HOA Educational Articles for Members
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Carbon Monoxide Alarms Required
Summary of House Bill 09-1091/Carbon Monoxide Alarms Required
On and after July 1, 2009, carbon monoxide alarms are required in:
- Homes for sale
- Homes for rent
- Certain remodels of single-family homes and ‘multi-family residences.’
‘Multi-family residences’ include condominiums and townhomes or other attached homes.
Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed within fifteen feet of the entrance to each room legally used for sleeping purposes or in a location specified by any applicable building code.
Application to Condominiums, Townhomes and Attached Homes Used for Rental Purposes
Condominiums, townhomes and attached homes used for rental purposes are subject to the same carbon monoxide alarm installation requirements as other homes. This includes installation requirements upon changes in rental occupants and remodels after July 1, 2009.
There is an exception regarding installation location of the carbon monoxide alarms in any multi-family residence used for rental purposes. As long as there is a centralized alarm system or other mechanism for a responsible person to hear the alarm at all times, the multi-family residence may have an operational carbon monoxide alarm installed within twenty-five feet of the fuel-fired heater or appliance, fireplace or garage in a location specified by the applicable building code.
Responsibility for Maintenance and Back-up Power
The law requires that alarms have back-up power.
Owners of rental property must replace any alarm that is stolen, removed or found not operational after the previous occupancy. They must ensure that batteries necessary to make the alarm operational are provided to the tenant at the time the tenant takes residence.
Owners of rental property must also replace any alarm if notified by the tenant that the alarm was stolen, removed, found missing or found not operational, and fix any deficiency of which the owner receives notice.
Except as provided above, owners of single-family dwellings or units in multi-family dwellings used for rental purposes are not responsible for the maintenance, repair or replacement of an alarm or the care and replacement of batteries for such alarm.
The tenant of any rental property is required to keep, test and maintain all alarms in good repair. They must notify the owner in writing if the alarm needs to be replaced or if there is any deficiency in the alarm that the tenant cannot correct.
Liability Limitations for Proper Installations
If a carbon monoxide alarm is installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and the new law, then the owner of the home, their agents, persons in possession and the installer, are immune from liability for damages resulting from operation, maintenance or effectiveness of the alarm.
This law became effective May 14, 2009, with the alarm required after July 1, 2009.
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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know we’re headed for some extremely cold temperatures very soon (tonight!). And if you’re on a condo or townhome board, you know what’s next…frozen pipes and finger pointing.
If you haven’t already done so, send an email blast (dare I say a cold blast?) to your residents to ensure they’ve reduced the chance of pipes freezing during what’s supposed to be one of the worst cold snaps in 30 years. Here are four easy things to do to keep pipes from freezing:
- Let Faucets Drip
This helps relieve pressure building from ice inside the pipe.
- Keep Your Cabinets Warm
Check your cabinets in your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room etc., for exposed pipes. Then leave the doors open to let the warm air in from the rest of your house.
- Keep Your House Warm
Traveling? Maintain at least 60°F, even when you’re not there.
- Disconnect Your Hoses
If a hose is still connected, this can cause ice to back up into the pipe. Remove, drain, and store hoses.
And, if pipes do end up freezing, and you end up flooded with water leak questions, then keep this article handy for the inevitable question of: Who Pays for What In a Water Leak Situation?
Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact an Altitude Community Law attorney at 303-432-9999 or
Stay Warm Colorado.
- Hits: 138
SB23-178: To Veg, or Not to Veg? That is the Question.
Filed Under Legislation
Posted June 1, 2023
Now that SB23-178 has been signed into law and has become part of the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (effective August 9, 2023), the predominant question is “what does this mean for my community?”
To start, if your community is a condominium community or townhome community with shared walls, the new law does not change anything for your association. Although your community must still comply with the laws already in existence allowing owners to install xeriscaping on their properties, you will not be subject to the changes in the law discussed in this article.
On the other hand, if your community is a single-family detached form of housing, the new law applies to your association.
First and foremost, the new law expands owners’ rights to install xeriscaping on property the owner is responsible to maintain, including limited common elements, right-of-ways, and tree lawns. Associations, however, may prohibit xeriscaping on property that is maintained by the association (regardless of whether such property is owned by the owner). The determining factor as to whether an owner may xeriscape property is whether the owner is responsible for the maintenance of said property and not necessarily ownership.
Additionally, associations must allow owners to plant vegetable gardens in the front-yards, side-yards, and backyards of their homes. Associations must also adopt three pre-approved garden designs, (pulled from the Colorado State University’s downloadable designs, from a municipality, or from the website of another entity creating such designs). The preapproved designs may be used by owners without going through the association’s architectural approval process.
The three pre-approved plans must be posted on the association’s website so that owners can readily access them. Although the statute does not provide actual URL’s where the garden designs may be found, we have included links to two sources that appear to contain such designs. However, because the legislation is not entirely clear on this issue, we recommend associations conduct further research on this topic.
Additionally, the new law creates more restrictions affecting an association’s ability to adopt rules governing installation of xeriscaping, which include the following:
• Associations cannot require use of hardscape on more than 20% of the landscaping;
• Associations must provide an option consisting of at least 80% drought-tolerant plantings; and
• Associations must continue to allow artificial turf in backyards (this was already in the statute).
So, what does all of this mean for you? If you are a single-family detached community, and you currently have a xeriscaping policy, the policy will need to be rewritten to comply with the new law.
If you are a single-family detached community that does not currently have a xeriscaping policy, you are not required to adopt one, but you are still required to post three preapproved garden plans on your website. As such, you are better off adopting a policy addressing this component; otherwise, the association will not have control over xeriscaping in the community.
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