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Frequently Asked Questions for HOA Homeowners, Board Members, and Other Interested Parties
As mandated by C.R.S. 12-10-801(3)(a)(IV), the HOA Information Center has compiled a list of "Frequently Asked Questions" and answers for homeowners, board members, and other interested parties, regarding living in and governing a common interest community. This is not an exhaustive list of every issue or concern that someone may encounter while living in or governing an HOA. It is intended to provide basic information regarding the rights and responsibilities of living in and governing an HOA, as provided by the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act and the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Act. The answers provided are not intended to impart legal advice and any legal questions should be asked of a licensed attorney.
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HOA Frequently Asked Questions

Who regulates HOAs in Colorado?

In Colorado, HOA's (or Common Interest Communities) are governed by The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act. This law defines the rights of unit owners, as well as those bestowed upon the association. It also defines the responsibility of an association, as directed by its Executive Board. The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act provides for the enforcement of those rights and responsibilities through civil litigation. Unfortunately, the State has no authority to intervene in any association member's conflict with their association, nor does it have any jurisdiction to enforce the rights and responsibilities defined in The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act. Succinctly speaking, there is no regulatory oversight of HOAs or Community Association Managers in the State of Colorado. Any dispute between homeowners or homeowners and an HOA is considered a civil matter. The Colorado Judicial Branch's Office of Dispute Resolution offers affordable access to qualified mediators and has several professionals that specialize in issues related to Common Interest Communities. Assuming your HOA is willing, engaging in alternative dispute resolution can oftentimes eliminate the need for litigation. 

Does the Division of Real Estate regulate Community Association Managers?

Community Association Manager licensing and regulation existed in the form of the Community Association Manager Program, housed in the Division of Real Estate from July 1, 2015, to July 1, 2019. In May of 2019, the General Assembly passed House Bill 19-1212, which concerned the recreation of the CAM licensing program. The bill would have continued the CAM licensing program, administered by the Division, for one year. However, on May 31, 2019, Governor Polis vetoed HB19-1212 and the CAM Program expired on June 30, 2019. The Governor’s related Executive Order D-2019-006 (Directing a Stakeholder Process to Examine Community and Homeowner Associations) can be viewed here. You may view the 2019 Report Concerning the Governor's Executive Order D-2019-006: Directing a Stakeholder Process to Examine Community and Homeowner Associations here.

If The HOA Center doesn’t regulate HOAs or CAMs, what does it do?

The HOA Information & Resource Center was created by House Bill 10-1278 and became effective January 1, 2011. The HOA Center serves as a resource for consumers to understand their basic rights and responsibilities under The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act.  

What the HOA Information & Resource Center does:

  • Provides information to homeowners regarding their basic rights and responsibilities under The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act.
  • Gathers, analyzes, and reports information through the receipt of complaints and HOA registrations;
  • Creates resource materials;
  • Provides education and forums;
  • Provides a website with information for the public;
  • Registers HOAs pursuant to §38-33.3-401(1) C.R.S;
  • Provides an Annual Report to the Legislature.

What the HOA Information & Resource Center does not do:

  • Is not a regulatory program.
  • Does not mediate/arbitrate.
  • Cannot provide legal advice. 
  • Does not act as an advocate.
  • Cannot assess fines or penalties. 
  • Does not enforce an HOA’s failure to register.  

If The HOA Center doesn’t regulate HOAs or CAMs, why should I file a complaint?

Although the HOA Information and Resource Center and the Division of Real Estate do not have any investigative or enforcement capabilities to address your HOA complaint, we do record your issues and matters of concern into a statistical database, which is later compiled into an annual report for consideration by the state legislature. By filing a complaint, you are helping the HOA Center to gather important information on HOAs.

I’ve asked my HOA for records I know I’m entitled to and they won’t give them to me - what can I do?

Section 38-33.3-317 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act defines what records must be kept by the association, for the purposes of retention and production to unit owners. You may want to review a summary of House Bill 12-1237, which has subsequently been incorporated into The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act Section 317. It may help understand which association records "must be produced", which "may be produced" ("may be produced" is at the discretion of the Board), and those which "must be withheld". Be sure to read through your governing documents to what your community’s records request policy states. Bs sure to follow it when making your request. You may also wish to review this request template that lists the items that associations are required to disclose annually. Please be sure to review your association’s record request policy prior to using this form to ensure it complies with policy requirements. 

Additionally, keep in mind that an association may require unit owners to submit written requests, describing with reasonable particularity the records sought, at least ten (10) days prior to inspection or production of the documents. Examination and copying times can also be limited to normal business hours or the next regularly scheduled board meeting if the meeting occurs within thirty (30) days after the request.  Finally, a reasonable charge may be imposed and can be collected in advance to cover the costs of labor and materials incurred for the production of requested documents. 

If, after reviewing all of the above information, you still believe that your association is wrongfully withholding records which you are entitled to and which have been properly requested, then you will have to engage in alternative dispute resolution (i.e. mediation, arbitration, etc.). If alternative dispute resolution is unsuccessful or the association refuses to participate, you will have to contact an attorney and file a lawsuit to force the association to provide the records. 

What information must an HOA disclose and how often must they do so? 

The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act requires common interest communities to disclose the below information to their membership within 90 days after the end of each fiscal year. This is often referred to as the annual disclosure. 

  • Name of the association;
  • Name of the association’s designated agent or management company, if any;
  • Valid physical address and telephone number for both the association and designated agent or management company, if any;
  • Name of the common interest community;
  • The initial date of the recording of the declaration and the reception number or book and page for the declaration;
  • The date on which the association’s fiscal year commences;
  • The association’s operating budget for the current fiscal year;
  • A list, by type, of the association’s current assessments – including regular and special assessments;
  • The association’s annual financial statements, including any amounts held in reserve for the fiscal year immediately preceding the annual disclosure;
  • The results of the association’s most recent available financial audit or review;
  • A list of all association insurance policies, including, but not limited to property, general liability, association director and officer professional liability, and fidelity policies.  This list must also include the company names, policy limits, policy deductibles, additional named insureds, and expiration dates of the policies listed.
  • The association’s Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, Rules & Regulations
  • The Minutes of the Executive Board and Membership Meetings for the fiscal year immediately preceding the current annual disclosure;
  • The association’s Responsible Governance Policies adopted pursuant to section 38-33.3-209.5 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act.

Associations must make the information above available to its members at no additional cost to unit owners and may do so by one of the following ways:

  1. Posting on an internet web page with accompanying notice of the web address sent via first-class mail or email to all owners;
  2. The maintenance of a literature table or binder at the association’s principal place of business; or
  3. Mail or personal delivery to all owners.

The costs associated with these methods of delivery and making the disclosures available shall be accounted for as a common expense liability of the association.

