HOA transfer fees are getting some attention in the news again this week. In particular, news coverage has focused on demands that HOA property management companies provide invoices for the transfer fees charged to buyers or sellers of properties within HOAs. There is good news for buyers and sellers in HOAs: access to transfer fee information is already available.

What exactly are transfer fees? Colorado statutes address transfer fees in the three following ways that are relevant to HOAs and their members:

  1. The Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act expressly authorizes nonprofit corporations to impose transfer fees upon their members unless the articles of incorporation provide otherwise. Most HOAs are formed as nonprofit corporations and have this right to impose transfer fees.
  2. The real property statutes prohibit certain transfer fee covenants, such as those intended to benefit a person or entity who does not hold an interest in the property burdened by the covenant. But transfer fee covenants for fees payable to homeowner associations are not prohibited and are recognized by statute as valid fees.
  3. Community association management companies typically contract with the HOAs they manage to charge transfer fees to the buyers or sellers of properties within those communities. The community association manager statutes and licensing rules impose explicit requirements on managers concerning these transfer fees. Those statutes and rules are the good news for buyers and sellers, and all owners, who want to know what transfer fees apply in their HOAs.

So what rights do owners, buyers, and sellers have to access transfer fee information?


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Community association board members fill tough roles that require a great deal of attention to association business. We understand that, as board member volunteers, you need guidance from professionals to facilitate informed decision-making, allowing you to uphold your fiduciary duties to the association that you serve. To assist you in evaluating the legal priorities for your community, we have created this Legal Audit checklist. Place a check mark in the box beside each statement that applies to your community association–and don’t forget to complete Part 1 of the Community Association Legal Audit.

My community association has . . .

?   checked that the assessments charged to individual units match the allocated interests stated for those units in the association’s governing documents.

Associations must assess individual units for budgeted expenses in accordance with the allocated interests stated in the governing documents. When we advise clients of discrepancies that we note in unit assessments and allocated interests, we sometimes hear, “We’ve always done it that way; that’s what people are used to.” If the governing documents do not align with the association’s manner of assessing owners, then past mistakes do not support future disregard for the documents.


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