Unmatched Property Damage Exclusion

Recently we learned that a nationwide property insurer has adopted an additional endorsement which becomes part of the association’s property insurance policy upon its renewal.

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Will Assessments Become Tax Deductible?

On March 3, 2016, two members of the House of Representatives from California introduced H.R. 4696 which would amend the tax code to allow certain homeowners to deduct homeowner association assessments.  The act, called the “Helping Our Middle Income Earners Act” or “HOME Act” would allow homeowners earning $115,000 or less to deduct up to $5000 in regular assessments related to their primary residence from their federal taxes.  The bill has been assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee.

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Beware the Ides of March for Adoption of CD Ordinances!

On March 15, 2016, two more local governments adopted construction defect ordinances. Under local government public health, safety and welfare powers, municipalities are attempting to supplement perceived deficiencies in the Colorado Construction Defect Action Reform Act with the intent of decreasing builder and developer liability represented as an effort to promote affordable housing. Loveland adopted Ordinance No. 6004, and Fort Collins adopted Ordinance No. 030-2016.

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Rain Barrel Bill Back Again this Year

Rain Barrel

Colorado is the only state in the country where rain barrels are largely illegal. Last year, a bill to allow homeowners to collect two 55 gallon barrels of water for outdoor purposes passed out of the House, but was killed in the Senate based on the position that allowing residential property owners to collect two 55 gallons of water would constitute appropriation of pre-existing senior water rights.

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No Support for Support Animal Bill

Colorado House Bill 16-1201, which would have established additional regulations for emotional support animals, has been killed by vote of a house committee.  Although the proposed bill did not attempt to provide guidelines for determining when support animals must be permitted under state and federal fair housing laws, it would have required Colorado licensed medical professionals to make a finding regarding a disability or that there was insufficient information to make such a finding.  Most significantly, it would have required the licensee to meet with the patient in person.  Unlike service animals under the ADA, standards governing emotional support animals are virtually nonexistent and there are no restrictions on the types of animals that qualify as assistance or companion pets. Associations frequently end up relying on statements made by unlicensed individuals who may be out of state and never even met the individuals making requests.  The standards are vague enough that associations may face a risk if the association fails to make a proper determination.

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