bill to clear the final hurdle on its way to becoming law. Once HB 12-1237 is signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper, associations will have until January 1, 2013, to implement new records policies and practices.

It’s not too early for associations to start reviewing their mandatory inspection and copying of records policies and making necessary updates before the effective date of HB 12-1237. All associations should have clear policies that do the following:  

  1. Ensure availability of all documentation expressly declared a "record" by statute plus any additional records defined in an association’s governing documents
  2. Exclude specific documents from owner review

The biggest change most associations will make to their policies involves the removal of any requirement that owners state a "proper purpose" before getting access to records. Under HB 12-1237, associations must maintain certain records, and owners are entitled to access that information. Associations can help minimize the impact of owner requests for records on other association business by adopting clear policies, keeping records up to date, and making documents easily accessible.


Continue Reading For the Record … Effective Records Policies Start Now

This at least should be a rule through the letter-writing world: that no angry letter be posted till four-and-twenty hours will have elapsed since it was written. ~ Anthony Trollope

In my life outside of community association law practice, I volunteer with Denver Public Schools (“DPS”). On more than one occasion, my work with DPS, and in other volunteer roles, has allowed me to better relate to the challenges that association board members experience in their roles as community leaders – whether it’s the time commitment, strong emotions, opposing views, an unclear governance model, or thousands of e-mails flooding my inbox, I’ve experienced it.

Most recently, I served as co-chair for a large community committee that participated in a year-long process of monthly, and sometimes weekly, meetings. At the committee’s inception, a member of the general public submitted a Colorado Open Records Act (“CORA”) request to DPS, asking for all documents related to the committee’s work. DPS administration informed me and the rest of the steering committee of this CORA request to make us aware that the contents of our e-mails would get released to the constituent.


Continue Reading Association Records: Navigating the Electronic “Paper” Trail

My son’s latest obsession is chess. He joined the chess club at school, got a new chessboard, downloaded chess apps to all the electronics he could get his hands on, and started reading strategy books. On a snow day like today, it’s no surprise that we’re spending part of the time playing chess. In the midst of our moves, I can’t help but think how the game of chess translates to the business of community associations. Whether in chess or association decision-making, the following tips come in handy:

Know the moves. Chess involves a finite number of pieces, and the basic moves are easy enough to learn. As a board member, the “pieces” and moves at your disposal are much more numerous and complex. You will need to understand the moves available to you under your association’s governing documents. You’ll also consider what the association’s budget can support, the politics and dynamics of the community, options presented by vendors, and advice from attorneys, engineers, accountants and management.


Continue Reading Does Your Association Board Operate Like a Chess Master?

A manager recently told me about an association that lost some money. Specifically, one of the association’s long-term Certificates of Deposit was turned over to the State of Colorado. In this situation, the bank had apparently sent correspondence to the association’s former management company and then turned over the account to the State when no response was received within 30 days. The property manager was totally baffled and not sure how to get the money.

The Great Colorado Payback website shows that the State is holding funds for this particular association, and the manager will need to go through a claims process to get the money. Unfortunately, the association won’t get interest that accrued during the time the State has held the funds. I don’t have all the details – and haven’t heard yet if there’s a “happy ending” – but other associations may benefit from knowing that their accounts can get transferred to the State.


Continue Reading Where, oh, where has my HOA’s CD gone?

Have you heard the story of the community association members who knew one of their board candidates was convicted of a felony related to fraud or embezzlement yet elected that person anyway? Did you hear the part about how that board member later ran off with a substantial amount of the association’s funds? Maybe it’s just an urban legend among community association professionals. Or maybe it’s true. Either way, how does your association help to ensure the election of board members who will represent the association’s best interests?

As community association lawyers, we often get questions about how to place limitations on who can serve on an association’s board of directors. Sometimes boards do not want to allow owners with delinquent accounts to serve on the board. Other times, board members know that a person with a criminal record intends to run for the board. In other situations, current board members want to prevent people with different viewpoints from getting elected to the board.


Continue Reading Don’t Elect the Convicted Felon

HOA Law Basics

Build Your Community Association Governance Toolkit

Live Program and Live Webcast: Thursday March 3, 2011

Live program will be held at the CBA-CLE Classroom, 1900 Grant Street, Suite 300, Denver, CO

 

Video Replays: March 24, 2011

Denver, Colorado Springs, and Grand Junction

 

This foundational program will give you

The Senate Judiciary Committee is not going to hear testimony on SB11-122 today as was originally scheduled. The Judiciary Committee will re-schedule the hearing for a later date. 

SB11-122, as written, would impact the redemption rights of junior lienors, such as homeowner associations. The delayed hearing date for SB11-122 will allow for further discussions about

All community associations in Colorado must register with the Division of Real Estate by January 1, 2011. Associations that do not register will lose their lien rights and the ability to enforce recorded covenants. The January 1st deadline, and the harsh consequences for associations, makes compliance a top priority. However, the Division of Real Estate