Sunday, May 17, 2015

Colorado HOA Manager Licensing Program Flawed

HOA Exam Difficulty Related to DORA Incompetence
Exams based on educational requirements would not have this failure rate.  The educational courses promoted on the DORA web site and in State licensing legislation, HB 1277, have never been reviewed for content and relevance to the State exam. In fact the courses offered by the Community Association Institute (CAI), that represents the property management industry and makes a lucrative business by selling educational courses, got DORA and State legislatures to promote their courses (highly inappropriate) even before the final rules of conduct, requirements, and test exams were completed.  Property manager candidates believe endorsement indicated the proper study material.  Further, DORA has never completed an official review of CAI courses (that most candidates purchase to fulfill their educational requirements and acquire exam related knowledge) to ensure new HOA laws are even included in CAI material.
In our most recent legislative session a few legislators put together a successful Bill, HB 1343, to supposedly "streamline" and fix" the licensing process even though no known problems have been reported and no experience officially existed in the program (it is not effective until July 1, 2015).  The Bill was created with direct involvement of the CAI and DORA and once again it promoted only CAI courses that have never been officially approved for Colorado State testing relevance, it included licensing exemptions for executive types that surely need the training, and didn't "streamline or fix" any known problems officially reported by DORA with the educational courses or testing program. 
The actions by DORA and our legislators have resulted in property managers spending their time and money taking courses that doom them to failure in the exam and will drive many out of business.  The program has turned more into a fees collection and test taking initiative than a law about consumer protection and promoting competency and accountability in the industry.  Until DORA completes an official review and approval of course material that ensures educational material is relevant to testing the licensing program should be put on hold.   

Friday, May 1, 2015

HOA Group Continues to Block HOA Legislative Reform

The name sounds HOA home owner friendly but the organization has nothing to do with representing home owner interests:  just the opposite.  The Community Association Institute (CAI), the trade group for property managers and HOA legal interests, has thwarted HOA legislative reform for decades.  They have obstructed legislative efforts to promote enforcement of HOA home owner’s rights as stated in State law and HOA governing documents while getting legislation passed to promote their financial interests and ensure continuation of abusive, unjustified, and illegal fees on HOA home owners.  To say this another way, our legislators have allowed this group to write, modify, and suggest HOA legislation that has been detrimental to home owners.
Recently the CAI led efforts to kill legislation that would have saved home owners nearly $10 million in abusive and unjustified HOA Transfer Fees; this legislative session successfully blocked legislation that would require home owner approval on the use of HOA funds in litigation;  don’t support an out of court, affordable and accessible binding dispute resolution process for most HOA complaints;  got legislation passed to promote the sale of their costly educational courses and gained exemptions from State testing mandates for those that purchased and completed their courses; didn’t support reduced financial and educational requirements for the smallest of HOAs (20 or less units) to relieve them of costly licensing requirements; and opposed requiring full disclosure and justification of fees assessed home owners by property managers in the licensing rules.
Until our legislators place a priority on and listen to HOA home owners who make up over half of Colorado’s population vs the CAI financial interests the complaints to the State’s HOA Office will continue and home owners will be vulnerable to abusive and costly practices.