I am contemplating purchasing a home in an HOA - where can I find it’s governing documents?

There is no central repository of HOA governing documents in Colorado. Each association is responsible for maintaining records pursuant to sections 38-33.3-317 & 38-33.3-209.4 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act and The Colorado Nonprofit Corporation Act, at Article 136. As a non-member potential purchaser, you will have to ask your real estate broker to ask the listing agent if the seller would be able and willing to provide you with copies of the current governing documents. However, you are not entitled to them until you have signed the Contract to Buy and Sell Real Estate (see section 7). 

What are an association’s responsibilities regarding record retention?

Sections 38-33.3-317 & 38-33.3-209.4 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act and The Colorado Nonprofit Corporation Act, at Article 136, outline the type of documents required to be maintained by an association.

  • Board and owner meeting minutes, should be retained permanently;
  • Records of all actions taken by the owners or board without a meeting (i.e., actions by mail or electronic mail), should be retained permanently;
  • Financial statements as described in section 7-136-106, C.R.S., should be retained for three years and tax returns of the association for seven years, to the extent available;
  • Current written contracts to which the association is a party and contracts for work performed for the association within the immediately preceding two years should be retained;
  • Ballots, proxies, and other records related to voting by unit owners for one year after an election, action, or vote to which they relate should be retained;
  • All written communications within the past three years to all unit owners generally as unit owners should be retained.

I’m unable to contact my HOA. Does the HOA Center have their contact information?

You may research if your HOA’s current contact information is included in the registration using the Division of Real Estate’s Licensee Lookup (use the "Business Name/DBA" search field). Please note, the Division is unable to verify the information provided by HOAs and their representatives upon registration. 

What is the General Hierarchy of an association’s governing documents? 

Generally, the hierarchy of governing documents is 1) Declarations, 2) Articles of Incorporation, 3) Bylaws, and 4) Rules and Regulations, Governance Policies, Resolutions, and Design Guidelines, with #1 being the highest level of authority. 

If a section of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act appears to be in conflict with my governing documents, which one takes precedence?

If a particular section of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act or the Non-Profit Act takes precedence over an association's governing documents, then that section will likely begin with language such as "Notwithstanding any provision in the declaration, bylaws, or other documents to the contrary."  If a particular section of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act or the Non-Profit Act is to supplement but not take precedence over an association's governing documents, then that section will likely begin with language such as "Unless otherwise provided in the declaration, bylaws, or rules of the association."

What are responsible governance policies?

Section 38-33.3-209.5 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act requires an association to adopt policies, procedures, and rules and regulations concerning multiple areas of governance. Most of the required policies do not have substantive requirements other than their existence. However, The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act does mandate some substantive requirements for a few policies.

1. Collection Policy

At minimum, an association’s collection policy must contain the due date of the assessment as well as the date it is considered past due; late fees and interest that may be charged, amount of any fee if a payment is not honored by a financial institution and any payment plan options, keeping in mind that The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act requires that an association, upon request, make good faith efforts to coordinate a payment plan with a delinquent unit owner who has not already entered into a payment plan with the association. A collection policy should also include information on how payments are applied to owners’ accounts, notice requirements and a description of the action required to cure a delinquency, keeping in mind that The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act requires an association to provide at least 30 days to cure a delinquency. 

2. Covenant Enforcement Policy

A covenant enforcement policy is going to be unique to the individual community it governs. However, The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act requires that at a minimum, a community’s covenant enforcement policy contain notice and hearing procedures as well as the schedule of fines.

3. Conduct of Meetings Policy

As best practice, this policy should include how long homeowners are allowed to speak about a particular issue; what constitutes inappropriate behavior at a meeting;  notice requirements; information regarding issuance and provision of proxies; and information about electronic voting, etc.  An association’s conduct of meeting policy should also include information related to the board making decisions outside of a meeting 

4. Inspection of Records Policy

Section 38-33.3-317 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act defines what records must be kept by the association, for the purposes of retention and production to unit owners. You may want to review a summary of House Bill 12-1237, which has subsequently been incorporated into The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act Section 317. It may help understand which association records "must be produced", which "may be produced" (at the discretion of the Board), and those which "must be withheld".

The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act also states that all records maintained by an association must be available for examination and copying by a unit owner or the owner’s authorized agent.  As such, owners must be provided access to association records, with limited exceptions.

Any inspection of records policy should clearly address how a member should request records. An association may require unit owners to submit written requests, describing with reasonable particularity the records sought, at least ten (10) days prior to inspection or production of the documents.  

Examination and copying times can also be limited to normal business hours or the next regularly scheduled board meeting if the meeting occurs within thirty (30) days after the request.  Additionally, the policy cannot require owners to demonstrate a proper purpose for the inspection and cannot request that a purpose be stated. A reasonable charge may be imposed and can be collected in advance to cover the costs of labor and materials incurred for the production of requested documents.  The policy should clearly state how the association will calculate charges for production.

5. Conflict of Interest Policy

Conflicts of interest may exist in a variety of circumstances and even the perception of one is enough to create discord within homeowners associations. The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act requires that an association’s conflict of interest policy address, at minimum: when a conflict of interests exists; procedures to follow when a conflict of interest arises, including procedures regarding disclosure and a description of circumstances under which a conflicted board member must recuse themselves from voting. It should also require a periodic review of the policy. 

6. Investment Policy

The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act requires that homeowner associations have a policy regarding the investment of reserve funds.  Boards should consult with a qualified financial planner and/or CPA to determine the most appropriate investment strategy for their community. 

7. Adoption of Rules and Policies Policy

Homeowner associations must also have a policy which describes the procedures for the adoption and amendment of policies, procedures, and rules.  This policy should clearly state the process for adoption and amendment of an association’s policies.

8. Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) Policy

While The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act requires an association to have an ADR policy, it does not specify what needs to be included.  Although mediation is encouraged, if an association does not wish to engage in ADR, they may have an ADR policy which states so. 

9. Reserve Study Policy

Although The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act does not require reserve studies to occur, it does require an association to have a policy which states when a reserve study is going to take place; whether there is a funding plan in place for the work recommended by the study, and whether the study is based on a physical and financial analysis. Additionally, The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act states that an internally conducted study is sufficient to comply with this rule. 

Does my HOA have to follow The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act?

The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act) is a set of laws that govern the formation, management, powers, and operation of common interest communities (HOAs) in Colorado. While most of the important provisions in The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act apply to all common interest communities, regardless of when those communities were created, some provisions apply only to communities created after July 1, 1992. Additionally, common interest communities created before July 1, 1992, are still subject to the older law. 

