Update: Commission and Division of Real Estate Sunset
Last week, CAR General Counsel, Scott Peterson testified at the first pre-hearing on the Division of Real Estate Sunset before the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee. This pre-hearing was an opportunity for the committee to hear from the Department of Regulatory Agencies Policy Analyst and stakeholders on the DORA Sunset Report. Peterson shared CAR’s comments on the report, explaining that CAR believes the Division and Commission should be continued and continue to regulate licensees.
However, CAR strongly disagreed with Recommendation 2 related to “standard forms” that is troublesome for our members for several reasons. Removing “standard” and “including those” language is inconsistent with established legal precedent stemming from the Conway Bogue case that has defined the practice of real estate brokers for the past sixty years. If this ruling were changed by the Sunset recommendation a real estate licensee would only be able to complete forms that are promulgated by the Real Estate Commission and any other form, no matter how innocuous, would need to be prepared by an attorney. Accordingly, this proposed change could reduce the authority of broker licensees and expand the role of attorneys in real estate transactions. This type of substantial change could erode the rights of the 40,000 real estate licensees throughout the state.
Finally, CAR also addressed Recommendation 9 at the pre-hearing. CAR informed the committee that requiring the Commission to develop guidelines for the annual commission update course instead of developing the course itself will curtail the supply of instructors, and thereby restrict the availability of course offering and overburden the Division who would need to not only develop the guidelines, but also approve, police and audit these classes developed by the instructors.
Peterson also informed the committee of our support for Recommendations 4, 5, and 7, which would increase the qualifications necessary to become an employing broker (4), amend state statutes dealing with referral fees to conform with RESPA (5), and revise license renewal dates from anniversary dates to December 31 of each year (7).
The Senate Business Affairs, Labor and Technology Committee has taken these comments from stakeholders and the DORA public policy analyst into consideration in drafting a bill. Based upon CAR’s testimony and some of the other stakeholder comments the bill draft will not include Recommendations 2, 3, and 9. The introduced bill will be calendared for future hearings in committee and follow the regular legislative process. Continue reading future editions of the Capitol Connection to stay apprised about the Sunset Review and CAR’s work on your behalf.
Senate Bill 17-156: Homeowner’s Association Construction Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines
Today, the Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) voted to support the Home Opportunity Alliance initiated SB17-156, Homeowner’s Association Construction Defect Lawsuit Approval Timelines introduced by Senator Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs) and Representatives Cole Wist (R-Centennial), and Lori Saine (R-Firestone). SB 156 is comprehensive reform bill that:
- Provides a common sense and balanced solution that protects consumers from faulty construction whiles also increasing diverse and more affordable options for home ownership.
- Encourages construction of housing options that are within reach of many first time homeowners, seniors, young professionals and others who have effectively been blocked from home ownership at a time when the state’s rental market has skyrocketed
- Defines a quick resolution process for homeowner associations who are trying to correct construction defects, while also protecting homeowners who are trying to re-sell or finance their homes from actions taken by their boards without their consent or knowledge.
- Does not preclude a single homeowner from pursing legal action for allegations of construction defects against a builder.
- Encourages new multi-family development near light rail and transit stations that provide easy access to commuting, shopping and urban-living options
- Provides a more stable environment for many Coloradans have been precluded from putting down strong roots, and for cities and towns are finding it more difficult to build established and less transient communities.
Senate Bill 17-038 Registration Home Inspectors
CAR initiated Senate Bill 17-038 Regulation of Home Inspectors Sponsored by Senator Nancy Todd (D-Aurora) passed out of the Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee and was heard in the Senate Finance Committee this week. Thank you to our CAR members Ed Hardy and David Barber who testified on this important legislation in those committees this week. The bill was laidover for action only in the Senate Finance Committee and we will find out next week if the bill advances to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) supports SB17-038 that makes it unlawful for a person to act as a home inspector without first registering with the department of regulatory agencies. This year’s bill would require a home inspector to pay a registration fee, show proof of possession of minimum liability insurance coverage and a surety bond, and submit fingerprints for a criminal background check. The registration program would sunset in 5 years.
CAR believes SB 17-038 is a consumer protection bill that addresses requirements for professionals wishing to undertake the important responsibility of home inspection without creating a burdensome barrier to entry for new businesses. For consumers, one of the biggest transactions they make during the course of their lifetime is the sale or purchase of a home. Home Inspectors have a tremendous amount of access to the most private aspect of a consumer’s living space — their home. Incidents of burglary, incorrect reporting, and even threats to personal safety are not what consumers should be worrying about as they participate in a real estate transaction. Home Inspectors are the only professional in the transaction that is not currently regulated who can have a significant impact on the outcome of the real estate transaction.
Invest in RPAC
The purpose of RPAC is to support candidates that support REALTORS®. Our goal is to get pro-REALTOR® candidates elected at the local, state, and federal levels – candidates that share our support for homeownership, protect property rights, and who will listen to our concerns. Investing in RPAC is one of the easiest things you can do to protect your business. Our goal in 2017 is to raise $600,000 to continue to support our REALTOR ® champions and ensure we achieve the policy outcomes necessary to protect property rights. Click here to invest today!
REALTOR® Day at the Capitol: February 8th is SOLD OUT
We will not have on-site registration for this event. For our attendees, we are looking forward to seeing you on February 8th. Lunch will begin promptly at 11:30AM featuring Keynote Speaker Henry Sobanet, Director of the Office of State Planning and Budgeting. The afternoon program will take place in the Old Supreme Court Chambers of the Capitol with visits from Lt. Governor Donna Lynne and caucus leadership from both the House and Senate.
Colorado Project Wildfire
Developed by the Colorado Association of REALTORS®, Project Wildfire is designed to help reduce the destruction of land, property, and lives. Working in partnership with other like-minded fire prevention organizations across the state, local REALTOR® associations are bringing education and awareness, as well as access to resources, directly to residents in their local communities. To learn more about Colorado Project Wildfire, click here.
Transit Alliance Spring 2017 Citizen’s Academy
The Transit Alliance is hosting their annual spring 2017 Citizen’s Academy from April 5, 2017 – May 17, 2017. This is a great opportunity to discuss transportation, community development, and sustainability in Colorado. The class is limited, so please get your applications in soon. More information and the application can be found here. The deadline to apply is March 17, 2017.