Capitol Connection: February 14, 2014
Registration for REALTOR® Day Still Open!
Please view a video invitation from Jeffrey Martin, 2014 Government Affairs Division Vice President, with information about key events at REALTOR® Day. Don’t miss the 2014 REALTOR® Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, February 26th at the McNichols Building and the State Capitol. Based on feedback received from local leadership, we have revamped this event and are very excited for you to attend. We are offering Capitol tours and meetings with Legislators as part of the selections to help craft an educational and entertaining day. This is a great opportunity for you to learn about and discuss important policy issues affecting the real estate industry this upcoming year, as well as hear from legislative leaders and network with your legislators. Registration is $65 and includes lunch and an afternoon program. For more details, or to register today, please click here.
HB 1198 Military and Family Professional Licensing
LPC took the position of NEUTRAL on HB14-1198, Concerning the authority for active-duty military family members credentialed in another state to practice an occupation regulated by Colorado law. Current law allows the spouse of an active-duty service member stationed in Colorado to practice a profession regulated by Colorado law without first seeking Colorado credentials, so long as that spouse is licensed in another state. Currently, the spouse can practice a regulated profession in Colorado for one year upon moving to the state. Current law makes exceptions to the reciprocity policy, requiring Colorado licensure for engineers, architects, surveyors, doctors, optometrists, individuals working with fireworks, and individuals working in real estate. The bill increases the one-year period to 3 years and makes the reciprocity policy applicable to all professions regulated by Colorado law. The bill also extends the authority to practice a regulated profession to an active-duty service member and the children of an active-duty service member.
A similar piece of legislation passed in 2012, allowing for license reciprocity in some professions for Active-Duty military spouses for up to one year. This bill expands the measure to Active-Duty military members and dependents less than twenty two years of age and increases the time allotted to three years. The 2012 bill exempted the real estate profession; however, HB-1198 does not. Real estate licensees in other states do not have the same requirements as we do here in Colorado, including E&O insurance, background checks, and fingerprinting, among other consumer protections. We would also have issues with Mortgage Loan Originators (MLOs) and Appraisers as well. If appraisers working from states not in “Good Standing” were granted reciprocity the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) could initiate non-recognition proceedings on all Colorado appraisers. Regarding MLOs, other states do not have the bonding and surety requirements that Colorado requires. Moreover, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) could come into the state to regulate MLOs. Because of these concerns, we are working with the bill sponsor to exclude the real estate industry from this bill.
HB 1254 Limit HOA Transfer Fees and Late Payment Penalties
CAR SUPPORTS HB14-1254, Concerning a requirement to disclose fees charged to a unit owners’ association by a community association manager. The bill requires a licensed community association manager who provides services for a Homeowners’ Association (HOA), either directly or through employees or subcontractors, to fully disclose to the HOA all service fees and charges that will be billed either to the HOA or to unit owners. The community association manager must disclose all fees and charges during contract negotiations with the executive board of an HOA, and annually thereafter. The Division of Real Estate in the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) may regulate, investigate, and take disciplinary action against a manager for a violation of these provisions.
CAR has heard anecdotes that HOA boards are not always knowledgeable or pay attention to the fees and other charges management companies charge, including HOA transfer fees, during contract negotiations with management companies. We support this legislation because it is simply a disclosure bill to address concerns with surprise fees. The bill should make fee information more transparent so homeowners and their HOA boards are fully aware of not what only the fees are but what they are being used for.
Transit Alliance Spring 2014 Citizen’s Academy
The Transit Alliance is hosting their annual spring 2014 Citizen’s Academy from March 5, 2014-April 16, 2014. This is a great opportunity to discuss transportation, community development, and sustainability in Colorado. The class is limited to 50 participants, so please get your applications in to take part! More information, as well as the application, can be found here, and the deadline for applying is Friday, February 21st at 5PM.
Download the REALTOR® Action Center Mobile App
The REALTOR® Action Center mobile app is now available for download for the iPhone and DROID. Simply search for NAR Action Center in your respective app markets. This app is designed to help members Vote, Act and Invest on the go. It will help you increase your state and local Federal Call for Action participation rates, allow members a quick and efficient way to invest in RPAC, and provide you a way to track your REALTOR® Party activities and so much more.