Determining which sections of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act apply to a pre-1992 association can be a complex question, as several variables must be considered, including but not limited to: 

  • the date in which the community was created; 
  • the type of community (i.e. co-op, condo, planned community); 
  • the size of the community; and the amount of expenses the community incurs. 

For more information on the applicability of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act, please see:

What are the rules regarding amending governing documents?

Amending the Declaration - Generally

Section 38-33.3-217 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act states that the declaration may be amended only by a vote of more than fifty percent of the association or any larger percentage, not to exceed sixty-seven percent, that the declaration specifies. The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act also states that any provision in the declaration that purports to specify a percentage larger than sixty-seven percent is void as contrary to public policy, and until amended, such provision must be deemed to specify a percentage of sixty-seven percent. The declaration may specify a smaller percentage than a simple majority only if all of the units are restricted exclusively to nonresidential use. 

Amending the Declaration - Use Restrictions

Section 38-33.3-217(4.5) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act states that, except to the extent expressly permitted or required by other provisions of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act, no amendment may change any use restriction in the absence of a vote of at least sixty-seven percent of the association, or any larger percentage the declaration specifies. The declaration may specify a smaller percentage only if all of the units are restricted exclusively to nonresidential use.

Amending the Bylaws - Generally

Section 38-33.3-306(1)(f) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act states that the bylaws of an association must provide a method for amending the bylaws.

Amending the Bylaws - Specific Requirements

Section 303(3)(a) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act prohibits boards from unilaterally adopting certain amendments and requires owner approval for such revisions to be valid.  

Specifically, boards cannot act on behalf of the association to take the following actions:

  • Terminate the community
    • At least 67% (or more) of the Association must vote to terminate the common interest community in a Termination Agreement. The declaration may have a percentage requirement higher than 67%.
  • Elect members of the board (except to fill vacancies)
    • See governing documents for election procedures.
  • Change qualifications of directors; Change powers and duties of directors; and, Change terms of the directors
    • See governing documents for procedures to amend these items. 

In addition to the above, the section 7-130-202 of the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporations Act prohibits boards from unilaterally amending their documents to change quorum and requires all quorum changes to be presented to the members for approval.

Amending the Rules and Regulations

Typically, rules and regulations can be changed by a vote of the Board of Directors. Committees may also be used to create or change rules and regulations, which then may be adopted by the Board. Using a committee may create an environment of transparency and foster positive relations between the Board and the membership. Look to your governing documents for information specific to your community regarding any process required for amending the rules and regulations.

Are there any statute of limitations on enforcement actions?

Section 38-33.3-123 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act discusses an association’s right to enforce its declaration, bylaws, articles, or rules and regulations. This section also contains what may be referred to as a statute of limitations on the enforcement of certain association requirements. 

Section 38-33.3-123(2) states that, despite any law to the contrary, no action shall be commenced or maintained to enforce the terms of any building restriction contained in the provisions of the declaration, bylaws, articles, or rules and regulations or to compel the removal of any building or improvement because of the violation of the terms of any such building restriction unless the action is commenced within one year from the date from which the person commencing the action knew or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known of the violation for which the action is sought to be brought or maintained.

Are there any rules against selective enforcement of an association’s rules?

Most governing documents permit the association’s board of directors to adopt rules, and The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act expressly permits associations to adopt rules. Oftentimes, the language in a declaration that gives the board the authority to adopt rules also comes with a requirement that they be enforced in a uniform manner. The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act doesn’t contain any such express requirement, but it is clear from Colorado court decisions that courts will not enforce covenants or rules when the board is acting in an arbitrary or capricious manner.

Can an HOA tow my car? Can they really prevent me from parking on the street in front of my house?

In short, an HOA may establish and enforce parking restrictions on roads within the association. However, whether or not an association may utilize physical means of enforcing parking depends on whether or not the Association owns the property on which the vehicle is illegally parked. Colorado law only allows for the towing of a vehicle under the following conditions: 

  • When the towing is directed by a law enforcement officer; 
  • When the towing is requested by the owner, authorized operator, or authorized agent of the owner of the motor vehicle; 
  • or When the towing is requested by the property owner.

See section 6516 (Authorization for Towing of Motor Vehicles) of the Code of Colorado Regulations regarding rules for Towing Carriers

What does The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act say about maintenance responsibilities?

Section 38-33.3-307 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act states that “Except to the extent provided by the declaration...the association is responsible for maintenance, repair, and replacement of the common elements, and each unit owner is responsible for maintenance, repair, and replacement of such owner's unit.

Can an HOA prohibit the use of xeriscaping?

Section 38-33.3-106.5(1)(i)(I) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act states that an association may not prohibit the use of xeriscape or drought-tolerant vegetative landscapes to provide ground covering to the property for which a unit owner is responsible, including a limited common element or property owned by the unit owner. However, associations may adopt and enforce design or aesthetic guidelines or rules that require drought-tolerant vegetative landscapes or regulate the type, number, and placement of drought-tolerant plantings and hardscapes that may be installed on a unit owner's property.

Are there any rules regarding how a board or committee must approve an application for architectural or landscaping changes?

Section 38-33.3-302(3)(b) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act states that decisions concerning the approval or denial of a unit owner's application for architectural or landscaping changes must be made in accordance with standards and procedures set forth in the declaration or in duly adopted rules and regulations or bylaws of the association, and shall not be made arbitrarily or capriciously.

Why do I pay different amounts in assessments than my neighbors?

Section 38-33.3-315(2) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act requires every declaration to state what the formula is for allocating assessments. 

What are special assessments?

Generally, there are two types of assessments – regular (also known as “dues”) and special. Regular assessments are typically paid on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, while special assessments are usually less frequent and made on an as needed basis. Regular assessments go towards overall operational maintenance costs, while special assessments are typically made for a specific purpose, such as a repair, replacement, or new construction. Although The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act does not address any time periods in which the Board has to require the payment of a special assessment, your governing documents may. 

Is there a limit on how much an association can raise its dues?

The short answer is generally “no.” An HOA can typically raise dues as much as it needs to in order to meet its annual budget requirements. Any exception to this would be included in the association’s governing documents and usually listed as an annual cap on the amount a board may raise assessments from the previous years. You will need to review your association’s governing documents to determine if such a cap exists.

I’m in a dispute with my HOA over assessments and they’ve placed a lien on my home. Can they do that?

One of the most powerful tools available to HOAs in Colorado is the statutory lien. The statutory lien exists on any unit for any assessment levied against that unit or fines imposed against its unit owner. Interestingly, unless an association’s declaration provides otherwise, The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act describes the term “fines imposed” to include fees, charges, late charges, attorney fees, fines, and interest charged. The association has a super lien meaning it has priority over all other liens. Generally, liens have to be recorded to be perfected. However, in Colorado, the recording of an association’s declaration constitutes record notice and perfection of the lien. The association need not take any further recordation of any claim of lien for assessments for the lien to be valid. Interestingly, an association has six years from the time the full amount of assessments becomes due to institute enforcement actions. A lien for unpaid assessments is extinguished unless proceedings to enforce the lien are instituted within such time frame.

