2016 Legislative Session:
During the 2016 session, Build Our Homes Right supported two bills to address the pressing need for more affordable housing in Colorado – House Bills 1334 and 1466 – both of which died in the Senate, and successfully defeated Senate Bill 213 that would have created a developer-friendly committee to make recommendations to change construction defect law, putting homeowners at risk of losing important legal rights.
HB1334: The Inclusionary Zoning
The Inclusionary Zoning Act would have extended the option to establish “inclusionary zoning” within an unincorporated area of the county, a tool cities already have. These programs encourage or require a given share of housing units in a proposed development to be priced in a way that is affordable for low-and moderate-income households – but it was killed in a Senate committee.
HB 1466: Affordable Housing Fund
A Senate committee ended up rejecting a bill that would have used surplus funds from the state’s unclaimed property trust fund to provide financing to developers of low-income housing and rental assistance for low-wage earners – a practical, Colorado-style solution to our affordable housing crisis.
SB 213: Developer-Friendly Construction Defect Study Group
SB 213 would have created a developer-friendly committee within the judiciary branch to study construction defect issues and make recommendations for changing the state’s laws on these matters. We are grateful to the legislators in a House committee who voted to protect the legal right to hold developers accountable for making homeowners whole when their new home has construction defects.
2015 Legislative Session:
May 6th marked the end of the 2015 legislative session here in Colorado! Fortunately — thanks to your actions — we were able to hold off attacks on homeowner rights (see the proposed laws below), but it’s clear that shoddy builders are just getting started.
This isn’t about us vs. them. It’s about right vs. wrong: Coloradans deserve to be protected from shoddy construction & builders need to be held accountable for their product. Will you join the coalition? Sign up here!
Senate Bill 177:
Takes away homeowner rights
Some Homeowners Need Protection
Sadly, some homes are simply NOT built right with dangerous problems like crumbling foundations, wet and rotting framing and structures that are not wind-resistant. Bad builders shouldn’t be able to shirk responsibilities with fast talk or a “caulk and walk” band-aid fix.
SB 177 Harms Homeowners
- Prevents homeowners from amending builder-written governing declarations for community.
- Restricts homeowners’ right to legal representation when victimized by shoddy construction.
- Restricts homeowners’ ability to hire experts to assess the damage of a construction defect.
- Suppresses homeowner input into community by imposing unreasonable HOA voting rules.
- Requires that boards disclose information to homeowners that may be false
Builders Already Rig the Game At Beginning. Before there are homes or homeowners, developers write “declarations” governing an HOA – they often ban homeowners from construction defect claims and dictate the arbitration/mediation players and process.
Would Allow Builders To Continue Setting Rules. Currently homeowners can amend declarations later with a 2/3 vote. SB 177 would prevent amendments to the parts dealing with construction defects.
Would Restrict Homeowners’ Expert Advice. SB 177 restricts the ability of homeowners to hire construction and legal experts to assess the scope/impact of a construction defect.
Would Suppress Homeowner Input. The bill would prevent homeowners from making construction defect decisions through their elected HOA board if they want – or to require written statements from a majority of owners, making it difficult for military personnel stationed overseas, people working two jobs and those who speak English as a second language. It also allows builders to transfer title to a related entity in order to vote to prevent a lawsuit.
Would Mandate Unappealable Arbitration. Not only is arbitration/mediation biased toward builders due to control of declarations, homeowners would not be able to appeal under SB 177.
Would Shift Expensive Costs to Homeowners. SB 177 imposes expensive mandatory arbitration/mediation on homeowners, costing thousands of dollars in an attempt to deter claims.
Would Interfere With Right to Jury Trial. In the name of expediency, SB 177 would strip homeowners – citizens of our state – of the civil right to a jury trial.
Senate Bill 91:
Chopping homeowner timeframes in half
Senate Bill 91 to shorten the time period single family home buyers have to find and act on a construction defectwas introduced in January 2015. The bill would:
- Shorten statute of repose to 5 years from 6 years for single family home construction defect claims
- Shorten statute of limitations from 1 year from 2 years for single family home construction defect claims
Race to the Bottom for Homeowner Rights Nationally
- This bill would put Colorado in the bottom 3 states in defending homeowners’ time to seek legal redress
- Colorado is already one of the 4th worst states for protecting homeowner legal timeframes
Unreasonably Short Timeframes for Homeowners
Homeowners would have an unreasonably short timeframe to address substantial problems
when their home is not built right the first time.
Homeowners Would Be Harmed
Examples of how this would affect homeowners include:
- No legal avenue for asking a builder to repair improperly installed windows that leak during rainstorms not common during our common multi-year periods of drought, leading to rot and mold
- No recourse for crumbling foundations due to poor grading and drainage that show up 5+ years after the home is built.
Defend Homeowner Protections – Leave Construction Defects Law Alone
Homeownership is a cherished Colorado value – every homebuyer should expect that their new house be built right with no construction defects. But some homes are simply NOT built right.
- Do not let bad builders shirk their responsibilities if they don’t build a good product
- Builders can solve the problem of construction defects by building homes right the first time