New state law to affect Aspen worker condo associations |

New state law to affect Aspen worker condo associations

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – A new Colorado law requiring condominium associations to have capital reserve policies in place will effect such groups within the Aspen-Pitkin County employee housing program.

Capital reserves – or the lack of sufficient reserves – has cropped up as an issue at some local employee housing complexes. Now, condo associations will have to come up with a plan to deal with capital expenses, though the law doesn’t require them to actually build up the funds, according to Tom McCabe, executive director of the Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Authority.

All condo associations that fall under the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act will be required to develop the policy – either by Aug. 1 of this year or by August 2010, depending on when the association was formed relative to the act. Either way, all employee housing condo associations will be affected, McCabe said. Free-market ones will, too.

“The state just wants them to look at it seriously and have a plan,” he said.

The plan, however, could be to not build up a capital reserve fund for large, common expenses like replacement of roofs or exterior painting, but to pay for such expenditures through special assessments.

The housing authority, however, is encouraging associations to build up adequate reserves, McCabe said.

“We’re trying to get the homeowners associations to be responsible so the next generation of homeowners has a good product,” he said.

The housing office can and does reduce the sale price of an employee unit to reflect wear and tear when a unit is not kept up and it could do the same if a complex is facing large maintenance expenditures for which it has not built up a reserve fund, McCabe said.

As for the plans required by the new state law, House Bill 1359, the housing office has no authority to force associations to comply, but it is willing to help and will be asking to see a copy of each association’s plans, he said.

Last week, the housing authority held a pair of workshops on condo ownership rights and responsibilities, with an emphasis on capital reserves. Some 70 representatives of associations attended, according to McCabe.

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