The Consequences of Failing to Register and Renew Your HOA
Colorado law requires that all HOAs register and renew annually with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies Division of Real Estate. If you are unsure whether your HOA is currently registered or want to know how to register your HOA, the steps are easy:
If your HOA is not registered or needs to renew, this may be done online.
As of August 2019, the registration fee is $22 and the renewal fee is $25. It probably takes 15 to 20 minutes to register or renew.
But…according to Colorado’s HOA Information and Resource Center approximately 20% of the known HOAs in Colorado did not renew in 2018. Big picture, this reduces the ability of the HOA Information and Resource Center to collect accurate information on HOAs statewide. Additionally, there are more definite consequences for the specific HOAs that do not register and renew.
Bottom line, HOAs that do not register and renew have certain rights suspended until they register or renew. (C.R.S. § 38-33.3-401(3)) One of those rights is “to impose or enforce a lien for assessments under section 38-33.3-316.” This means that, for example, an HOA is suspended from collecting payment for its lien at closing, collect its “superlien” in a public trustee foreclosure, or initiate a foreclosure of its own to enforce its lien. This could severely limit an HOAs ability to collect unpaid assessments.
Another right that is suspended is the right “to pursue an action or employ an enforcement mechanism otherwise available to it under section 38-33.3-123.” Hard to say exactly what this means. Section 123 addresses “enforcement mechanisms” that an HOA may use against an owner for failure to timely pay assessments and for failure to comply with pretty much any other law or provision that governs an HOA. That said, Section 123 largely governs when an HOA may shift collection costs, reasonable attorney fees, and costs to an owner who has failed to abide by certain laws or provisions of the HOA. Given this, the HOA might be suspended from any enforcement contemplated by Section 123. Less harsh but still not great, the HOA might be suspended from shifting certain fees and costs.
Hopefully, your HOA is registered and everything is A-OK. If not, this article should direct you to the tools to get your HOA back on track.