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What's New at Orten Cavanagh & Holmes

Community Association Manager Licensing Update of August 7th

FAQs from the State
Community Association Managers (those who perform two or more of the tasks set forth in the licensing statute) are currently required to have a license as of July 1, 2015.  Yet, the tests to obtain a license and others aspects of this licensing requirement are not finalized.  This has many managers wondering what is coming.

According to the State, their test should be developed and ready for applicants to sit for exams in late January 2015.  The test is expected to be made up of two parts:

• core competencies
• Colorado specific laws (CCIOA)

Pre-License Education Requirements
In order for a Community Association Manager to be licensed by July 1, 2015, the applicant must hold a CMCA, AMS, or PCAM designation available from CAI or a credential identified by the Director.  Individuals wanting to obtain the Division of Real Estate’s alternative credential will have an opportunity to begin taking the course starting in October 2014.  The Division will publish a list on its website of all approved providers of the alternative credential.  

Toward informing managers of what’s ahead, the State of Colorado, through the Division of Real Estate, recently released frequently asked questions.  The FAQs can be obtained here.

As the State’s licensing requirement and implementation of it through the Division of Real Estate takes shape, return to our website or the State’s, for more information. 

Grant Money Available to Associations from Some Cities

Many cities, like Golden, have created grant programs to help support HOAs and neighborhoods.  The City of Golden has created the i-Golden Neighborhood Grants Program intended for community associations located within Golden. 

Golden has two grant levels:

     * A small grant up to $500.  This grant money is in the form of a reimbursement and is intended for block parties, neighborhood cleanup days or other small events.

     * A matching grant of up to $2,500.  Matching grants are intended for larger projects that build a more vibrant neighborhood and benefit the community as a whole.  The community association is required to match the amount of the grant.  The matching grants are evaluated with recommendations sent to City Council for final approval. 

Associations in Golden can apply anytime during the year, prior to the event or project, until funds for that year have been expended.  Check with your city or county to see if they offer a grant program.

For more information on criteria for the grants or to download and application, visit the City of Golden’s website.

Roll Out The Barrels’ Food Drive a Huge Success


We want to extend a thank you to all of the management companies and businesses who partnered with us to make the 2014 'Roll Out The Barrels' Food Drive such a huge success. Specifically, we'd like to thank MSI LLC, Hammersmith Management, Westwind Management Group, Colorado Management and Associates, The Management Trust  and ACCU.  This year's drive benefited Metro CareRing,, a non-profit hunger relief organization operating one of the largest food pantries in Denver.


The city-wide grand total for the drive was $52,638.60 . Your generous donations will make a significant difference in the lives of many!

HOAs and Directories of Owners and Residents

HOA directory of owners/residents were restricted in 2012 with the passage of the HOA records bill.  Limitations on publishing owner/resident phone numbers, email addresses, or both have been eliminated by a bill enacted as HB-2014-1125.

Effective August 6, 2014, owners and residents can give permission to the HOA to publish phone numbers and email addresses or both.

For more information on records of HOAs, contact one of our attorneys based on the statutes. We can advise what records are required to be kept by an HOA, records required to be available for inspection, records the HOA has discretion to allow inspection of and records not allowed to be inspected.

2014 Management Company Disclosure Bill- Legislation in Process

The state legislature is considering and appears poised to pass a bill requiring HOA management companies to disclose funds they receive from third parties (i.e.: from someone other than the Association).  HB 2014-1254, as rewritten, would require these disclosures.

What’s our firm’s position? -- We recommend this bill be passed.  We have been and are supporting HB 2014-1254.

When are the disclosures required? -- Disclosures are required at the time of contract negotiations and yearly.

Who are the disclosures to? -- To the Board of the Association.  The Association can determine whether to disclose those fees to its owners. We recommend disclosure by the Association to its owners on an annual basis, and also if the management company of the Association changes. Is there a cap in the bill on management company transfer fees? -- No.  Initially, caps were a part of the bill.  As re-written the bill does not have a cap on those charges.

Haven’t these disclosures been made in the past? --  Yes, as to transfer fees.  As to fees from any other source, disclosure practices vary.  Most contracts that management companies have entered into with Associations include disclosures of transfer fees.  Yet, most existing contracts do not have a full disclosure requirement of revenue from any source, as received by the management company due to its status as agent of the Association.  HB-1254 adds that additional disclosure requirement.

What is the current status of the bill? -- The bill cleared the Colorado House of Representatives in February and is before the State Senate as of the date of this article.  It will soon be heard by the State Senate’s local government committee.

What happens to management companies that do not disclose fees to the Association?  -- The company could be investigated and disciplined by the Colorado Department of Real Estate.  That state office is a division of the department of regulatory agencies. A fine of up to $2,500.00 for each separate offence may be imposed for failing to make full and try disclosures of fees.

For more information, contact any one of the attorneys or other professionals at Orten Cavanagh and Holmes, or (720) 221-9780.

HOA Information Office 2013

Report February 1, 2014

The 2013 report is out and is available at the state's website A copy is also posted on our resource page at

The HOA Information and Resource Center of the State of Colorado, Division of Real Estate ("HOA Info Office") was created in 2010.  This Office registers HOAs, receives requests for information and takes complaints about HOAs, boards of HOAs, managers, management companies, developers/declarants and others.

The HOA Info Office submits an annual report to the legislature.  Past reports for 2011 and 2012 are available at the state's website at and are posted in our resource page at

The 2013 report covers registrations of HOAs, inquiries and complaints and 2013 legislation.

Complaints are classified into categories, with most complaints involving associations and managers (46.5%), then associations (36.4%), then managers (15.9%).

