Homeowner Associations (Colorado Attorney General’s Web Site)
Homeowner associations in Colorado are governed by the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act, §§ 38-33.3-101 through 319, C.R.S. (“CCIOA”). Common interest communities may include condominium developments, cooperatives, planned communities, or some combination of all of these. With a few exceptions, such as for small planned communities with less than ten units and new planned communities with relatively small annual assessments set in their declarations (less than $400 as adjusted by annual Consumer Price Index), this Act applies to all common interest communities created in Colorado on or after July 1, 1992.
PLEASE NOTE – Some condominium developments may also be subject to the Colorado Condominium Ownership Act (§§ 38-33-101 through 113, C.R.S.) to the extent not superceded by the CCIOA.
Homeowner associations are given significant authority under CCIOA, including but not limited to, the following:
Adopt and amend budgets for revenues, expenditures, and reserves and collect assessments for common expenses from unit owners;
Hire and terminate managing agents and other employees, agents, and independent contractors;
Institute, defend, or intervene in litigation or administrative proceedings in its own name on behalf of itself or two or more unit owners on matters affecting the common interest community;
Regulate the use, maintenance, repair, replacement, and modification of common elements;
Impose and receive any payments, fees, or charges for the use, rental, or operation of the common elements (except for certain limited common elements); and
Impose charges for late payment of assessments, recover reasonable attorney fees and other legal costs for collection of assessments and other actions to enforce the power of the association, regardless of whether or not suit was initiated, and, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, levy reasonable fines for violations of the declaration, bylaws, and rules and regulations of the association.
Unit owners have a right to receive from the association a written summary of any proposed budget (which must be done at least annually) within ninety days after its adoption by the executive board of the association. The association must give unit owners notice of a meeting to consider the budget. Unless provided otherwise in the declaration of the common interest community, the proposed budget will be deemed approved at the noticed meeting in the absence of a veto.
The association is required to keep financial records sufficiently detailed to enable it to comply with law concerning statements of unpaid assessments. All financial and other records must be made reasonably available for examination and copying by any unit owner and such owner's authorized agents.
Recent Amendments to CCIOA
During its 2005 legislative term, the Colorado General Assembly established some new protections for homeowners in a common interest community. Effective immediately, an association may not prohibit:
The display of the American flag by a unit owner on that unit owner’s property, in a window of the unit owner’s residence, or on a balcony adjoining the unit owner’s property – although the association may regulate the location and size of flags and flagpoles.
The display by a unit owner of a service flag bearing a star denoting the service of the unit owner or a member of the unit owner’s immediate family in the active or reserve military service of the United States during a time of war or armed conflict.
The display of a political sign by a unit owner on that unit owner’s property or in a window of the unit owner’s residence. An association may prohibit the display of political signs earlier than forty-five days before an election and later than seven days after an election and may regulate the size and number of political signs that may be placed on a unit owner’s property.
The parking of a motor vehicle on a street, driveway, or guest parking area if the vehicle is required to be available at designated periods at the unit owner’s residence if the residence is a bona fide member of a voluntary fire department or is employed by an emergency service provider and the vehicle has a gross weight rating of less than ten thousand pounds and bears an official emblem of the emergency service provider.
The removal by the unit owner of trees, shrubs, or other vegetation to create defensible space around a dwelling for fire mitigation purposes.
The replacement by a unit owner of cedar shakes or other flammable roofing material with nonflammable roofing materials for fire prevention and suppression purposes.
If you are selling your residence in a common interest community, please be aware that, beginning January 1, 2006, Colorado law will require you to provide to the buyer of your residence a number of specific documents relating to the common interest community and the homeowner association. You will also be required to provide the buyer with a disclosure statement acknowledging delivery of such documents and advising the buyer of certain obligations to pay assessments and to seek architectural review before making changes to the exterior of the residence.