Understanding Declaration Amendments

Let’s face it, the amendment process for common interest community Declarations can be difficult for the average community association manager or board member to understand and decipher.  Typically, an amendment requires the affirmative vote of a specified percentage of homeowners along with notification to first mortgagees holding a Deed of Trust (mortgage).  While the amendment procedure is normally specified in the Declaration, CCIOA (the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act) may impose some thresholds on the requisite amount of votes to amend a Declaration.

With the exception of certain amendments requiring a higher percentage of votes (i.e. a change to the use restrictions for a unit, changing allocated interests, etc.), CCIOA specifies that a Declaration cannot be amended by 50% or less of affirmative votes nor greater than 67% of the affirmative votes.  For example, if a Declaration requires a 75% affirmative vote to approve amendments to a Declaration, an association only needs the affirmative vote of 67% of the owners to approve the amendment.

What if the Declaration requires the approval of first mortgagees to consent to amendments but does not specify the procedure for notifying them of the proposed amendments? In this case, an association must comply with two requirements:

       (1) Send a dated, written notice and a copy of the proposed amendments by certified mail each first mortgagee at its most recent address shown in the public records; and

      (2) Cause the dated notice, together with info on how to obtain a copy of the proposed amendment, to be printed in full at least twice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where                the association is located.

If the mortgagee does not deliver to the association a negative response to the proposed amendment within 60 days of the dated notice above, then the mortgagee is deemed to have consented to the amendment.

Stay tuned for our next blog post that will discuss and simplify the court amendment process.

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