Saturday, January 19, 2008

Rep. Morgan Carroll Introduces HOA Due Process & ADR Bill

Rep. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, has introduced a bill that would force homeowner associations to submit disputes with members to an impartial decisionmaker and encourage them to use alternative dispute resolution procedures.

HB 1135, which is also sponsored by Sen. Bob Hagedorn, D-Aurora, provides that associations could not impose a fine for violations of the planned community's covenants unless it has a written fine policy in place.

It also specifies that no fine can be imposed unless "the policy includes a fair and impartial factfinding process . . . [that] guarantee[s] the unit owner notice and an opportunity to be heard before an impartial decision maker." The bill makes clear that a person with a personal or financial stake in the outcome of the dispute with a unit owner cannot be an "impartial decision maker."

The bill would also authorize, for the first time, covenants to specify that mediation could be used to resolve disputes between associations and unit owners.

It also forbids enforcement of covenant provisions that conflict with aspects of federal fair housing law that permit disabled persons to modify their home to accommodate their disability.