New Review Looks to Hold Colorado HOAs Accountable
Colorado homeowners associations (HOAs) might actually have to start listening to your complaints.
Since 2011, any complaint filed against these associations has been directed to the HOA Information and Resource Center.
However, the Center does not have the power to investigate or resolve any of the complaints against individual HOAs, which often leads to exhausting legal disputes.
According to The Denver Post, a new regulatory review is recommending that the HOA Center be given the ability to investigate complaints and resolve disputes.
The review, conducted by the Department of Regulatory Agencies, states that by giving the HOA Center the power to look into its complaints, less consumers will be harmed.
There are currently almost 8,000 active HOAs in Colorado. On average, the Center receives around 1,500 complaints and 5,000 information requests about these organizations each year.
Majority of these complaints revolve around a lack of effort, with many people lamenting about HOAs not maintaining common areas, not enforcing rules, and not communicating with residents.
Others are more serious, alleging harassment, election fraud, and excessive fines.
Right now, if someone wanted to force an HOA to address their complaint, they would usually have to engage in a lengthy legal battle, which they would most likely lose.
But, if the review's recommendation was in place, HOAs would be required to follow state rules. The HOA Center would then be able to request financial documents with ease, allowing most cases to be settled quickly out of court.
If an individual disagreed with the resolution decided upon by the Center, they could still appeal the case to an administrative judge.
In order to make up for the added costs of investigating, the Colorado HOA Forum suggests requiring a fee to file complaints, so that only serious inquiries would be looked in to.
The forum would also like to see an increase in the HOAs yearly registration fee, with the hope that a low-cost enforcement system would improve HOA compliance.
However, this recommendation is not going to come to fruition without a fight. It is expected that the Community Associations Institute, the trade group for HOA managers in Colorado, will resist these adjustments.