(April 24) – A bill to break Colorado’s logjam over construction defects reform received the unanimous – yes, unanimous – approval of the House this morning.
A consensus measure on construction defects has eluded the Colorado legislature for years. The bipartisan breakthrough was engineered by Assistant Majority Leader Alec Garnett, D-Denver, who is sponsoring HB17-1279 with Rep. Lori Saine, R-Firestone. Assistant Minority Leader Cole Wist, R-Centennial, also played a big role in the months of intensive negotiations over the bill.
“A lot of hard work went into making a bill that was truly bipartisan,” Rep. Garnett, D-Denver, said after the 64-0 vote. “This bill will help us achieve a better balance in Colorado’s housing construction market.”
HB17-1279 requires the approval of a majority of members of a homeowners association before the HOA board can initiate legal proceedings against a general contractor or subcontractor. Under current law, litigation can be initiated by an HOA board without polling the membership, a provision that critics said discouraged condo construction.
The bill also requires HOA boards to distribute to members a report on the expected costs of proposed litigation and to notify members that their ability to sell their property may be impaired for the duration of a lawsuit. And it preserves protections for consumers to seek redress in court for construction defects.
HB17-1279 is on its way to the Senate, where it has the bipartisan sponsorship of Minority Leader Lucia Guzman, D-Denver, and Sen. Jack Tate, R-Centennial.