Public Affairs Update

Public Affairs Update………………………………………….…………………May 10, 2017

  • Fed Nixes Rate Hike in May Meeting
  • NAR Backs New e-Fairness Bills
  • BARA/CAR Leaders Meeting with Congressional Delegation
  • HB 1279 Construction Defect Actions Notice Vote Approval Headed to the Governor’s Desk
  • Construction Defects Speaker Panel
  • Pizza & Public Affairs is on Summer Break; Returns September 6, 2017
  • In Case You Missed It

 

Fed Nixes Rate Hike in May Meeting

The Federal Open Market Committee opted to keep the federal funds rate as-is during its May meeting. The FOMC raised the rate in March from 0.75 to 1 percent. It was largely expected that the FOMC would raise rates at least two more times over the course of 2017. » READ MORE [Source: DSNews.com 05-04-2017]

 

NAR Backs New e-Fairness Bills
Bills that would allow states to require that state sales tax be added to online purchases made by their residents have been introduced in the House and Senate. NAR supports these measures. [Source: NAR Update 052-04-2017]

 

BARA/CAR Leaders Meeting with Congressional Delegation

BARA and CAR leaders are heading to Washington DC for the NAR Legislative Meetings May 15-19, 2017 to discuss and push REALTOR® issues. NAR Government Affairs has posted the 2017 NAR Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo Talking Points on the website.  In addition to the PDF copies for download this year we have put the copy directly on the website allowing members to access the Talking Points via phone or tablet.  If you have any questions please contact NAR’s Government Affairs Communications Director John DiBiase at 202-383-1037 or jdibiase@realtors.org. Direct Link to all three NAR Talking Points PDF http://narfocus.com/billdatabase/clientfiles/172/10/2882.pdf. [Source> NAR Update 05;04-2017]

 

HB 1279 Construction Defect Actions Notice Vote Approval Headed to the Governor’s Desk

After more than four years of negotiations on construction litigation reform, HB-1279 sponsored by Representatives Garnett (D-Denver), and Saine (R-Firestone) and Senators Tate (R-Centennial) and Guzman (D-Denver), has passed through both the House and Senate unanimously and is now on its way to the Governor. We expect the Governor to sign it into law.

This informed consent compromise bill does nothing to stand in the way of individual owners who have a legitimate construction issue from seeking a legal remedy. It protects homeowners by ensuring they are aware of a potential lawsuit that could impact selling or refinancing their home and tightens up voting procedures so a majority of homeowners must approve initiating a legal action against a builder rather than leaving that decision to a homeowner association board.

The compromise bill addresses several aspects:

  • Tolling Period - It sets a 90 day tolling of the statute of limitations (down from the originally proposed 120 day tolling period). This delay in the time period by which a lawsuit must be filed is also clarified to establish that the tolling period can happen only once, regardless of whether there is an amendment to the notice of filing a lawsuit (notice of claim).  Previously there was ambiguity about whether attorneys could continue restarting the tolling period based on an amended claim.
  • Voting/ballot integrity – A list of voters/unit owners must be shared with anyone served with the notice of claim (builders, contractors, architects, etc.). Further, there is only one vote per unit owner and they can only vote one time.  This prevents the HOA Board from reviewing votes before the close of the voting period and then trying to change the minds of those that voted against pursuing litigation.
  • Applicability – The bill language clarifies that the bill applies to all HOA’s, both pre and post 1992, when the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA) was enacted.
  • Definition of “Affiliate” – In the voting exclusions section the original bill ambiguously referred to affiliates of the development party as excluded from voting on commencing litigation.  The final version of the bill tightens up the definition of who is considered an affiliate – someone that has a controlling interest in one of the development parties, or their spouse.
  • Common elements – The introduced version precluded a vote if the defects claimed are on a common element (non-residential unit), for example a clubhouse or pool.  The final version of the bill says that any remedies to repair that do not exceed $50,000 where the HOA is paying for the repairs do not require a vote.  Any common element claim greater than $50,000 on a common element would require a vote. This was one of CAR’s biggest issues since any litigation, whether on a common element or on the residential units, clouds the title and can prevent unit owners from selling or refinancing their property.

 

  • Bank-owned properties – These properties will count toward the vote if they vote.  These properties were excluded in the original version of the bill.
  • Non-responsive voters – These votes will not count.  But the bill does allow builders/defendants to challenge in court any unit owners deemed non-responsive by the HOA board. 

The Homeownership Opportunity Coalition, of which CAR is a member, believes this bill is a positive first step in the right direction to building more attainable housing for all Coloradans while also protecting homeowners and giving them a voice in whether or not to pursue litigation. 

Thank you to each and every one of our members for your dedication on this critical issue, whether it was responding to our calls for action or providing your stories and insights, the time and energy you have put forward to voice your support for construction litigation reform was pivotal in helping us reach a compromise.  We are excited to celebrate with you the opportunity to take the first steps in addressing this litigation issue that has plagued our building community and our housing market for the past decade.  

 

Construction Defects Speaker Panel

In Boulder, condominiums are an important affordable home-ownership option. Since the 2008 economic downturn, Front Range communities have seen little development of this housing type. Increasingly, current construction defect laws, which offer important protections for homeowners, are seen as a contributing factor in this ongoing trend.

 

Through panelist presentations and an audience Q&A, this public event will explore:

  • The impacts of current construction defect laws on condominium development in Boulder and the region;
  • Solutions that balance homeowner protections and Boulder's affordable housing goals and the city's role.

 

Monday, May 15 -- 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church                                                            

1820 15th St, Boulder, CO 80302

 

 

If you have any questions, please contact Crystal Launder at 303.441.4141 or launderc@bouldercolorado.gov.

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