After receiving numerous complaints related to unscrupulous community association managers, Colorado sought to more closely regulate community association managers through the introduction of House Bill 13-1277 in 2013. Codified in Section 38-33.3-402 of the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act, any person who manages the affairs of a common interest community on behalf of an HOA for compensation, must now meet minimum qualifications, and obtain and maintain a license. Section 12-61-1002 makes it unlawful for any person to engage in, or hold themselves out as qualified, the business of community association management without first having obtained a license or during any period in which the license is revoked or suspended.
What Qualifies A Community Association Manager
Colorado Revised Statutes Section 12-61-1001 defines a community association manager as any person or firm, partnership, limited liability company, association, or corporation that engages in or attempts to engage in community association management for compensation by fee, commission, salary, or anything else of value.
A community association manager does not include:
- Attorneys in connection with their representation of clients in the practice of law.
- Public officials in the conduct of their official duties.
- Persons performing clerical, ministerial, accounting, or maintenance function under the direct supervision of a manager.
- Apprentice working under the direct supervision of a licensed manager.
- Receiver, trustee, administrator, conservator, executor, or guardian acting under proper authorization.
- Person, firm, partnership, limited liability company, or association acting personally or a corporation acting through its officers or regular salaried employees, on behalf of that person or on its own behalf as principal in acquiring or in negotiating to acquire any interest in real estate.
- Independent contractor who performs clerical, ministerial, accounting, or maintenance function, or who is not otherwise engaged in the performance of community association management.
- Corporation with respect to property owned or leased by it, acting through its officers or regular salaried employees, when such acts are incidental and necessary in the ordinary course of the corporation’s business activities of a non-property management nature.
Colorado Revised Statutes Section 12-61-1003 sets forth the requirements to obtain a Colorado Community Association Manager Licensure. Section 1003 requires an applicant to submit several documents prior to even submitting for the licensure test. Once those requirements have been met, an applicant must pass a two-part licensure test.
Requirements Prior To Submitting Application For Licensure
Colorado sets forth several prerequisites that must be satisfied prior to submitting an application for a license. More specifically, each applicant must:
- Be of at least eighteen years of age.
- Have obtained a high school diploma or an equivalent GED certificate.
- Submit finger prints to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
- Pay for a criminal history background check.
- Not been convicted of a felony involving dishonesty or offense involving unlawful sexual behavior within the preceding ten years.
- Obtain and hold one of the following:
- Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA)
- Association Management Specialist (AMS)
- Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM)
- Any other designation as may be identified by the Directors.
An applicant is ineligible for a license if the person has, within the preceding ten years, had a license or certification as a community association manager revoked or suspended in any state that regulates community association managers. However, the director has the discretion to accept the application if at least two years have elapsed since the date of the revocation or suspension, and the applicant has proved to the director they are fit to be licensed as a community association manager in Colorado.
Community Association Manager Examination
Once the above described requirements have been satisfied, an applicant must pass the community association manager licensure examination. The examination consists of two separate portions – the General Portion which measures the competency of the applicant in carrying out the core functions of community association management and the Colorado Law Portion which measures an understanding of the basic provisions of legal documents and Colorado law with which managers are required to comply.
Of note, any applicant who has maintained their CMCA, AMS, or PCAM, need complete only the Colorado Law Portion of the community association manager licensure examination.
Section 1003 allows for the issuance of licenses without examination to community association managers licensed that are licensed in another state that regulates community association managers, for at least two years, and establishes that they possess qualifications that are substantively equivalent to the requirements in Colorado for licensure by examination. However, the Director of the Division of Real Estate may require a person so licensed to take the Colorado Law Portion of the examination within a specified time after first receiving a Colorado license.