Monday, January 19, 2015

HB 15-1040 Would Remove Protections under Property Manager Licensing

A Bill, HB 15-1040, was introduced for legislative consideration and could have the affect of derailing HOA home owner protections from abusive practices in the property management industry.  The Colorado HOA Forum has reviewed the Bill in its' original form and we urge legislators vote against it.  The Bill would effectively reduce the number of HOA property managers (aka Community Association Manager (CAM)) required to be licensed by about 80% thus nullifying HB 13-1277 (the CAM Licensing Bill).  HB 15-1040 would require only those  CAMs in HOAs with 200 or more homes to be licensed.  Thus approximately over 7,700 of the 9,600 registered HOAs would be exempt from their CAM being licensed and allowing the CAM to operate without any oversight, guidelines, and with little accountability: the very problems that prompted licensing. 
Licensing was implemented to provide oversight and prevent abusive practices in the CAM industry in ALL HOAs and improve the skills and credentials of ALL CAMs.  There is no relationship between the size of an HOA and vulnerability to abuse.  In fact the opposite may be true as smaller HOAs more heavily rely on the CAM for all facets of asset and financial management  The reasons prompting this Bill have not been mentioned but surely won't be corrected by simply excluding smaller HOAs which is an arbitrary solution to an undefined problem in the licensing law.  As with any law there can be improvements when it causes unintended problems.  Minor changes to the law may be needed as we suggest below but NO consideration should be given to excluding CAMs from operating rules and guidelines simply because they manage a small HOA, 
A very important feature of the licensing law is that it provides for HOAs and home owners in small and large communities with an out of court dispute resolution process that otherwise requires complaints to be resolved in our costly, time consuming, and litigious court system.  The out of court dispute resolution saves HOAs and home owners on legal costs and allows an affordable and accessible venue for home owner and HOA problem resolution.  This right should be afforded to ALL HOAs but this Bill would exclude this process to home owners in smaller HOAs.
Smaller HOAs deserve the same protections afforded to those in larger HOAs and this Bill would do the oppositeThe educational requirements, cost to acquire a license, and/or type of license for those serving small HOAs (under 50 homes) might be revisited with just cause based on experience with the law but under no circumstances should CAMs serving smaller communities be allowed to operate outside of and not accountable under the CAM licensing law.

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