Are associations required to conduct audits of the association’s finances?

Section 38-33.3-303 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act only requires an audit at the discretion of the executive board or if an audit is requested by the owners of at least one-third of the units represented by the association. However, in order for a unit owner-requested audit to occur, the association must have annual revenues or expenditures of at least two hundred fifty thousand dollars 

Are there any rules on the commingling of association funds?

Section 38-33.3-306(3)(a)(II) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act states that if an association with thirty or more units delegates powers of the executive board or officers relating to collection, deposit, transfer, or disbursement of association funds to other persons or to a managing agent, the bylaws of the association must require that the other persons or managing agent maintain all funds and accounts of the association separate from the funds and accounts of other associations managed by the other persons or managing agent and maintain all reserve accounts of each association so managed separate from operational accounts of the association.

How must reserve funds be used?

Generally speaking, the use of reserve funds is at the discretion of the Board, unless governing documents require membership approval. 

Budget
Is there a process associations must follow in order to pass a budget?

All common interest communities (except those in which the declaration contains maximum assessment amounts or limits the increases in the annual budget) must follow the process set out in Section 38-33.3-303(4) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act, which requires that the association’s board of directors adopt the annual budget. Then, within 90 days after adoption of the proposed budget, the board must mail, or otherwise deliver (which may include posting on the association’s website), a summary of the budget to all owners and set a date for a meeting for the owners to consider the budget. The meeting must take place within a reasonable period of time after the mailing or delivery, and in accordance with the association’s bylaws. Notice of the meeting must be provided as required by the bylaws. Unless a majority of the owners veto the proposed budget (or such higher percentage as established in the Declaration), the proposed budget becomes the approved budget of the association.

For more detailed information on the The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act budget process, please see Association Budgeting - A Webinar from The HOA Information & Resource Center.

Can an association amend its budget?

Section 38-33.3-302(1)(b) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act gives an association the power to "Adopt and amend budgets for revenues, expenditures, and reserves and collect assessments for common expenses from unit owners"  [Emphasis added]

Sections 38-33.3-303(4)(a)(I) & 38-33.3-303(4)(a)(II)(A) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act  provide that within 90 days of the date the board adopts a budget, a summary is mailed to all owners and a meeting is called.  Unless a majority of all owners vetoes the budget, the budget is approved.  The declaration can require a higher percentage of owners to veto the budget.

Section 38-33.3-308(1) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act, regarding meetings, states that any meeting of the unit owners must be accompanied by a notice, which must state "the time and place of the meeting and the items on the agenda, including the general nature of any proposed amendment to the declaration or bylaws, any budget changes, and any proposal to remove an officer or member of the executive board." [Emphasis added]

Section 38-33.3-308(1) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act also discusses the procedure for calling a special meeting. While the HOA Center is unable to provide legal advice, and you should definitely follow up with legal counsel, it is likely that in order to amend an approved budget, the budget process would have to take place again, and a special meeting would need to be called to allow the membership an opportunity to veto the amended budget.

Is my HOA required to carry insurance?

Associations must maintain property insurance on the common elements for broad form covered causes of loss and commercial general liability insurance against claims and liabilities arising in connections with the ownership, existence, use or management of the common elements (see section 38-33.3-313 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act).

Are there any other insurance requirements for HOAs?

(Unit owner/employee controlling/disbursing funds)

If any unit owner or employee of an association with thirty or more units controls or disburses funds of the common interest community, the association must obtain and maintain, to the extent reasonably available, fidelity insurance. Coverage shall not be less than the aggregate of two months' current assessments plus reserves, as calculated from the current budget of the association (see section 38-33.3-313(10) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act).

(Community Association Manager Insurance)

Any person employed as an independent contractor by an association with thirty or more units for the purposes of managing a common interest community must obtain and maintain fidelity insurance in an amount not less than the aggregate of two months' current assessments plus reserves, as calculated from the current budget of the association, unless the association names such person as an insured employee in a contract of fidelity insurance, pursuant to subsection (10) of this section (see section 38-33.3-313(11) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act).

(Ability to carry greater coverage)

The association may carry fidelity insurance in amounts greater than required by The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act and may require any independent contractor employed for the purposes of managing a common interest community to carry more fidelity insurance coverage than required by The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (see section 38-33.3-313(12) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act).

(Insurance requirements in bylaws)

If an association with thirty or more units delegates powers of the executive board or officers relating to collection, deposit, transfer, or disbursement of association funds to other persons or to a managing agent, the bylaws of the association must require the other persons or managing agent maintain fidelity insurance coverage or a bond in an amount not less than fifty thousand dollars or such higher amount as the executive board may require (see section 38-33.3-306(3)(a) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act“

What is FHA condo certification? 

For condominium project approval or recertification, eligible projects must be complete and exist in full compliance with applicable state law requirements including good standing with the state, and with all other applicable laws and regulations. The condominium project also must meet the approval requirements established by HUD through the SF Handbook 4000.1, including insurance coverage, financial condition, nature of title, the existence of any pending legal action or physical property condition, and other factors that may affect the viability or marketability of the project or its units.

Is my HOA have to meet the requirements for FHA certification?

When it comes to determining the particular insurance needs of an HOA in Colorado, the declaration (CC&Rs) will usually contain specific provisions regarding the types and details for insurance which must be carried by the association. The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act requires communities formed after July 1, 1992, to purchase and maintain certain insurance policies “to the extent reasonably available.” However, the requirements in The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act do not require anything in relation to FHA requirements, which are separate and distinct and which HOAs are under no obligation to follow. For more information, please see the below articles.

Succinctly speaking, it is up to the individual HOA to determine whether or not to structure their insurance program so that it is in accordance with FHA guidelines. 

Who decides how much each unit in an HOA pays for common insurance?

Section 38-33.3-313(6) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act states that an association may adopt and establish written nondiscriminatory policies and procedures relating to the submission of claims, responsibility for deductibles, and any other matters of claims adjustment

How often should my HOA be holding membership meetings?

Section 38-33.3-308 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act requires that meetings of the unit owners, as the members of the association, be held at least once each year. 

Are there any notice requirements for membership meetings?

Notice of any meeting of the membership must be provided no less than ten and no more than fifty days in advance of such meeting. The notice must be physically posted in a conspicuous place, to the extent that such posting is feasible and practicable, in addition to any electronic posting or electronic mail notices. The notice must state the time and place of the meeting and the items on the agenda, including the general nature of any proposed amendment to the declaration or bylaws, any budget changes, and any proposal to remove an officer or member of the executive board.

