HOA Files: HOA manager licensing | SummitDaily.com

HOA Files: HOA manager licensing

Murray Bain
Special to the Daily

It’s not a matter of “if” but “when” licensure of Colorado association managers becomes a reality, according to Brian TerHark, president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Community Association Institute (CAI). Running an association is a complex business. It requires a considerable amount of proficiency, knowledge, judgment and managerial skill. A manager is usually charged with controlling the association’s substantial funds, preparing budgets and financial statements, preselecting and contracting vendors, organizing and conducting meetings, maintaining records and coordinating repairs and maintenance.

As we know the HOA Information and Resource Center was established under DORA earlier this year with one of its tasks being to track inquiries and complaints related to Colorado common interest communities. Aaron Acker, the HOA information officer, has previously indicated to CAI that a significant amount of homeowner complaints received relate to the management of their association. Acker is required to submit a final report to the director of the Division of Real Estate at the end of this year. No doubt, the report’s findings will not be flattering.

CAI’s website currently lists nine U.S. states and the District of Columbia that have enacted manager licensing or certification standards. Apparently there are seven more states that have similar pending legislation. CAI encourages and supports all states proposing a regulatory system “that incorporates adequate protections for homeowners, mandatory education, and testing on fundamental management knowledge, standards of conduct and appropriate insurance requirements”.

Rather than be reactive, the Colorado Legislative Action Committee (CLAC), a branch of CAI, preferred a more proactive approach and, following results of focus groups and surveys, has submitted a Sunrise Review Application to DORA to investigate the need for licensing Colorado community association managers. According to DORA, such a review would examine whether there is a need, or not, for regulating a previously unregulated practice of an occupation or profession, whether the public needs or would benefit from such regulation, and whether the public can be adequately protected by other means in a more cost-effective manner.

CLAC believes that the licensing of community association managers would provide additional (common interest) homeowner protection and would elevate the level of professionalism of association management. CLAC’s licensing task force chair, Chris Pacetti, CMCA, PCAM, states “as we see more cases of embezzlement and companies and communities not adhering to state laws designed to protect homeowner rights, more states are realizing licensing provides homeowners much needed consumer protection.”

TerHark asserts that, should DORA find there is a need for manager licensing (they have 120 days from the Sunrise Review application to make a decision), CLAC could very well propose licensing legislation in the 2012 legislative session. For more information on CAI’s licensing programs, go to http://www.caionline.org.

Murray Bain is a reserve studies provider and HOA consultant. He can be reached on (970) 485-0829, or at http://www.summithoaservices.com.

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