(April 11) – The second set of HOA reform bills designed to protect homeowners passed the first committees today.

HB13-1277, sponsored by Rep. Angela Williams (D-Denver), passed the House Business, Labor & Economic & Workforce Development Committee by a vote of 6 to 5, and will require community managers to be licensed under the Division of Real Estate within the Department of Regulatory Agencies. To apply for licensure, a person most pass an exam demonstrating a working knowledge of standard budgeting practices and laws concerning consumer protection, fair debt collection and nonprofit operations. Currently, HOAs and their community association managers are not subject to any regulation by state agencies. This causes some HOAs to operate without sufficient understanding of the law and common practices.

“Just like lawyers, bankers and electricians, the people running these HOAs should be well-versed in the law and rules surrounding their roles,” Rep. Williams said. “Homeowners expect the people in charge to have this knowledge and expertise.”

SB13-183, sponsored in the House by Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora), passed the Local Government Committee by a vote of eleven to one and prohibits HOAs from restricting xeriscaping and requiring water-intensive turf grass in their communities. Homeowners will also be protected from HOA fines when complying with local drought-control and water-saving ordinances, despite violating HOA requirements for watering. HOAs will still be able to adopt and enforce design and aesthetic rules for homeowners’ properties as long as they include provisions for xeriscaping.

“As Coloradans, we understand the need to conserve water, and this bill protects homeowners who are taking reasonable steps to do that,” Rep. Fields said.

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