HOA registration law

In case you didn’t think HOAs are a big deal, think again. Some 7,652 HOAs in Colorado have registered with the state of Colorado, a requirement of a law passed by legislators last year that went into effect in 2011

The HOAs registered with the Department of Regulatory Agencies, or DORA, as required by House Bill 1278, represent 817,675 units. Observers believe that means well over one million people live in HOA communities.

Most HOAs registered

Terry Jerrett, president-elect of the Rocky Mountain chapter of the Community Associations Institute, an advocacy, educational and lobbying group for the HOA industry, said he thinks those registered represent the lion’s share of the HOAs in the state. “I think the HOAs that have lawyers represent them or on the boards, or have HOA property managers, were advised to register,” he said. “Some of the smaller boards may not have even heard of the registration requirement yet.”

Until now, he said, people only guessed how many HOAs there were in Colorado.

The industry and consumers now have a better handle on the number of HOAs in Colorado thanks to House Bill,  which created the HOA Information and Resource Office and for the first time required Home Owner Associations in Colorado to register with the Department of Regulatory Agencies.

The HOA Information Office does not have regulatory or investigative power and will not contact HOA or management companies. However, it tracks  inquiries and complaints and report annually to the Direction of the Division of Real Estate. The law goes on to say that HOA Information Office also will as a “clearinghouse for information concerning the basic rights and duties of homeowners, declarants, and HOA’s under the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act . Complaints will be logged and the issues will be tracked and reported in an annual report.”

Depending on the nature of the complaint, the HOA Information Officer may contact complainants to discuss their rights and responsibilities under CCIOA or to gather additional information. The HOA Information Officer strives to call complainants back within one week of receipt of a complaint. However,. complaints are answered in the order received and depending on the nature of the issue, according to DORA.

So far, there have been 160 complaints. Major issues that homeowners in HOA communities are complaining about so far, fall into four categories:

  • Record issues- particularly financial records
  • HOA not maintaining common areas
  • Mistreatment by board/management companies
  • HOAs not allowing homeowners to provide input.

So far, most of the complaints have been by phone, although DORA expects more to arrive through e-mail and the new database, as consumers learn about the system. The HOA Information Office prefers that complainants use the online complaint submission form at:  http://www.dora.state.co.us/real-estate/licensing/subdivisions/hoadocs/HOAIRC%20Complaint%20Form.pdf.  Complaints can also be submitted by emailing HOA.registration@dora.state.co.us.

“I think as more complaints are received, the vast majority of them are going to be in those four categories,” predicted Jarrett.

Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com

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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for GlobeSt.com, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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