How often must Board meetings take place?

The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act does not contain any frequency requirements for Board meetings, but your governing documents may.

Are there any notice requirements for board meetings?

The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act does not contain any notice requirements for Board meetings, but your governing documents may. 

Who is allowed to attend a regular or special meeting or committee meeting?

All regular and special meetings of the association's executive board, or any committee, must be open to attendance by all members of the association or their representatives. Agendas for meetings of the executive board shall be made reasonably available for examination by all members of the association or their representatives (The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act does not define “reasonably available”).

Notwithstanding any provision in the declaration, bylaws, or other documents to the contrary, all meetings of the board of directors are open to every unit owner of the association, or to any person designated by a unit owner in writing as the unit owner's Representative. 

Do association members have a right to participate at meetings?

At an appropriate time determined by the board, but before the board votes on an issue under discussion, unit owners or their designated representatives must be permitted to speak regarding that issue. The board may place reasonable time restrictions on persons speaking during the meeting. If more than one person desires to address an issue and there are opposing views, the board must provide for a reasonable number of persons to speak on each side of the issue.

What are “work sessions” and can a board or committee hold closed door work sessions?

While there are generally only three types of formal meetings, another form of conference commonly found in HOAs are working sessions. Although not specifically defined in CCIOA, work or study sessions of Executive Boards are not prohibited by it. However, they still must be in accordance with the community’s governing documents and policies. Since they are not considered meetings, due to the lack of actions or votes on community issues, unless otherwise stated in the governing documents, unit owners do not have a right to notice of the session or a right to participate and minutes are not required to be taken. 

What are proxies and how may they be used?

Proxies - Generally

Unless otherwise provided in the declaration, bylaws, or rules of the association, proxies may be appointed pursuant to the requirements of section 7-127-203 of The Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act, which allows for great latitude in the appointment of proxies and provides that an individual may appoint a proxy by: signing an appointment form; transmitting or authorizing the transmission of a telegram, teletype, or other electronic transmission providing a written statement of the appointment which shall include or be transmitted with written evidence from which it can be determined that the individual transmitted or authorized the transmission of the appointment. This is most commonly done in the form of an email appointment.

Proxies can be “general” or “directed.” General proxies simply appoint an individual to vote on an owner’s behalf and authorize such individual to vote as they deem appropriate on all issues. A directed proxy specifies and directs the proxy holder how they must vote on each issue

Proxies - Board Meetings

With respect to the use of proxies by directors in board meetings, section 7-127-205 of The Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act (“CRNCA”) provides that in the context of board meetings, for purposes of establishing a quorum and for voting, a proxy may only be used if: the use of proxies for director meetings is specifically authorized in the association’s bylaws; and the director has granted a signed written proxy to another director who is present at the director meeting; and the proxy provides  instruction regarding how to vote on specific items.  If the association’s bylaws are silent on the issue of the use of proxies by directors then proxies cannot be used at director meetings. In addition, if the proxy form does not indicate how the vote is to be cast on each specific matter (for or against) then the proxy cannot be used for purposes of voting on that specific issue.

What are special meetings?

Special meetings of the unit owners may be called by the president, by a majority of the executive board, or by unit owners having twenty percent, or any lower percentage specified in the bylaws, of the votes in the association. Special meetings may be used for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to removing directors, voting in new directors, or to discuss a particular issue or concern.

Can my HOA Hold Meetings Virtually?

In general, HOAs have the right to have remote meetings unless it is restricted in its governing documents. 

What is a quorum?

Oxford dictionary defines quorum as “the minimum number of members of an assembly that must be present at any of its meetings to make the proceedings of that meeting valid.”

What are the quorum requirements for my association?

Section §38-33.3-309 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act discusses the requirements regarding quorums. The specific requirements for quorum will first be found in the association’s governing documents. If the governing documents are silent on quorum requirements, a quorum is deemed present throughout any meeting of the association if persons entitled to cast twenty percent, or, in the case of an association with over one thousand unit owners, ten percent, of the votes which may be cast for election of the executive board are present, in person or by proxy at the beginning of the meeting. It is important to recognize that since The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act allows proxy votes to count as physically present, although a meeting may not appear to have enough bodies to amount to a quorum, if enough proxies have been executed, there still may be a quorum.

If the governing documents are silent on quorum requirements, a quorum is deemed present throughout any meeting of the executive board (which includes committees) if persons entitled to cast fifty percent of the votes on that board are present at the beginning of the meeting or have properly executed their proxy.

What is an executive session of the board?

The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act allows for closed-door sessions of the board under specific circumstances (see section 38-33.3-308(3) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act). The minutes of the meeting must state that an executive session was held and the general subject matter of the executive session.The specific circumstances under which entering an executive session would be appropriate are:

  • Matters pertaining to employees of the association or the managing agent’s contract or involving the employment, promotion, discipline, or dismissal of an officer, agent, or employee of the association;
  • Consultation with the association’s legal counsel regarding pending or imminent litigation or matters that are privileged or confidential between attorney and client;
  • Investigative proceedings concerning possible or actual criminal misconduct;
  • Matters subject to specific constitutional, statutory, or judicially imposed requirements protecting particular proceedings or matters from public disclosure;
  • Any matter the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of individual privacy;
  • Review of or discussion relating to any written or oral communication from legal counsel.

What are “working sessions” or “work groups?

While there are generally only three types of formal meetings, another form of conference commonly found in HOAs are working sessions or work groups. Although not specifically defined in The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act, work or study sessions of Executive Boards, or any committee thereof, are not prohibited by it. However, they still must be in accordance with the community’s governing documents and policies. Since they are not considered meetings, due to the lack of actions or votes on community issues, unless otherwise stated in the governing documents, unit owners do not have a right to notice of the session or a right to participate and minutes are not required to be taken.

When must an association use secret ballots?

Section 38-33.3-310 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act requires secret ballots be utilized at membership meetings under the following circumstances:

  • Secret ballots must be utilized for contested positions on your board of directors. Simply put, this means secret ballots must be used when there are more folks running for the board than there are open seats. The requirement does not apply if your governing documents provide for the election of directors through delegates who cast votes on behalf of a segment of the membership. 
  • Secret ballots may be used at the discretion of the board of directors. Some boards like to use secret ballots for every item which is voted upon at a membership meeting. This gives members the ability to cast their vote without any perceived pressure from the board or their neighbors.
  • Secret ballots must be utilized on any issue where 20% of the owners, present in person or by proxy at the meeting of the members, request use of a secret ballot on an issue. 

