Colorado: Legislative Leaders Setting Stage for Compromise?

Per the Denver Business Journal House Speaker Crisanta Duran would support legislation requiring more homeowners to approve a construction defects lawsuit and providing more information to those condominium owners about the effect of legal actions. It’s the Speaker’s first indication that she is willing to go beyond SB-45 (see above) to do something to jump-start the state’s stalled new condo market.

The Denver Democrat reiterated that she has little interest in any bill that would force disputes between condo owners and builders into alternative dispute resolution such as binding arbitration. Her stance sets the stage for what changes in current law may be reasonably easy to push through the Legislature this year and which could be contentious.

Duran’s statements came just days before state Senate Republicans are expected to introduce a new package of construction defects bills to complement Senate Bill 45, a bipartisan measure introduced on the Legislature’s opening day. State Senate President Kevin Grantham, R-Cañon City, said he plans to roll out a number of bills, potentially dealing with issues like alternative dispute resolution and informed consent, though he didn’t elaborate on the details.

Duran seems willing to consider changes related to the number of condo owners in an HOA required to approve litigation, and informed consent, ensuring owners understand the implications of a lawsuit filed by an HOA. Although she may not be convinced of the merits of arbitration, this may be a moot point.  The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that homeowners association boards cannot remove clauses from contracts that require alternative dispute resolution in the event of defects claims. The Colorado Supreme Court is now expected to hear appeals on that case in March.

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