Colorado Association of REALTORS: Legislative Update

Senate Bill 17-215 “Sunset Licensed Real Estate Brokers & Subdivision Developers” CAR Position – Support. This bill, which continues the Division of Real Estate, the Real Estate commission and the regulation of real estate brokers until 2026. It passed second reading in the Senate on March 27.

The bill directs the Real Estate Commission to establish, by rule, the number of transactions that a broker must have completed before becoming an employing broker and amends the current provisions on referral fees to conform to the requirements of federal law. It further consolidates the various cash funds used for several licensing functions and programs administered by the division of real estate into a single cash fund.

Additionally, the bill would allow broker licenses to expire uniformly on December 31 rather than requiring licensees to apply for renewal at various times throughout the year on their individual anniversary dates and defines “conviction” to include deferred judgments and deferred sentences, in provisions listing factors the commission may consider when determining whether to discipline a licensee.

House Bill 17-1279 “Construction Defect Actions Notice Vote Approval” CAR Position – NEUTRAL. The latest construction defects bill was introduced on March 17 and is scheduled for the House’s “kill” committee, i.e., State, Veterans & Military Affairs on March 29. This bill requires that before the executive board of a homeowners’ association (HOA) in a common interest community brings suit against a developer or builder on behalf of unit owners for a construction defect action, the board must: a) notify in writing all unit owners and the developer or builder against whom the lawsuit is being considered; b) convene a meeting to consider whether to pursue a lawsuit and at that meeting the executive board and the developer or builder will have an opportunity to present relevant facts and arguments; and c) obtain the approval of a majority of the unit owners after giving them disclosures about the lawsuit and its potential costs and benefits.

CAR is in a neutral position because a few significant problems exist in the legislation as introduced. Some of these areas of concern include the exclusions of certain voting populations, the extension of the time allowed to file a lawsuit during the notice and claim period, and the omission of common area defects from requiring the same level of unit owner vote approval prior to entering a lawsuit despite the fact that these common areas could still tie up unit owner property and prevent homeowners from being able to refinance or sell their property.

CAR is focused on making sure that the solution to the construction litigation environment enables developers and builders to have the confidence they need to build attainable housing options that are within reach of first-time homeowners, seniors, young professionals and others who have effectively been blocked from pursuing home ownership. Common sense, bi-partisan solutions should facilitate a quick resolution process for homeowner associations who are trying to correct construction defects, but also protect homeowners who are trying to re-sell or finance their homes from actions that are taken by their HOA boards without their consent or knowledge.

HB-1242 “New Transportation Infrastructure Funding” CAR Position – Monitor. This bill has passed two different committee hearings and is now heading to the Appropriations Committee. The bill has been heavily amended and once it passes the House, it will face even more changes when it gets to the Senate.

As amended, HB-1242 allocates $375 million a year to CDOT for its projects, 70 percent of the remaining revenue going to local governments, and 30 percent to multi-modal projects. Funding would come from TRANS bonds and a new .62 percent state sales tax. Per the Tax Payer Bill of Rights, both of these revenue sources also require voter.

Note: The Denver Business Journal reported that the bill’s sponsors, Senate President Kevin Grantham and House Speaker Crisanta Duran “expressed surprise” when CDOT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt suggested that CDOT would use express (toll) lanes for any new highway lanes paid for by HB-1242 revenues. Grantham said, “These projects have been needing to be taken care of for quite a while. And if we’re going to ask the people of Colorado to take more out of their pockets to make it happen and then punish them on the back for doing what already should have been done, I don’t think it’s going to be a great selling point when it gets to the voters.”

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