Category Archives: Colorado

HOA Housing Craziness In Aspen!

I’ve written about this before. But here’s another great column from the Aspen Times. Wages are so out-of-control in this Eastern Hollywood Town, that the City of Aspen is using taxpayers’ money to pay for the maintenance of Homeowners Associations where all the ‘low-income’ workers live. The whole system is warped in more ways than can be easily discussed. But the columnist linked below does a pretty good job.

Homeowners Associations are a national scandal waiting to burst. But making the taxpayer pay the cost of keeping this scam going is just stretching the imagination too far.

(link to Aspen Times story on taxpayer funded HOAs)



Free Speech is Not a Right!

Those of us who follow such things know that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t protect people in Homeowners Associations. The one exception, of course, is if you’re ‘colored,’ whatever that means. There actually is some case law to protect racial minorities and the handicapped. But other tenets of the Constitution? Forget it. Due process? Forget it. Free speech? Forget it.

This latest story comes from a Fort Collins, Colorado resident who put up a Bernie Sanders sign on her balcony. It was OK for a while. After all, it’s a college town and college kids are taught all about the Constitution. They just aren’t told that Homeowners Associations are private corporations in which residents don’t have access to the Bill of Rights.

The new management company at the Baystone Apartments sent out threatening letters, warning of fines of up to $5000 for people who incorrectly display political signs. Once the story ended up in the newspaper the management company cried, “Oops!” But that’s only temporary. As soon as the public furor dies down they’ll start assessing fines all over again.

Long live the First Amendment! Well, that is if you’re not in an HOA! And 20 to 25% of Americans have already surrendered their right to Constitutional protection.


Outrageous! Shutting Down Heat to the Whole HOA???

 guest blog by Deborah Goonan, (Independent American Communities)

Another week, another outrageously unbelievable story involving a condo association. This one is in Aurora, Colorado.

Not long ago, I told you about a condo association in Ohio that has not repaired their central heating system for many months. Today I am sharing a video report from Fox 31 Denver, about Cedar Crest Condominiums. Residents – many of them tenants – have been without central heat since late October.

Rob Low of Fox 31 reports that residents are using space heaters and their ovens in order to heat their apartments.

Obviously, when the temperatures dip as low at 10 degrees Fahrenheit, that isn’t enough to provide a safe, comfortable living environment. Then there’s the fire hazard, of course, something that isn’t mentioned in the news report.

An interview with the condo association president, Judith Lorraine, explains the reason for delay in repairing the heating system — there’s no money.

Lorraine said the first bid to fix the pipes was $120,000 dollars. But she said getting the various owners to cough up a special assessment of $2,600 dollars for each of the 47 units met with a chilly reception, “We have owners that own the biggest part of the building that refuse to do that. They say they`ll pay their share when they sell in 10 or 20 years and that doesn`t help us today. We need the money today.”

You can read the transcript and watch the video here:

But…doesn’t the City of Aurora enforce building codes?

Now, you may ask a reasonable question: where does the City of Aurora stand on this issue? Well, according to the report, city officials are giving condo owners a 30-day warning, hoping they’ll get it together and do the right thing.

In other words, the city is exhibiting weak leadership, attempting to avoid strong enforcement of building codes, and basically allowing irresponsible condo owners to get away with collecting rent on unheated apartments.

Apparently City officials are more concerned about offending taxpaying condo owner-investors – even if they are not responsible landlords – than protecting the rights of owner-occupants and tenants.

Even more outrageous, Aurora goes out of its way to promote even more condo construction

Yes, Aurora is encouraging developers to build even more condos.

Over and over again, I share with you stories of the inevitable chaos and dysfunction, and the suffering thrust upon residents, not just in Colorado, but all over the US.

There are countless examples of Association-Governed Residential Communities where it’s clear that common ownership under corporate governance structure does not work. It breeds internal conflict and enables investor-landlord interests to violate the rights of owner-occupants and tenants.

Corporate association interests under developer control also shield condo builders from liability for shoddy construction.

But, as you might recall from earlier blogs, Aurora is one of several major Colorado cities to pass a local ordinace making it more difficult for condo owners to hold developers accountable for construction defects.

Makes you want to run right out and purchase or lease a condo, doesn’t it?

Or…maybe not.

Good Property Managers

On this blog we talk a lot about bad management companies. Tonight, I want to talk about a great one!  Mine.

I’ve worked with Dave Watts of ForRentByOwner for nearly 17 years. It’s been a relationship that hasn’t had single hitch in all those years. He’s great, his employees are great. The reason I bring this up is that just yesterday I voiced a promo that he’s entering into a bank contest. It’s cute.