Homeowner association bill advances

The Colorado House gave a preliminary nod to a bill Tuesday that would allow homeowner association boards to have a say in any fee increases from their management agents.

The measure, HB1254, is designed to fill a hole in changes the Legislature made last year to HOA managers to ensure the boards that hire them have advanced notification, and some input in the fees they are charged.

“This requires that anytime a community association management company decides to raise fees or change fees, it’s required to go speak with the HOA board that is involved and explain those fees, the reasons for them, and negotiate with the board any changes that will be made,” said Rep. Jeanne Labuda, D-Denver, who introduced the bill.

The measure, which still requires final House approval before it can head to the Senate, comes on the heels of several new laws on HOAs and their managers during last year’s legislative session.

Last year’s reforms require managers to be licensed, that they and the boards they work for implement consistent policies on debt collection, and have systems in place to allow homeowners to pay debts owed to the association.

This year’s measure comes with bipartisan support.

“This is a good bill for transparency,” said Rep. Libby Szabo, R-Arvada. “Any time a group collects your money, it’s always good that they report back to their board and to the folks about where your money is being spent.”

The bill also gives the Colorado Division of Real Estate power to regulate, investigate and take disciplinary action against a manager who violates its provisions.

A legislative status sheet on introduced measures describes the bill as placing limits on fees and penalties that HOA managers could charge, but the introduced measure does not place caps on those fees.

There are two other HOA-related measures still working their way through the Legislature. One, HB1125, would allow HOA boards to share personal information about its members, but only with the homeowners’ permission.

The other, SB140, requires HOAs to fully comply with the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act before placing fees or charges on homeowners.

HB1125 was approved in the House last week and awaits debate in the Senate Local Government Committee. SB140 awaits approval in the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee.


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