(editor’s note: Stan Hrincevich is a hero in the Colorado HOA fight. After years of fighting he’s gotten a few legislators to pay attention and pass a handful of reform bills. The bills still need work. But the reaction to Stan by the CAI is interesting, and instructive to all of us.)
guest blog by Stan Hrincevich (letter to legislators from coloradoHOAforum.com)
The fight for financial relief for small CAMs in this Bill was not supported by the CAI in the last legislative session. The cost of a license for small CAMs can equal a year’s income: it’s abusive and burdensome. Previous misinformation spread was that the goal was to exempt small CAMs from being licensed: not true, never in any proposal but believed by too many. This Bill provides fairness and relief to small business with reduced fees and educational requirements commensurate with knowledge to legally and competently service small HOAs of 30 or less units. Educational providers are able to offer small HOA CAM courses at a reduced cost. Costs for Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies to implement should be covered in the same manner as completed when the total licensing law was implemented.
In my book, Neighbors At War, I wrote about a nasty little piece of HOA theft called ‘transfer fees. ‘ They’re hidden deep within the text of your CC&Rs and the vast majority of home buyers never even see them. Sometimes they’re not even in the paperwork. But they can cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars at closing time. What are transfer fees? They’re a scam. They probably refer to photocopying costs which at ten cents a page shouldn’t cost you more than about ten bucks. But the transfer fee is pure slush that pours into the pockets of the nearest property manager or lawyer.
SB 15-177 concerns proposed construction defects litigation in Colorado. No Bill is perfect and in the world of HOA homeowners’ rights we seize the moment for any reform especially when it reins in the influence of HOA lawyers, property managers, and abusive Boards. This Bill would require HOA homeowners to approve the use of HOA funds in litigation.
Homeowners would have to be apprised of any intended litigation, informed on the substance and estimated costs, the consequences of unsuccessful litigation such as special assessments, and how the lawsuit is to be financed. A majority vote would be required to use HOA funds. HOAs can still bring legal action for construction defects and individuals can still pursue legal action using their own funds.