On January 30, 2020, the first of what we expect to be several major bills concerning the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act was introduced as HB 20-1200 and is sponsored by Rep. Titone (D) and Weismann (D). This is an expansive bill which acts as the bill reauthorizing the HOA Information Office and requires the office to perform expanded duties. In addition to its former duties, as proposed, the HOA Information Office will:
1. Create and administer a Dispute Resolution Program in which Owners may lodge complaints with the Department of Regulatory Agencies.
2. Produce educational materials regarding the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act and the newly created Dispute Resolution Program.
3. Create and administer a toll free number in which the public can view additional information and make complaints.
4. Create and maintain a database of associations and managers in which complaints have been received under the Program, which will be publicly available.
5. Investigate complaints.
6. Report annually of the complaints received and resolved by the Department of Regulatory Agencies to Legislative Committees.
During the complaint process, the Department of Regulatory Agencies will have subpoena power to investigate complaints, negotiate resolution of complaints and issue findings of a violation. As drafted, violations may be penalized by fines up to $5,000. HB 20-1200 also prohibits any retaliation against Owners who may file a complaint. Association’s found to have retaliated against an Owner would be subject to a fine up to $10,000.
The bill also creates expanded registration requirements which include:
1. The name and address of the President of the Executive Board;
2. The name and address of the Association’s manager, if the Association employs a manager;
3. The number of units in the community; and
4. The date of reception number of the original declaration.
This information is all required as the registration fee will be moving from a flat registration fee to a fee based upon “each residential and each commercial unit represented by the Association”. Failure to timely register may result in a fine of $5,000. As is clear from the above, this bill will have a major impact on how Associations conduct their business and the cost of residing in an Association. There is no doubt this bill will be fiercely debated on both sides and the language is punitive in nature. Stay tuned here for updates as this expansive bill runs through the legislative process.