Homeowners’ Association Disputes
Homeowners’ associations are non-profit corporations charged with operating and maintaining “common interest communities.” Such communities are governed by the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA). Communities subject to the act include residential and commercial condominium developments; townhome and patio home communities; and single family home subdivisions. Common interest communities are created by developers with the consent of governing towns, cities, or counties. In some forms of development, in particular condominiums, associations own real property such as common areas and easements.
Like other corporations, homeowners’ associations operate through a board of directors. The board is charged with managing such activities as the collection of fees and assessments, maintenance of common areas, and diverse other responsibilities that are similar to operating any business. All community property owners are members of the association. Their rights and responsibilities are created by a document known as a “declaration.”
With such complexity in relationships between and among property owners, associations, developers, governments, and neighboring property owners, disputes will often arise. The scope of such disputes is broad: payment of membership fees; construction defect claims against a developer; architectural and design requirements for owners and builders; and property access and easement issues with neighboring properties. These disputes can escalate to litigation if the stakes are large and the rights and obligations strongly contested. Such litigation can be complex, involving many aspects of the law.