Sellers Disclosure to Buyer

In Colorado, it is the seller’s responsibility to ensure the buyer has access to the association’s governing documents. It is the association’s responsibility to ensure the most current documents are readily available. Usually, the property manager, by its contract with the association, has the delegated task to present the necessary documents for disclosure.

In 2005, Senate Bill 05-100 was signed into law and contained a provision that required the seller of a unit in a common interest community to deliver to a buyer, on or before the title deadline, the most current copies of all the governing documents, minutes of any meetings held within the prior 6 months, current operating budget, and the annual financials. The seller was also required to provide a disclosure statement indicating that the buyer understands his or her responsibilities as a member of the association. The seller was to obtain a signed acknowledgment of this information and deliver it to the association. What a bureaucracy!

Thankfully, the subsequent cleanup bill, SB 06-089, repealed the respective section in CCIOA, but replaced it with a revision of CRS 38-35.7-102 that requires every contract for the purchase and sale of a residential unit in a common interest community, as of 1/1/07, contain a specific disclosure statement, in bold face type. In a desire not to be redundant and bore you with the full statement, I can tell you that it declares that the property is subject to a Declaration, the buyer will be a member of the association, has financial obligations to the HOA, and is also subject to the HOA’s other governing documents, including architectural review constraints. The disclosure statement encourages the buyer to investigate his or her financial obligations to the HOA as well as to read the governing documents. The standard Colorado Real Estate Commission approved form, Contract to Buy and Sell Real Estate (Residential), includes a few checkboxes to determine whether the association or the seller has provided the documents to the buyer, and that the buyer has received and reviewed them, and accepts them. Still a lot of red tape, but clearly, the seller has the obligation to provide the documents. Failure to do so could not only allow the buyer to cancel the contract but may also file a claim against the seller for relief for actual damages directly or proximately caused, plus court costs.

As a seller, you want to be sure the disclosure is made and that the buyer has acknowledged it. The HOA law firm HindmanSanchez (Now called Altitude Community Law) suggests an association create a written policy that outlines the methods by which the association will present the documents and the procedures for a seller to obtain them.