Governor signs bill limiting power of homeowner associations

Courtesy Summit Daily News

June 6, 2005

DENVER — Gov. Bill Owens signed a measure Monday that clamps down on homeowner associations after lawmakers heard horror stories about high dues and autocratic leaders who tried to oust dissidents by foreclosing on their homes.

The measure (Senate Bill 100) requires associations to open their books and post notices of meetings and limits their ability to seize property.

Owens said he signed the measure because lawmakers agreed to water it down. Owens said many people belong to the associations because they want their neighborhoods regulated.

“It ended up doing some things good homeowners’ associations already do,” Owens told callers on KOA-AM radio.

Colorado has about 12,000 associations representing about 1.6 million people across the state who belong to about 12,000 associations.

Sen. Bob Hagedorn, D-Aurora, said he introduced the bill after residents in condominiums were told by their homeowner associations that they could not fly the American flag after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The new law prohibits homeowners’ association from adopting rules that prevent a homeowner from displaying an American flag or political sign, and from parking an emergency vehicle in the community. It limits the availability of foreclosure and requires that home buyers get copies of the documents that govern them.
Hagedorn said the associations are miniature governments that need regulation.

“They have the powers of a government, but they didn’t have the responsibilities until today,” Hagedorn said.