Planned communities are very popular in Colorado because they offer peace of mind and security. They also protect your property values. However, when it feels like your HOA is nit-picking and not trying to maintain the community, it’s easy to get frustrated. At Flaxman Law Group, our Denver office often hears from upset homeowners who feel their HOA is walking all over their rights.
It’s important to keep in mind that the HOA is a legal entity and must abide by the rules. In addition, as a Colorado homeowner, you have rights. If you need someone to stand up for those rights and help you with an over-eager HOA, contact us at Flaxman Law Group for a consultation with an HOA dispute attorney.
What Rights Do I Have as a Colorado Homeowner When I’m Dealing with an HOA?
In Colorado, HOAs are governed by the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act, (CCIOA). As a homeowner, you have several rights:
- The HOA must follow its own rules and state guidelines. If you paint your front door a certain color and there’s nothing in the bylaws prohibiting you from painting your door or property, then you’re allowed to paint the door.
- You have the right to have a say in the HOA. That is, your HOA must hold annual meetings and these must be open to homeowners. However, CCIOA regulations do not require HOAs to inform homeowners of any meetings.
- Your HOA must be transparent. They must make agendas of HOA board meetings available to homeowners. As a homeowner and member of an HOA you have the right to access the records your HOA keeps, including tax and financial records, contact information for HOA board members and members, and minutes of meetings.
- Your HOA must act in good faith. It must give you a chance to resolve any issue and can’t apply a different rule to you than to every other community member. It can’t enforce one bylaw with you, for example, while allowing other HOA members to violate the same bylaw.
- Your HOA must have a clear debt collection policy. This policy must include written notices for delinquent accounts and must be applied consistently and in the same way for all homeowners. The HOA must work with you if you want a payment plan for outstanding debts.
- Your HOA can’t ban you from certain actions. They can’t, for example, stop you from flying a non-commercial flag, making your home more accessible, adding religious images to your door, or installing a flagpole. They also can’t force you to water your plants when there is a water-restriction rule in place, can’t stop you from running a daycare in your home, and can’t ban antennas or satellite dishes on your property. They can, however, have bylaws in place that dictate the position, approach, or layout of these additions to your home.
How An Attorney Can Address HOA Disputes
Typically, when Colorado homeowners reach out to an attorney about an HOA it’s because they feel an HOA is unfairly targeting them or they feel an HOA is overreaching or even acting in bad faith.
In any of these situations, a Colorado lawyer can request HOA documents and can determine whether an HOA is violating its own bylaws or state rules. An attorney can also negotiate with your HOA. In some cases, simply getting an attorney involved and having a letter send to the HOA board is enough to get an overzealous HOA to back down.
It’s distressing to get threatening letters from your HOA or get charged fines, but you don’t have to deal with this situation alone. Call the Denver offices of Flaxman Law Group at 970-999-0530 to speak with an attorney with experience in helping homeowners fight back against HOAs. Our family-based law firm understands how to get HOAs to act in good faith, so let’s talk about your rights.