Do Colorado HOA covenants ever run out and are major revisions allowed

by Terry

Publish Date: June 19, 2024

Visitor Question: We live in an HOA whose covenants date back to 1977. In the covenants it states that they "run with the land" and that they will automatically renew every 10 years from the date of the covenants unless homeowners vote by 67% majority to cease. My first question is, does Colorado have a term limit on how long covenants are still active. Secondly, the new board wants to drastically change covenants. If a pre-CCIOA HOA makes major changes to its covenants, does it then have to abide by all CCIOA rules and regulations?

Editor Reply: Terry, as stated on this website, we are not attorneys here; we are city planners. So just take our comments as a starting point for a conversation with an attorney licensed in Colorado, who can give you a more definitive answer based both on statutes and--importantly perhaps--on case law.

In fact, you should be talking with either the current attorney working for your HOA or the attorney who created the covenants originally, if that is still a possibility.

Now to help other readers of our website, CCIOA stands for Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act. In brief, this law sets up somewhat different rules and procedures for HOAs in effect before 1992, and those formed afterward. It also sets up other classifications, such as large and small.

The way I read this law, your covenants have no end date unless an end to this process of automatic renewals was specified in your original covenants. (Other readers, there is a procedure by which current HOA members can stop the automatic renewal.)

For everyone: it is critical to read and understand your covenants because state laws often defer to the specific language of the covenants.

For your second question, Terry, I am not seeing any provision saying that a set of major amendments automatically kicks an HOA into the post-1992 rules category. There is a process whereby the HOA can "elect" to use the post-1992 rules, but if they do not follow that process to opt into the newer rules, I don't see a limit on the amount of change they can make to their pre-1992 covenants. However, this is an area where a close reading of your actual covenants, as well as a more detailed reading of Colorado law than we undertake through this website, could make this conclusion incorrect.

You might wonder why I chose to answer the question at all, Terry, since I'm giving you a non-answer essentially. The thought was that this would be a useful vehicle to show our readers that it is quite important that you consult an attorney who has access to an entire law library and the professional training to interpret that library, and is available to you to read your actual covenants.

I like your thought process in wondering whether it is appropriate to make major revisions and still claim immunity from newer requirements by citing the existence of the HOA before 1992. However, in the limited amount of reading I am able to do while maintaining this website, I don't see any support for that theory in the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act.

HOA residents, beware!

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