Thursday, October 15, 2015

Denver's Construction Defects Ordinance: make it simple

State construction defects legislative reform has failed so localities do it themselves.  Now it's Denver's turn. The goal for developers is to cut down on the number of and frivolous lawsuits.  However, this always comes with too many caveats at the expense of home owner's rights.  Home owner's (not represented in the debate) would like to be empowered on the use of their funds in litigation.  Too often costly HOA litigation is pursued by HOA Boards and their lawyers without the knowledge or approval of home owners and can result in draining HOA reserve funds and special assessments.  A simple, compromise law that would serve both interests groups can be crafted by State legislators and integrated into State HOA law.  It is no more complicated than this:  All HOA litigation, other than for routine and administrative matters, funded with HOA resources and/or debt instruments requires a majority vote of approval by home owners.  Supplement this by requiring that prior to any vote home owners be made aware of the proposed law suit, its' purpose, total cost and funding sources, and the consequences in the event of an unfavorable decision.  This simple amendment to State HOA law will automatically cut down on law suits, save home owners and developers significantly in legal costs, and empower home owners over the use of their funds.  The issue of requiring arbitration is mostly a moot point.  Almost all HOA declarations over the past fifteen years requires this dispute resolution process and is only changed to promote costly court cases at the encouragement of HOA lawyers. Simple in this case is a WIN WIN for all. 

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