Every homeowners association in Colorado must be aware of the different state laws that govern them. Failure to abide by the Colorado HOA laws can result in legal problems.
To form a common interest community in Colorado, Colorado Revised Statutes Section 38-33.3-201 requires the execution of the following:
There are two Acts that govern common interest communities in Colorado.
The first is the Colorado Condominium Ownership Act, which is designed to oversee the creation, management, authority, and operation of associations established before July 1, 1992. You can find this Act within the Colorado Revised Statutes Sections 38-33-101 through 38-33-113.
The second is the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA), which oversees the creation, management, authority, and operation of all associations notwithstanding the date of creation. However, it is worth noting that some sections in this Act only apply to associations established after July 1, 1992. According to Section 38-33.3-118 of this Act, associations can elect to be bound by the CCIOA provided they meet the requirements.
You can find this Act within the Colorado Revised Statutes Sections 38-33.3-101 through 38-33.3-402.
The Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act governs the corporate procedure and structure of associations created as a nonprofit. You can find the Act within the Colorado Revised Statutes Articles 121 to 137.
Homeowners associations can place restrictions on how residents use and alter their individual properties. However, there are some things that Colorado law forbids associations to do.
If a homeowner fails to pay their dues or assessments, HOAs must first provide a written notice to the delinquent owner prior to handing over the account to a collections agency or attorney. According to Colo. Rev. Stat. Section 38-33.3-209.5, the notice must include the total amount due, instructions for how to remedy the delinquency, and a warning that the owner has 30 days to remedy the problem before the association takes further action, among other things.
According to Colo. Rev. Stat. Section 38-33.3-316.3, associations should also give delinquent homeowners a chance to enter into a payment plan. But, if the owner has previously entered into a similar plan, then the association is not mandated to offer it again.
The state of Colorado has its own Fair Debt Collection law. Under this law, debt collectors can’t use deceptive, abusive, or unfair practices in their effort to collect a debt. The law works similarly to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
If a homeowner feels that they have fallen victim to illegal collection practices, they can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, or Colorado’s Attorney General. Alternatively, they can sue the debt collector in federal or state court. But, they must do so within a year from the date the violation occurred.
In many states, homeowners associations can attach a lien on a delinquent owner’s property and then subsequently foreclose on that lien. But, in Colorado, Section 38-33.3-316 stipulates that HOAs may only initiate foreclosure if the total unpaid amount equals at least six months’ worth of dues or assessments. Furthermore, the HOA board must hold a vote on the foreclosure and may only proceed if a majority of the board approves.
According to Fair Housing laws in Colorado, homeowners associations can’t discriminate against persons based on their color, race, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, religion, creed, retaliation, familial status, marital status, or disability. Moreover, familial status also extends to pregnant women and families with kids under 18 years old.
Additionally, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-34-601 forbids discrimination in places of public accommodations based on disability, whether direct or indirect. The section works similarly to the Americans with Disabilities Act.