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February 07, 2017 01:37 PM UTC

The Anti-Homeowner Bill That Won’t Go Away

  • 7 Comments
  • by: Build Our Homes Right

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Construction defect.

Like the old Yankees coach Yogi Berra used to say, “It’s deja vu all over again!”

Just when Colorado homeowners thought that there was progress on finding ways to encourage affordable housing construction, wealthy developers are dishing up the same old measures to strip legal rights away from new home buyers so they can protect their profits.

Only two weeks after the bipartisan team of House Speaker Crisanta Duran (D) and Senate President Kevin Grantham (R) co-sponsored an insurance reform bill to lower construction insurance rates — identified by developers as THE barrier to building affordable condos — SB 156 was introduced.

SB 156 will harm those of us unlucky enough to have purchased a defective home, pure and simple. If you buy your dream home that turns into a nightmare of leaking walls or crumbling foundations, the bill ban homeowners from amending HOA governing “declarations” — this would allow developers to rig the system against you! The bill would:

Seize Your Legal Rights: Would strip your basic legal right to a jury trial by writing unfair declarations that dictate whether and how homeowners can fix construction defects and interfering in how homeowners want to make decisions that impact their homes and property.

Mandate Your Participation in Unfair Arbitration: Would force you and your neighbors into arbitration which is typically rigged for developers and against homeowners through terms like:

  • Requirements to obtain the developer’s own consent in order to bring a lawsuit.
  • Arbitration firm choice is made solely by developers, who often have close relationships with the firm/s.
  • Arbitration process may take place where the developer wants, including out-of-state.
  • Limits on the amount of restitution homeowners may seek, even if it doesn’t cover the cost of repairs.

Shift Expensive Costs to You and Your Neighbors: SB 156 would steer homeowners away from the judicial system which they support with taxes, making them pay for the high costs of a private arbitration process. Even if homeowners appeal an unfair decision, they will be on the hook to pay for another round of expensive, private arbitration. Plus, expanding developers’ right to appeal makes the process even more expensive and time-consuming.

Interfere in Homeowner Decision-Making: SB 156 would allow developers to dictate all the rules, like:

  • Prevent homeowners from empowering their elected HOA board to act on their behalf.
  • Require a 100% homeowner vote, even when developers retain one or more units — or a written vote, even if homeowners are military personnel stationed overseas, those working two jobs or non-English speakers.

New home buyers should expect that their homes are well-built and safe. But sadly, some homes are simply NOT built right with dangerous problems like rotting framing and structures that are not wind-resistant. We can’t let bad developers shirk responsibility when they sell a defective home– especially on the most expensive product most Coloradans ever purchase.

Help us defend Colorado’s new home buyers — click here to add your voice to let your elected officials know you expect them to protect our rights, not big developers.

SB 156 will harm those of us unlucky enough to have purchased a defective home, pure and simple.

Comments

7 thoughts on “The Anti-Homeowner Bill That Won’t Go Away

      1. +100 on that spaceman.

        I know many, many lawyers. Not only in politics, but I have appeared as an expert witness on occasion and have been in business for myself for nearly twenty years.

        Your best friend is a lawyer…not a building developer. ( Note: I am a general contractor and homebuilder…this has been going on for a long time…)

        Ohwilleke has it right below….read his post.

        This isn't really about protecting homeowners or renters… it is Big Money against Big Money….you, my friends, are merely pawns.

  1. The slump in condo construction is simply not driven by lawsuits. It is driven by interest rates.

    If there were more profit to be made from selling units as condos than renting them, then we would be seeing existing owners of apartment buildings converting their apartments to condos left and right. It is not very expensive, involves no construction defect lawsuit risks, can be done unilaterally by the apartment building owner, and has happened frequently in the past in metro Denver.

    Also, if construction defect lawsuits were a problem, people wouldn't build apartment buildings which present identical construction defect risks. Even in the status quo, it is harder for an HOA to sue a builder than it is for an apartment building developer to do so.

    Instead, this is purely an economic decision. When interest rates are low and rents are high, there is a lot of profit in building an apartment building with mortgage financing and renting it. When interest rates are high, the profit margin involved in renting falls and people want to take their profits by selling the units as condos instead. We have a deficit of condo offerings because we have had a very long period of artificially low and very low interest rates that is just starting to come to an end. When interest rates start to rise again, condos will be sold again.

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