Governor Polis & State Lawmakers Alarmed by Recent Challenges Coloradans Have Faced with HOAs

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Governor, Rep. Garcia, Rep. Titone, Rep. Parenti & Rep. Ricks Express Concern, Call for Action

DENVER – Following recent reports sounding alarm bells related to Homeowner Associations (HOAs) in Colorado, Governor Jared Polis, and state lawmakers released the following statements: 

“Burdensome HOA policies shouldn't be so restrictive that they prohibit things like common sense fire mitigation and water conservation strategies for homes, force people from a home they love over untrimmed grass, or drain a family or individual of their financial savings,” said Governor Polis. “These recent accounts are heartbreaking and deeply troubling. I continue to urge HOAs to be more flexible — clearly, there is more work to do with the legislature and local communities to enhance the rights of property owners and protect people from being ripped off.”

Reports from across the state show HOAs foreclosed on Coloradans’ homes, further exacerbating Colorado’s ongoing housing crisis. Governor Polis is committed to creating a home for every Colorado budget and ensuring there is housing Coloradans can afford near or convenient to where they work, go to school, and play.

“Not all HOAs are bad. But when they are, they can make a homeowner's life miserable and even take away their livelihood. HOA boards need to communicate with the owners they lead and not be heavy-handed with the power they have. There are so many issues that can be solved through neighborly conversations and a little empathy. The legislature will be examining these issues with the HOA Task Force and I hope they can find solutions to mitigate these abuses of power,” said State Representative Brianna Titone.

“HOAs should not be in the business of auctioning or selling off people’s homes — they should be doing everything in their power to build happy, healthy, and safe communities. We have work to do to make sure HOAs do not buy into predatory practices that harm Coloradans and make our housing crisis worse,” said State Representative Lorena Garcia.

"Unfortunately, these stories are far too common, which is why the legislature passed HB23-1105 to further investigate and propose practical reforms to CCIOA and how HOAs operate in our state.  No one should face financial ruin or homelessness due to a miscommunication or disagreement with their HOA,” said State Representative Jennifer Lea Parenti.

“I’m proud to have championed a law that took on HOAs and foreclosures. Every day Coloradans are losing their homes, equity and are seeing their credit scores irreparably damaged by foreclosure forced by HOAs. It’s clear there’s more work to do to ensure that predatory practices aren’t pushing people out of their homes they’ve worked so hard for,” said State Representative Naquetta Ricks. 

Governor Polis, in partnership with the legislature, has taken steps to increase the rights of property owners and keep HOAs from holding back progress. Throughout his time in office, Governor Polis has signed new laws passed by the legislature to:

  • Expand freedom of expression for people who live in HOAs (HB21-1310, Sponsored by then Representative Lisa Cutter and Senator Rodriguez). 

  • A bipartisan law prohibiting HOAs from restricting access and use of a public right-of-way (HB22-1139, sponsored by Representatives Geitner and Hooton and Senators Bridges and Hisey).

  • A bipartisan law that protects homeowners’ use of common areas or elements when maintenance, repair, or modifications are taking place. (HB22-1140, sponsored by Representatives Hooton and Rich and then Senator Story and Senate Minority Leader Holbert).

  • Help address foreclosure in HOAs (HB22-1137, a bipartisan law sponsored by Representatives Ricks and Bradfield and Senators Gonzaels and Coleman).

  • To protect precious water resources, remove HOA barriers to water-wise landscaping, and give Coloradans opportunities to save water with the way they plan their yards, (SB23-178, a bipartisan law sponsored by Senators Jaquez Lewis and Will, Representatives McCormick and Lindsay). 

  • Create an HOA homeowners’ rights task force within the Division of Real Estate at DORA to study issues facing homeowners such as fines, foreclosure practices, complaints, and governance practices. (HB23-1105, sponsored by Reps Jennifer Parenti and Brianna Titone, and Senators Lisa Cutter and Rhonda Fields).

Earlier this year, Governor Polis urged HOAs to be more flexible when it comes to preparing for wildfires. The Governor continues to support efforts to check HOAs power when they prevent homeowners from protecting themselves and others. 

Last year, a report showed that “the state estimates that more than 2.6 million residents — nearly half of Colorado’s population — live in homes governed by a homeowners association. Those HOAs filed more than 2,400 foreclosure cases from January 2018 through February 2022.”

SB23-213, a bill passed by the House and considered by the state legislature this past year, would have limited HOAs from prohibiting the most affordable types of homes from being built in their communities.