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New Bills In Colorado Aim To Reign In Powerful HOAs

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado lawmakers are considering a new round of bills that could reign in homeowners associations.

On Wednesday Republicans and Democrats at the state Capitol joined forces to announce a package of bills that they say will protect consumers from their HOAs.

One bill would establish standards by which an HOA can collect past dues and delinquent measures. Aaron Acker runs the HOA Information Office. Last year the office got 576 complaints from 309 homeowners — many of which were about harsh repercussions for falling behind on dues.

Lyn Cromar told CBS4 last year how her HOA fined her $1,400.

“That’s when we decided to hire an attorney,” Cromar said.

Her only option was court.

Another bill would require property managers be licensed through the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). That will come with a cost that opponents say could end up in dues.

Lawmakers want to expand the HOA Information Office and one bill calls for a study of how to settle conflicts between HOAs and homeowners.

“When there is accountability and people can go to a DORA or someplace out of court to resolve their disputes, the disputes will start going away,” said Stan Hrincevick, who heads Colorado HOA Forum, a homeowners advocacy group.

The last piece of legislation would protect homeowners as they conserve water during the drought. HOAs would not be allowed to fine for xeriscaping or not watering. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora.

“Colorado is in the midst of the worst drought since 1977,” Fields said.

Lawmakers say the measures are a long time coming.

“We have had constituents of every type come to us with concerns that their HOAs have put on them special assessments that they cannot afford,” said Sen. David Balmer, R-Centennial.

“I do believe that each step brings us closer to being able to provide the protections that our homeowners want and need,” said Rep. Su Ryden, D-Aurora.

Some homeowners believe the legislation does not go far enough.

LINKS: HOA Information Office (DORA)Colorado HOA Forum

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