Monday, March 09, 2015

Colorado moving closer to licensing property managers

On July 1, Colorado will become the tenth state to require HOA and condo association managers to be licensed. It is incredible that in 40 states anybody can get some business cards printed and become a community association manager.  Colorado's legislature was persuaded by "horror stories," as the linked article explains.  The basic model of CID regulation that has emerged in a few states since the mid 1990s has three components:  (1) manager licensing; (2) more detailed state regulation of associations' internal processes, such as elections, document amendments, access to records, meetings, and assessment collection; and (3) a condo/HOA ombudsman who keeps basic records on associations in the state, provides education, and records and/or helps to resolve disputes.  It is a minimalist model that fails to address some major risk factors--the biggest one being association finances--but it is better than the nothing that we had previously. Owners need some basic protections, and caveat emptor doesn't cut it.


robert @ colorado hoa . com said...

from the Denver Post story: “’I am anti-regulation down to my toenails, but this is something that needed to happen,’ said Dee Wolfe, chair of the legislative committee of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Community Associations Institute. ‘What will come out of this are trained and professional managers’.”

Translation: Please don’t throw me into the briar patch.

What will really come out of this is regulatory capture, with the C.A.I. influencing, if not controlling, the licensing standards.

The story goes on to say that: “The state has debated licensing seriously for at least a decade, and the industry has toyed with the idea of requesting regulation in Colorado since the 1980s”.

10 years, and this is the best they could do?! The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act was passed in 1991 (sponsored by Republican Mike Coffman, who owned a property management company at the time. Coffman's wife is now the state Attorney General).

Three years ago (Feb. 13, 2012), the same Post reporter wrote that “’touching HOA law is always a bit dicey around here,’ [Colorado State Senator Morgan] Carroll said of the vested interests surrounding the state's HOA laws.

Two years ago, the Colorado legislature passed gun control laws that resulted in 3 state senators losing their offices in special recall elections. They also passed a controversial election-reform bill within 4 weeks from introduction to signing. Now all elections in Colorado have the integrity of H.O.A. elections. Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, the legislature took only 2 weeks to pass a “right to work” law that Governor Walker signed earlier today.

Recent history has demonstrated that if either political party was serious about meaningful H.O.A. reform (and we know that Republicans are opposed to any pro-homeowner reform), they have had the opportunity and ability to pass it. So I must conclude that our policy makers are only interested in offering the illusion of reform, to keep the peasants placated, while protecting those “vested interests” that Senator Carroll mentioned. When it comes to H.O.A. issues, Colorado Democrats are to home owners what Neville Chamberlain was to Czechoslovakia.

Meanwhile, the next big push for H.O.A. regulation will probably be some form of binding arbitration, from both the state government's HOA Information Office and from Stan Hrincivech's Colorado HOA Forum group.

We are truly screwed in this state.

robert @ colorado hoa . com said...

FYI: The bill to license H.O.A. property managers in Colorado was HB13-1277, introduced on March 25, 2013 and signed by the governor on May 28, 2013.

55 Democrats voted for it, 1 Democrat voted against it.

0 Republicans voted for it, 42 Republicans voted against it.

robert @ colorado hoa . com said...

On December 02 2015, Madison Hill H.O.A. Inc. — Colorado corporate I.D. # 19,871,259,221 and Colorado H.O.A. registration # 25,559 — was found in Contempt of Court for violating the judge’s Court Order (Jefferson County Colorado Court case # 2014 C 38745) and attempting to extort $6,954.00 in unlawful attorney fees from me.

Both the judge and the officers of the H.O.A. corporation agreed that the property management company, L.C.M. Property Management Inc., was at fault. The directors of the Madison Hill H.O.A. corporation even fired L.C.M., only because they had to give the appearance of doing something to correct their illegal behavior before the sentencing hearing.

At the sentencing hearing on January 12 2016, the judge claimed that action couldn't be taken against the management company, because they were acting as an agent of the corporation.

L.C.M. continues to conduct business as an H.O.A. property management company, which just goes to show that requiring property managers to be licensed has no effect whatsoever.