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.