Diligence and Fairness Is Our Goal

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

“Right” Rule or Got Attorney?

Unfortunately sometimes being right doesn’t make any difference. It’s true that you should get a fair resolution to a problem by citing the right rule, especially if your board is misinformed or doesn’t know the right rule. A lot of boards (just like people), once shown the prevailing and right rule in a situation, will, if in error, reverse course and accept the correct interpretation of a rule or term. But what do you do if they don’t? What do you do if they’re being vindictive and are out to get you for whatever reason?

The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA) does not have an enforcement clause in it. That means the State isn’t going to take any action if you file a complaint (based on a violation of CCIOA). If you’re in the worse of the worse disputes with a board of directors that is taking vindictive and illegal action against you, then you should consider hiring an attorney.  However, there is another way, but you’ve got to start it early on. It’s not a last minute strategy.

I’m using this blog to advocate that strategy for owners to deal with disputes, misconduct, and threatened legal action without hiring an attorney. The cornerstone of that strategy is to resolve the dispute long before you’re named in a lawsuit, and I’m going to tell you how to do that.


The “Right” Rule


One of the most challenging aspects of the HOA governance model is the fact that there’s more than one source that describes the validity of a rule or regulation, but only one source that determines whether it’s valid or not. In Colorado, HOAs are under the rules and regulations of the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA), the Colorado Non Profit Corporation Act, the HOA’s own Articles of Incorporation, Declarations, Bylaws, Rules, Regulations, and Policies. State law often allows what’s stated in the Declarations to prevail (be the final source of determination on a subject), and other times the final determination may be found in the bylaws or the Non Profit Corporation Act, or CCIOA itself. The point is that just because authority is given in your bylaws or declarations to owners or board, that fact alone doesn’t make it legal. An HOA’s bylaws often have provisions that are in conflict with state laws or regulations, and even in conflict within their own governing documents.

This fact is especially important in owner/board disputes, because knowing the final and prevailing rule, and its source, can put all arguments to rest that are based on an invalid clause in one or more of the governing documents. A little later on, I’ll tell you about a very simple and user-friendly app that enables you to quickly find that final source of authority in CCIOA.

I Didn’t Know How Much I Didn’t Know

February 29, 2012

“I woke up one morning and found myself under the rule of law.” Now, you must admit, that’s a fairly simple statement, and it applies to most of us, if not all. However, there are those of us that woke up to realize the keeper of that law is our HOA board of directors, who are responsible for administering our governing documents of the community we live in. This blog is about using and understanding the information contained in Colorado state statutes and individual HOA associations’ declarations, bylaws, policies, and rules. Navigating that information can be pretty challenging, as most of us don’t talk, speak or write in the format of statutory law, or bylaw booklets. As I try to effectively navigate that vast field of information, rules, laws and bylaws, and the intent of all, the consequence of all, the unintended consequence of all… all of the above… I thought I would invite others along for the ride to share in my triumphs, defeats, frustrations, and conclusions in my quest to know what applies to me and mine, what impacts positively the investment I have in my home, what impacts negatively the investment I have in my home, what’s good for me, and what’s good for my neighbor. My humor can be somewhat dry, but please know that I’m very serious in communicating and clarifying the rules and policies of HOA associations that have an impact on me and you.

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