Complaints are also categorized by area with the most complaints coming from Denver surrounding areas (126 complaints), then Denver central (64), South Central (47), Front Range (41) and Northwest (29).  Southeast and northwest Colorado had nominal complaints (11 total). 

For more context on the reports of the HOA Info Office and regulation of the State of Colorado, contact an attorney or other professional at Orten Cavanagh & Holmes.

Oktoberfest 2013 - Community Outreach of Orten Cavanagh & Holmes


Wow! Over $60,000 raised to support a faith-based legal aid clinic!

On September 13th, attorneys and professionals at Orten Cavanagh & Holmes helped raise needed support for the Justice and Mercy Legal Aid Clinic (JAMLAC) at our annual Oktoberfest event.  JAMLAC serves low income residents of the metro area.  The clinic lost a funding source earlier in the year, but Oktoberfest, and the contribution of so many, have closed the gap!  Thank you!

Thank you to the managers, management companies and their staff, as well as our co-sponsors Benson Kerrane Storz and Nelson, Ella Washington/American Family Insurance and Quality First Plumbing.

You can see and feel the joy and care the legal aid clinic provides in this video.

Orten Cavanagh & Holmes is a community association law firm that serves HOAs and others involved in covenant communities.  The professionals at our firm enjoy supporting the greater community through extraordinary and fun events like Oktoberfest.

Join us, as we seek to make the greater community thrive!

New HOA Collection Policy Requirements and Collection Limitations

On May 28, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper signed into law HB 2013-1276 - the HOA Collection Policy Requirements and Debt Collection Limitations bill.

This bill goes into effect January 1, 2014.

We recommend managers and board members become familiar with the HOA Collection Policy Requirements and Debt Collection Limitations.

Navigate to the “Resources” page and find our article on "HOA Collection Policies Requirements and Debt Collection Limitations under HB 13-1276.”

Homeowner advocates take aim at HOA boards, management companies


Jim Phillips was prepared for many of the costs associated with selling his Aurora home in July.  What he was not expecting was a $500 "transfer fee" for HOA documents required to complete the sale of the property in the Tallyn's Reach development.  Phillips reluctantly signed the closing documents, then disputed the charge from his HOA's property management company. After failing to reach a resolution, he took his case to small-claims court in Arapahoe County, where he recovered much of the cost.  (By John Mossman, The Denver Post)  Read more 

Marijuana and HOAs: Can homeowners groups ban people from growing, using pot?


Condo Associations or HOAs with homes with attached walls should consider rules limiting cannabis growing in homes and more.  Growing cannabis can be very pungent.  Planned Communities, without attached walls, may take a hands off approach.  See the article published in Westwood or contact HOA professionals at our office for more information.

Drought Tolerant HOAs and Homeowners?

With a looming extended drought, the legislature has been considering making turf and watering covenants, restrictions and guidelines of HOAs even harder to enforce and making xeriscaping easier.   The bill under consideration has been approved in the State Senate, is under consideration in the State House and is expected to be approved and become law this spring.   Senate Bill 183 would:


• Make existing restrictions, prohibitions and limits of HOAs on xeriscaping unenforceable

• Whole and partial ‘turf grass’ requirements would also be unenforceable

         > ‘Turf grass’ would be defined as any non-native grass or grasses that have been developed for arid conditions

• Xeriscaping is made more permissible, with drought tolerant plants

         > Live plants can be required

         > Artificial materials, plants and grass can be restricted

• HOAs would be able to regulate drought tolerant landscapes, by type, number, placement of planting

• HOAs would be able to regulate hard-scapes in landscaping

• When a local water provider (City, water district, etc.) imposes water restrictions, the HOA cannot enforce watering requirements of any landscaping

         > Owners could be required to water when permissible, but not when restricted by local government

Click here for a link to the Senate Bill 183.


The net effect to HOAs and Homeowners is a lot less green and a lot more tolerance for the drought and also for consequences of the drought. To make sure your covenants and landscape guidelines are in compliance, contact your attorney at Orten Cavanagh & Holmes or email us at

Orten Cavanagh & Holmes educates at the 2013 Home and Garden Show


Orten Cavanagh & Holmes, LLC participated in the 2013 Home and Garden Show in February on behalf of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Community Association Institute (CAI-RMC).  Our attorneys helped the CAI-RMC run its booth at the Home & Garden Show to help educate about common interest communities and orient homeowners to HOAs and CAI.  Information was distributed regarding the benefits and resources of CAI RMC that are available to owners, residents, prospective purchasers, board members, managers and others. 


We enjoyed this opportunity to assist the CAI-RMC.  We look forward to helping out at next years’ Home and Garden Show.

Banks taking longer than ever to resell foreclosed homes


Banks taking longer than ever the resell foreclosed homes:  According to new, nationwide data from research company RealtyTrac Inc., banks are taking on average 20% longer to resell homes that had been previously foreclosed.  What does this data mean for community associations?


Often banks do not adequately maintain these properties and let them fall into disrepair until they are resold.  Associations should be aggressive in enforcement with these properties.  Liens for unpaid assessments and covenant violations should be recorded if these conditions exist to ensure that the Association is repaid upon resale and that the new owner is put on notice of any existing covenant violations.  In more extreme cases, an association should consider filing suit against the bank to ensure compliance with the covenants. Read more

Orten Cavanagh & Holmes, LLC




1445 Market Street, Suite 350
Denver, CO 80202
Main: 720-221-9780
Fax: 720-221-9781

Colorado Springs

14 N. Sierra Madre Street, Suite A-1
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Main: 719-457-8420
Fax 719-457-8419