Once votes are cast at a membership meeting by secret ballot:

  • The ballots must be counted by a neutral 3rd party or a committee of volunteers;
  • If a committee of volunteers is utilized, the president of the board (or the individual presiding over the membership meeting) during the meeting should select members of the HOA to serve on the committee of volunteers. The volunteers cannot be members of the board or a candidate in a contested election for a position on the board.

Am I allowed to record a meeting in my association?

One of the mandatory responsible governance policies required by The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act is a "conduct of meetings policy". That policy should address whether the recording of meetings is permitted, and if so, to what extent. 

What are meeting minutes?

Meeting minutes are notes that are recorded during a meeting. They highlight the key issues that are discussed, motions proposed or voted on, and activities to be undertaken. The minutes of a meeting are usually taken by the board secretary or community association manager. Their task is to provide an accurate record of what transpired during the meeting.

Are there any rules regarding how minutes should be taken or what information they should contain?

Section 38-33.3-317(1)(c) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act states that the association must keep, as permanent records: minutes of all meetings of the unit owners and executive board; a record of all actions taken by the unit owners or executive board without a meeting; and, a record of all actions taken by any committee of the executive board. The only section of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act which speaks to the contents of minutes is section 38-33.3-308(7) which states that minutes of all meetings at which an executive session was held shall indicate that an executive session was held and the general subject matter of the executive session.

What is a covenant enforcement policy?

Section 38-33.3-209.5(1)(b)(IV) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act requires all associations to adopt policies, procedures, and rules and regulations concerning the enforcement of covenants and rules, including notice and hearing procedures and the schedule of fines. 

Can my association fine me?

Section 38-33.3-209.5(2) states that an association may not fine any unit owner for an alleged violation unless the association has adopted, and follows, a written policy governing the imposition of fines. This policy must include a fair and impartial fact-finding process concerning whether the alleged violation actually occurred; and, whether the unit owner is the one who should be held responsible for the violation. This process may be informal but must, at a minimum, guarantee the unit owner notice of the alleged violation and an opportunity to be heard before an impartial decision-maker. 

What is an “impartial decision-maker"?

“Impartial decision-maker" means a person or group of persons who have the authority to make a decision regarding the enforcement of an association's covenants, conditions, and restrictions, including its architectural requirements, and the other rules and regulations of the association and do not have any direct personal or financial interest in the outcome. A decision-maker shall not be deemed to have a direct personal or financial interest in the outcome if the decision-maker will not, as a result of the outcome, receive any greater benefit or detriment than will the general membership of the association.

Can associations charge interest on past due amounts?

Associations may charge interest on past due amounts. Section 38-33.3-315 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act states that interest on delinquent assessments is capped at 21% per year.

Is there a limit on the interest an association may charge?

First, look at your governing documents regarding what rate your association may charge you for delinquent assessments (including fines and fees). If your governing documents do not address a limit on the amount of interest that can be charged, section 38-33.3-315(2) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act provides a limit of no more than 21% per year. Pre-The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act communities may charge a rate higher than 21%, but may not exceed an amount that Colorado law considers “usurious”, which is any interest higher than 45%.

Is there a way to remove a board member from office other than voting them out?

Section 38-33.3-303(8) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act discusses the process for removing Board members. It states that "Notwithstanding any provision of the declaration or bylaws to the contrary, the unit owners, by a vote of sixty-seven percent of all persons present and entitled to vote at any meeting of the unit owners at which a quorum is present, may remove any member of the executive board with or without cause, other than a member appointed by the declarant or a member elected pursuant to a class vote under section 38-33.3-207(4)."  

What are the powers of the board of directors?

Generally, board members have the authority to do the following:

  • Enter into contracts on behalf of the association with various vendors;
  • Control the maintenance of common areas, which includes the right to decide on how the common areas will be maintained, when they will be maintained, and who will perform any service on them;
  • Initiate legal action on behalf of the association;
  • Control the maintenance of unit exteriors (generally in condos and townhomes);
  • Enter into management agreements with management companies with or without input from the membership;
  • Obtain insurance for the benefit of the community, including property and liability policies, as well as directors’ and officers’ liability policies;
  • Enforce covenants and rules, including imposition of fines and initiation of legal action in accordance with its covenant enforcement policy;
  • Adopt budgets for presentation to owners for ratification;
  • Collect delinquent assessments and impose late fees in accordance with the association’s collection policy;
  • Adopt rules and regulations governing use of common areas, and to a certain extent, of the units within the association (i.e. rental and leasing restrictions);
  • Grant easements and licenses over common area, and;
  • Create and disband committees and appoint committee members;

Can a board take out a loan on behalf of the association?

Most covenants allow for the board of directors to borrow money and incur debt on behalf of the association. This power is also explicitly granted in Section 7-123-102 of the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act. Additionally, the Common Interest Ownership Act (The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act) allows for associations to pledge their future assessments as collateral or subject the common areas to a security interest. Section 38-33.3-312 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act requires approval of 67% of the membership before subjecting the common areas to a security interest. Depending on the association’s governing documents, it may also be necessary to obtain membership approval before pledging future assessments.

Is an association’s board allowed to take action without a meeting?

While the Non-Profit Corporation Act, and many community Bylaws, permit actions without meeting, The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act grants to unit owners the right to speak on an issue before the Board votes on that issue [38-33.3-308(2.5)(b)]. You should consult with legal counsel to ensure that you are not inadvertently preventing interested owners from speaking on an issue before the Board, by making electronic decisions.

What are my association’s responsibilities with regard to conflicts of interest?

In addition to section 38-33.3-310.5 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (which substantially adopts section 7-128-501 of the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act) section 38-33.3-209.5 (responsible governance policies) states that the required policy regarding how to handle conflicts of interest involving board members must, at a minimum, define or describe the circumstances under which a conflict of interest exists; set forth procedures to follow when a conflict of interest exists, including how, and to whom, the conflict of interest must be disclosed and whether a board member must recuse himself or herself from discussing or voting on the issue; and, provide for the periodic review of the association's conflict of interest policies, procedures, and rules and regulations.

Section 7-128-501 of the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act defines a conflicting interest transaction to mean "A contract, transaction, or other financial relationship between a nonprofit corporation and a director of the nonprofit corporation, or between the nonprofit corporation and a party related to a director, or between the nonprofit corporation and an entity in which a director of the nonprofit corporation is a director or officer or has a financial interest."n which a director of the nonprofit corporation is a director or officer or has a financial interest."

Can an HOA regulate the display of political signs?

Section 38-33.3-106.5 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act addresses political signs in HOAs. It states that an association shall not prohibit the display of a political sign by the owner or occupant of a unit on property within the boundaries of the unit or in a window of the unit. However, the association may 1) prohibit the display of political signs earlier than forty-five days before the day of an election and later than seven days after an election day; and, 2) regulate the size and number of political signs.

