OURAY COUNTY HOA changes in Colorado
By Bill Tiedje
Presenting information on new state requirements for homeowners' associations in Colorado, Gary Kujawski, HOA Information Officer with the Department of Regulatory Affairs (DORA), spoke to HOA residents, board members and managers during an educational session held in Ridgway on April 25.
Friday's event was sponsored the by Montrose Association of Realtors.
While there is currently no regulatory enforcement of HOAs in the state, Kujawski told participants about a number of changes in bylaws requirements and manager licensure as a result of state legislation.
Effective July 1, 2015, all paid HOA managers will be required to hold a state HOA manager license.
With classes and testing requirements similar to that of a real estate license, the HOA manager license will include fingerprinting and background checks for managers. State officials are still determining the regulatory details of the HOA licensing program.
"If you hire a manager, you will know that they have a minimal level of experience," explained Kujawski, a former HOA president.
"(HOA manager licensing) could be a little more of a headache, but it will also be a little more structured as far as HOA management," commented Tate Rogers, HOA manager of the Silver San Juan Condo Ownership Association.
Other recently state-mandated HOA regulations include bylaws and regulation requirements for HOAs, such as six month minimum payment deadlines, conflict of interest clauses and itemized billing.
Kujawski explained that Colorado law also protects homeowners' rights, including the ability to display flags or political signs, park emergency vehicles, install xeriscaping or vehicle charging stations, and remove trees for defensible space from fires.
"It's very important,” said Judi Snelling, a Broker Associate with United Country Sneffels Realty. “It's a whole new set of regulations the HOAs will need to comply with.”
Chris Carr, president of Fairway Pines Estates Owner Association, commented, "Between the board and covenant committee, we feel in great shape."
Carr explained that the HOA had already updated their policies to comply with state regulations and would not be affected by the manager licensing as it did not have a paid manager.
Kujawski also encouraged HOA members to ensure their associations are properly registered with the state, as lack of registration could limit an association's ability to enforce regulations.
The cost of HOA registration in Colorado is $27 per year.
For more information, Kujawski directed attendees to the homeowners' association page at www.dora.state.co.us.