A new group wants to make Colorado laws tougher on Homeowners' Associations.
In 2011, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies received 271 complaints about Homeowners' Association. After hearing about several complaints from viewers, 7NEWS found that the agency had already logged 225 complaints this year.
DORA collects the complaints, but can't do much else. According to DORA's website, it doesn't "have regulatory or investigative authority and cannot interview in disputes."
It's a gap that some homeowners, like Stan Hrincevich, say leaves people vulnerable.
Hrincevich is teaming up with other frustrated homeowners and taking action – forming The Colorado HOA Forum. The group wants to change Colorado laws because current legislation isn’t tough enough.
"There is not anything in any of those bills that talks about enforcement. It says you should do it, but it never says 'if you don’t do it…'," says Hrincevich.
The Colorado HOA Forum aims to add more regulation and enforcement for HOA's. Two things they say is missing in current legislation, hurting homeowners.
"How does a homeowner get their rights ensured under HOA law? And right now the answer is they don't," according to Hrincevich.
Carol McLennan is fed up with her HOA. She's been battling them for 20 years. "I am on the top floor – 4th floor – and every time it rains or snows too much, it doesn't just leak, it rains through my light fixtures."
McLennan says despite her constant calls to the HOA, the problem is still not completely fixed. "I have shelled out way too much of my own money – I just want them to be accountable for something."
Hrincevich says this lack of action is widespread across the state, and the only recourse for homeowners is to take the HOA to court - something he says is not a viable option.
"The courts are very expensive, time consuming, litigious, and not accessible to most homeowners," explains Hrincevich.
The Colorado HOA Forum wants to add an out-of-court, binding arbitration option for homeowners.
"I'll tell you what that costs - $150 - $200," says Hrincevich. "You get your day in court; it's accessible and affordable to everyone. That’s the way to enforce homeowner's rights."
While the Colorado HOA Forum is forming its goals, it is looking for feedback. It is holding a community meeting on October 18th at 7 p.m. in the Rotunda at the Community College of Aurora.
The meeting will include a panel of several state representatives, a member of the HOA group, and a representative from the mediation and property management community. The goal of the meeting is to hear specific issues and ideas for solutions.
"We encourage everyone to bring a solution, not just complain," urges Hrincevich.
For more information on the Colorado HOA Forum, click here.