An association must allow at least one political sign per political office or ballot issue that is contested in a pending election. The maximum dimensions of each sign may be limited to the lesser of the following: 1) The maximum size allowed by any applicable city, town, or county ordinance that regulates the size of political signs on residential property; or 2) Thirty-six inches by forty-eight inches. 

The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act defines "political sign" as meaning “a sign that carries a message intended to influence the outcome of an election, including supporting or opposing the election of a candidate, the recall of a public official, or the passage of a ballot issue.”

If one or multiple board members has information that other board members do not, is there a duty to share that information? 

Section 38-33.3-303(1)(b) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act discusses the dissemination of information to all Board members. It states that “Notwithstanding any provision of the declaration or bylaws to the contrary, all members of the executive board shall have available to them all information related to the responsibilities and operation of the association obtained by any other member of the executive board.  This information shall include, but is not necessarily limited to, reports of detailed monthly expenditures, contracts to which the association is a party, and copies of communications, reports and opinions to and from any member of the executive board or managing agent, attorney, or accountant employed or engaged by the executives board to whom the executive board delegates responsibilities under this article.”  

Are board members allowed to be compensated?

Previously, during the period of Community Association Manager regulation in Colorado (2015-2019), anyone seeking to receive compensation for the performance of certain duties related to community association management was required to first obtain a Community Association Manager license. However, on May 31, 2019, Governor Polis vetoed HB19-1212, and the CAM Program expired on June 30, 2019. Therefore, there is currently no regulatory oversight of HOAs or Community Association Managers and no state law preventing the compensation of board members.

However, there are some considerations that should be evaluated before compensating board members. Although the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Act allows a corporation to compensate its board of directors, an association's governing documents must allow for compensation. Be sure to review your governing documents, as many association declarations call for a volunteer board but also allow reimbursement for related expenses.

Additionally, you should consult with your association's attorney and insurance agent before compensating any board members, as there may be insurance concerns. Finally, be sure to discuss with your attorney how compensated board members may be treated under the business judgment rule if litigation surrounding a decision by the board is ever instituted. You should also discuss with your attorney section 7-129-107 of the Nonprofit Act, which covers the indemnification of board members.

Are there any required qualifications for board members?

Section 7-128-102 of the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act speaks to the  qualifications of directors. It states that a director shall be an individual; that the bylaws may prescribe other qualifications for directors and that a director need not be a resident of this state or a member of the nonprofit corporation unless the bylaws so prescribe.

The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act does not specify qualifications for board members. Rather, the governing documents of an association will typically specify the qualifications for board members.  Generally, most documents require board members to be owners within the community.  Additionally, some documents may require board members to be in good standing, meaning they are current in their payment of assessments, and otherwise in compliance with the association’s governing documents.

Are individual board members personally liable for decisions made as a board member?

Section 38-33.3-303(2)(b) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act states that, if not appointed by the declarant, no board member may be liable for actions taken or omissions made in the performance of such board member's duties, except for wanton and willful acts or omissions.

Do board members have any term limits?

The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act does not contain any limits on the terms of board members. Many HOAs are organized as Non-Profit Corporations. As such, Section 7-128-105 of the Non-Profit Act states that the association's bylaws may state the terms of directors and in the absence of any term stated in the bylaws, the term of each director shall be one year. Unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, directors may be elected for successive terms

Can my HOA prohibit short-term rentals?

Generally speaking, HOAs may enforce use restrictions, including restrictions on leasing.

Does my HOA need to register with the HOA Information & Resource Center?

All HOAs in Colorado must register with the Division of Real Estate and renew on a yearly basis. In short, this allows them to enforce assessments and CC&Rs (for more detailed information on HOA registration, please see section 38-33.3-401 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act). Unfortunately, the Division does not have jurisdiction to enforce the registration requirement. 

There may be legal ramifications to not registering, as such, if you have any questions regarding what your association may or may not do during a period of non-registration, please contact a qualified community association attorney for legal assistance. 

Please visit the Division of Real Estate’s HOA Registration Services page for more information on how to register your HOA.

General Registration Information

HOAs in Colorado must register with the Division of Real Estate and renew on a yearly basis. In short, this allows them to enforce assessments and CC&Rs (for more detailed information on HOA registration, please see section 38-33.3-401 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act - attached for your convenience). 

Below is a link to the website where the registration may be renewed. If you or anyone else in your community is having difficulty renewing the registration, please reach out to the HOA Office's Program Assistant, Amanda Lopez (amanda.lopez@state.co.us; 303-894-2154). Prior to calling our office, please have your HOA's Secretary of State ID number available for validation purposes (you may search your HOA here for the ID number). 

Division of Real Estate - HOA Registration Services  

When registering your HOA for the first time, you will need the following information ready:

  • Name and Contact Information for the HOA's designated agent (DA)
  • Certificate of Good Standing from the Colorado Secretary of State (CSOS)
  • CSOS ID number from the above certificate
  • Physical location and number of units for the HOA
  • Relevant The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act Information
  • Total Revenue for the HOA
  • HOA Declaration Information

If you would like to keep up to date with your association's registration status, you may use this link to search the Division's registration database. Division of Real Estate Licensee Lookup (use the "Business Name/DBA" search field)

New Designated Agent ("DA")

You will need to log into your HOA's account to remove the previous Designated Agent. Then, whoever will be responsible for reinstating your HOA’s registration and subsequent renewals will need to create a separate Designated Agent account, which can then be added to your HOA's account. 

New DA & HOA Registration

You will need to first create an individual account profile for the individual who will be the Designated Agent, and then register that individual as the Designated Agent. Next, you will need to create a business account profile for the HOA and then register the HOA. There is no fee to register the Designated Agent, but there is a $30 fee to register the HOA if it collects annual revenues of over $5,000. 

To create the Designated Agent account profile and registration, first visit eLicense - The Colorado Division of Real Estate's Online Services. Next, click where it says "Don't have an account? Register" under the blue "Log In" button. Next, select "Individual" and "No" and click the blue "Next" button. Next, create a username in the User ID field, and complete the rest of the forms, including select "Secret Questions" and providing the answers, and then click the blue "Create Account" button.  Once the account has been set up, you will see a pop-up message stating that there is an issue with the account and your email address must be verified. Please go to the inbox for the email address you provided and look for an email from us with a link to verify your email. 

After email verification, click on the Homepage in your new individual account. Click on "Create/Continue Application for NEW License". Select Homeowners Association on the list of license applications and then select Designated Agent. Verify that you are applying for the correct license (Read message popup: This is not the application to register an HOA). Select Start, and answer all questions that have an asterisk beside it. There is no fee for Designated Agent registration, and a license number will be assigned to you after the transaction is complete. Once you are a Designated Agent, you may be a Designated Agent for any HOA.

