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Here's what Colorado law says about HOAs

Posted at 12:47 PM, Feb 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-08 20:36:06-05

COLORADO — It's no secret the cost of just about everything is going up, and for some property owners that may also be the case for HOA dues this year.

Nearly half of the state's population lives in a homeowners association or "HOA", and homes being built now are more than likely subjected to one.

HOAs are not exclusive to single-family home neighborhoods, condos and townhomes are also a part of HOAs.

One example of this is the Satellite Hotel in southeast Colorado Springs. The hotel is mostly made up of condominiums, but there are nearly 80 hotel rooms in the building as well. Businesses also rent out space in the lobby.

What happened with the HOA dues?

Satellite Hotel in southeast Colorado Springs.

"When they own here, they are owners of a hotel," David Corder, a member of the Satellite's HOA board, said, "the way this building was designed, the hotel was supposed to counteract those [HOA] dues, right? the operating expenses from the hotel were supposed to counteract the dues."

HOA dues have gone up for owners at the Satellite, Corder says on average about $119 a month. Michaelle Marks, who owns a condo in the building says her dues increased nearly $200 a month.

On the high end, Corder says the larger properties in the building, which are considered penthouses, went up $232 a month this year. On the lower end, owners saw about $32 monthly increase.

"I believe me personally, that I'm paying a higher HOA and I'm getting less for it," Marks said, "I was paying, I believe about 700, um, about 700 last year, and then it went up another 200."

The Satellite has made some changes to its lobby, with new paint on the ceiling and walls. Corder said those changes were previously voted on and already budgeted, the 2024 due increases are unrelated.

Instead, Corder points to a need for a new insurance policy on the building as the major cause for increasing dues. The previous insurance provider of the building would not insure because a portion of the hotel is on an outdated electrical panel system. Corder says the board is in the process of getting bids to replace the panels.

"There's some electrical problems. There's some plumbing problems. There's the building is 55 years old," Corder said. HOA dues at the Satellite also cover utilities for residents.

What Colorado Law says about HOA due increases

David Donnely .jpg
David Donnelly with the Colorado HOA Information and Resource Center speaks with News5.

"The reality is that the vast majority of communities in Colorado do not have what we would refer to as a cap [on HOA dues]," David Donnelly, Manager of Education, Communication, and Policy for the Colorado Division of Real Estate said. The policy program oversees the state's HOA Information and Resource Center.
The center collects complaints on HOAs to be included in an annual report.

HOAs have some laws in place in Colorado, but the Division of Real Estate doesn't have the legal authority to investigate complaints made against HOAs.

Donnelly said the center typically receives complaints related to dues and transparency, but there has not been an increase in complaints surrounding dues.

Donnelly points to increased costs on landscaping and insurance as being a driving force behind HOA dues going up.

"The thing that we've been seeing the most right now in Colorado is the astronomical increase in insurance premiums," Donnelly said.

HOAs are bound by a declaration document, while some HOAs may have something written into the document about how much dues can increase, Donnelly said it's not typical. HOAs are also not legally bound to due bidding on costs for projects.

"There's no official obligation for a board to get multiple quotes. The magic number is always three, three quotes. So you get a high, middle low," Donnelly said.

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