If you recently sold your home in an HOA and paid an HOA Transfer Fee or Status Letter charge the Colorado HOA Forum wants to know. The fee is charged to HOA home owners, condominium and time share owners, and mobile home park residents on the sale of their homes. The fee is NOT assessed, retained, or amount determined by the HOA but by the property management company (PM). Home owners are normally first apprised of the fee at home closing, provided no receipt or justification, amounts range from zero to over $1,000 with no relationship to work performed, and if you don't pay the fee your home sale will be stalled. The fee is not required by law or to be part of the home closing. These fees cost Colorado HOA home owners upwards of $10 million a year.
The fee is assessed illegally! SB 11-234 makes the transfer fee illegal unless it pertains to extraordinary costs incurred by a PM in the sale of the home. The transfer fee is "supposedly" charged to reimburse PM's for costs in producing a final home owner's "status of financial standing" with the HOA. Note, this is mostly no more than a final billing that is computer generated taking all of five minutes i.e. routine work. Any justified status letter/transfer fee charges should not include services already paid via HOA dues including producing a statement as to financial obligations of the home owner with the HOA, researching any liens on the property, inspection of the property's condition, producing copies of official HOA documents (that are normally free upon request or involve only a minor fee by the HOA), or for administrative costs such as changing names in records, issuing new card keys or gate remote controls, or updating billing systems (this is all routine, paid for with HOA dues and no different than work required when residents marry, divorce, upon a death that don't result in additional charges to the home owner). Thus, any transfer fee/status letter charge should be fully documented, involve only extraordinary and unreimbursed costs incurred by the PM, and not involve any charges for work already paid for by the home owner with HOA dues.
The new HOA property manager licensing law also precludes PM's from duplicative billing for services, unreasonable and excessive billing for services, and not fully disclosing and documenting work performed. PM's in non-compliance can have their licenses revoked. Additionally, transfer fees as discussed in this article are not allowed when they involve an FHA/HUD loan.
The Colorado HOA Forum wants to hear from anyone who sold their home in an HOA and paid a transfer fee or status letter charge. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org . Home owners may be eligible for a refund in part or in full as part of an individual claim or class action suit.