Now you must register the HOA. You will need the following information: 

  • Name and address of the association; 
  • Secretary of State entity number and date of incorporation, type of entity (i.e. corporation); 
  • Type of community(i.e. condo, planned development or cooperative); 
  • Designated Agent name, address ph# and email address; and,
  • If annual dues collected are more or less than $5000.

For a detailed slideshow detailing the remainder of the process to register an HOA, please CLICK HERE. (please note - the video will begin at the time index in which the HOA registration process begins. You are welcome to restart the video if you would like to view the DA registration process as well.  

If, after reviewing all of the above information you still have any questions, please reach out to our Program Assistant Amanda Lopez (amanda.lopez@state.co.us; 303-894-2154).

Does the Division provide a Community Association Manager Referral List?

Although the Division does not provide any referral lists, you may want to contact these community association manager trade organizations for information: Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Community Association Institute and CAI Southern Colorado Chapter.

I don’t like my association’s community association manager - what can I do about it?

Section 38-33.3-302(4)(a) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act states that the association's contract with a managing agent shall be terminable for cause without penalty to the association. Additionally, section 38-33.3-302(1)(c) states that the power of a unit owners' association includes the ability to hire and terminate managing agents. As the decision-making representatives for the unit owners’ association, your association’s board will have to make the decision to terminate the management company. You should attend member and board meetings and, when appropriate, make your argument to the board. 

What is the best way to go about addressing a clear violation of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act or my governing documents by my board?

First, contact your board or management company in writing, addressing the issue, and pointing to specific sections of your governing documents and/or The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act which support your position. If that is unsuccessful, try contacting them again, in writing, but this time via certified mail with a return receipt requested. This will ensure someone will have to sign for your correspondence and may escalate the issue to their attention. If that is unsuccessful, try asking your board and/or management company to engage in alternative dispute resolution. This typically involves mediation. The Colorado Judicial Branch's Office of Dispute Resolution offers affordable access to qualified mediators and has several professionals that specialize in issues related to Common Interest Communities. If alternative dispute resolution is unsuccessful, your last resort would be to contact an attorney and file suit in court. 

What is a nuisance and what can I do about them?

In Colorado, a nuisance has been defined in the courts as an “unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of property.” If you believe that you are experiencing a nuisance, the first and most practical step to take would be to address the issue with the appropriate party. Depending on what the nuisance is, this may involve a call to law enforcement for a noise complaint, a casual conversation with a neighbor about a barking dog, or it may be a formal complaint to the association. Whatever the nuisance and whomever the appropriate party, the best method of initially dealing with a perceived nuisance is courteous correspondence. Remember the old adage - “you get more bees with honey”. 

For more information on nuisances, see the Division’s article “What is a Nuisance and What Can You Do About Them?”

I’m in a dispute with my HOA over assessments and they’ve placed a lien on my home. Can they do that?

One of the most powerful tools available to HOAs in Colorado is the statutory lien. The statutory lien exists on any unit for any assessment levied against that unit or fines imposed against its unit owner. Interestingly, unless an association’s declaration provides otherwise, The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act describes the term “fines imposed” to include fees, charges, late charges, attorney fees, fines, and interest charged. The association has a super lien meaning it has priority over all other liens. Generally, liens have to be recorded to be perfected. However, in Colorado, the recording of an association’s declaration constitutes record notice and perfection of the lien. The association need not take any further recordation of any claim of lien for assessments for the lien to be valid. Interestingly, an association has six years from the time the full amount of assessments becomes due to institute enforcement actions. A lien for unpaid assessments is extinguished unless proceedings to enforce the lien are instituted within such time frame.

 

What are the rules about pools during the pandemic?

Thank you for your email. While the Division of Real Estate does not promulgate any rules or restrictions regarding the use of association pools, you may find more information here: the Governor's Safer at Home Order (view by clicking here) or CDPHE's Health Order 20-28 (view by clicking here).

Has the Requirement to Hold an Annual Association Meeting Been Suspended Due to the Pandemic?

There has not been any amendments to The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act regarding COVID-19 or postponement of the requirement that HOAs hold an annual association meeting (see section 38-33.3-308). Please see https://covid19.colorado.gov for more information regarding COVID-19.

Can my HOA Hold Meetings Virtually?

In general, HOAs have the right to have remote meetings unless it is restricted in their governing documents.

What are the powers of the members of an association?

Generally, association members have the authority to do the following:

  • Elect a board of directors;
  • Remove of the board of directors (see section 38-33.3-303(8) of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act);
  • Approve amendments to governing documents (details are usually found in governing documents);
  • Approve/ratify special assessments (details are usually found in governing documents);
  • Approve/ratify budgets (details are usually found in governing documents); and

Approval of the sale/transfer of common areas (details are usually found in governing documents);

Is there a difference between a Property Owners Association and a Homeowners Association?

POAs and HOAs are essentially the same when it comes to classification as a "common interest community". The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act defines a common interest community as "real estate described in a declaration with respect to which a person, by virtue of such person's ownership of a unit, is obligated to pay for real estate taxes, insurance premiums, maintenance, or improvement of other real estate described in a declaration." 

No one in my HOA wants to run for the board and soon we’ll be left with no board members. What can be done?

Either the management company (if the association is professionally managed) or volunteer members of the association would need to solicit candidates for board membership, then schedule and hold elections. If there is no management company, no volunteer members of the association, or no willing candidates for board membership, then the association would simply go inactive. Generally, this means covenants ceased to be enforced and any services provided will cease to be provided. However, you should contact an attorney regarding the legal consequences of your particular association going inactive, as individual members may be able to enforce covenants via court action. 

If I hire an attorney, will the HOA pay my legal costs?

Section 38-33.3-123 of The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act provides for attorney fees for prevailing parties.   

You should discuss the above section with your attorney if you decide to enforce your rights under The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act.  

 Where may I find previous Annual Reports by the HOA Information and Recourse Center?

What are special districts?

Special districts in Colorado are local governments, i.e., political subdivisions of the state, which make up a third level of government in the United States (the federal and state governments are the other two levels). Local governments include counties, municipalities (cities and towns), school districts, and other types of government entities such as "authorities" and "special districts."

Colorado law limits the types of services that county governments can provide to residents. Districts are created to fill the gaps that may exist in the services counties provide and the services the residents may desire. The majority of districts draw their boundaries in unincorporated county land, but residents of a municipality may be included in one or more districts.

For more information on Special Districts, please contact the Dept. of Local Affairs at 303-864-7720 or visit them on the web at https://cdola.colorado.gov/local-government.

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