The Colorado House of Representatives did Monday what would have been unthinkable just one week ago — it passed a construction-defects reform bill aimed at spurring condominium construction by a unanimous vote.
Five days after business and legislative leaders announced a compromise to end four years of feuding over similar measures, not a single member of the House disagreed with the deal laid out in House Bill 1279, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Alec Garnett of Denver and Republican Rep. Lori Saine of Dacono. And 53 House members signed on to co-sponsor it.
“I wasn’t sure if we were going to get here,” House Speaker Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, said before the vote.
Backers of the bill believe that reform of the state's construction-defects laws is crucial to speed up development of new condos in a state that's starved for lower-cost housing. They say existing laws put condo builders at too much risk of being sued by homeowners for defects, so developers are putting up rental apartments instead.
HB 1279 requires that a majority of condo owners in a unit vote before any construction-defects lawsuit be filed, an increase in buy-in from the current standard that requires only a majority of a homeowners-association board approve of taking legal action.
It also requires condo owners be informed of the potential benefits and drawbacks of such a suit.