With the arrival of spring, Associations and their managers are faced with the daunting task of ensuring that the communities they manage are kept in a condition consistent with the Declaration and Rules and Regulations that enhance the community and property values for all. There are several things that can be done as the growing season begins to help ease the stress associated with the return of the growing season.  

   

It is always a good idea to provide the owners with an update of their landscaping and maintenance responsibilities. A short letter advising owners of their maintenance responsibilities serves as a reminder and an initial notice of the importance of keeping the community clean, attractive and ensures that property values remain high for all members of the community.    

Despite this friendly reminder, there will be some owners that fall behind on their maintenance obligation requiring the Association to take action. These situations should be addressed by sending the owners a notice of the issue and asking that it be addressed in a timely fashion. At this stage, it is important to avoid future pitfalls and provide as much notice as possible and thoroughly document the situation.     

In the event it is necessary to involve the Association's attorney, there are several things that can be done early to ensure that the issue is resolved as expeditiously as possible. When the decision is made to involve legal counsel, the referral should include all information that has been obtained relative to the violation.    

Once the matter has been referred to legal counsel, the first step should be to record a notice of covenant violation. While the current owner may be aware of the violation, potential buyers likely won't. Recording a notice of covenant violation puts potential buyers on notice that a violation exists as well as the basis of the violation. This aids in  obtaining  compliance as sellers don't want the violation to interfere with their sale and effort is employed to bring the property into compliance. It also helps in obtaining compliance from the new owner as they will be aware of the violation prior to their purchase.   

Once the notice of covenant violation is recorded, a letter with a copy of the recorded notice of covenant violation should be provided to the owner requesting that the property be brought back into compliance. Most often this is enough to educate the owner about the violation and obtain compliance.     

For the more difficult situations, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit in County Court to enforce the Covenants. In order to ensure that this process is successful, it is imperative the Association continue to document the violation and update legal counsel with photographs.  Most of these cases resolve without the need for trial, but it is always good to be prepared with the necessary evidence and testimony.   

While spring rains are great for growing fresh veggies and beautiful flowers, it isn't so great if those rains finds their way into your basement.  There are several things that can be done to avoid the risk associated with spring rains.  While Colorado isn't the rainiest of places, rain still presents issues for Community Associations.  For those Community Associations where the Association is responsible for the maintenance and care of the gutters and downspouts, spring is a great time to ensure they are not clogged.  Replace with The following three steps can help reduce or eliminate risk to the Association.  

First, Remove leaves and debris left from winter and add downspout extenders to prevent water from pooling around the foundation.   
   

Second, examine the pitch of the soil surrounding the foundation of the homes. Ensuring that the ground is pitches away from the foundation helps to ensure that water is drained to the yard and away from the foundation. Adding soil around the foundation so that the grade is highest at the foundation is a good step to limiting the risk of water intrusion.     

Finally, for new plantings with large roots, make sure that trees and bushes are planted a safe distance away from the foundation. Trees and plants with aggressive roots can contribute to water intrusion and planting a safe distance away from the foundation prevents future issues once the trees and plants mature.

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