Condo owners in showdown with HOA over plans for $15K charge for repairs

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NORTHGLENN, Colo. -- An emergency community meeting in Northglenn Tuesday night pits condo owners against their homeowner's association (HOA) in Westminster.

Owners of homes at Prospector’s Point are upset with their HOA, which they say has mismanaged their dues—and now they’re forced to pay the price.

CAP Management says homeowners will have to come up with between $5 to $7 million to pay for serious repairs that could affect residents' and visitors' health and safety.

There’s the peeling paint, the crumbling sidewalk and disintegrating drywall.

“The property has been neglected for the past 10 years. Partly because of the recession, partly because of poor construction, initially. But now the community is at a state where the city is requiring we do $5 million dollars of work,” says Chris Crigler, of CAP Management, which took over managing the HOA about a year-and-a-half ago.

Crigler estimates that will cost the 400 owners in 18 buildings $15,000 each in repairs.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s 15-cents. They don’t deserve it because they have not been responsible in spending one-cent of it so far,” says resident Kemper Watkins, who has lived at the condos for five years.

He already pays $215 a month in HOA dues and he wonders where all his money is going.

With 400 owners, that’s about $100,000 a month or about $1.2 million a year.

“They have a right to know where that money went. In general, it goes for landscaping, insurance, water, maintenance. But more to the point, a lot of the work that has been done has been Band-Aid fixes,” says Crigler.

They are little fixes Crigler says don’t work anymore because the problems are too big.

Watkins gave us a tour of the damages.

He shows us one third floor walkway that is closed off because it has eroded to its base.

Crigler says some balconies are falling—and so are some sides of buildings.

“The bricks on top of that side are falling. They don’t want people in there. Instead of fixing it, they block us off,” says 20-year resident Phyl Schechter.

Residents say they’d love to see even Band-Aid maintenance—something to show for their hard-earned cash.

They say there’s something more wrong here than deteriorating buildings.

“I want to know where the money has gone. Where are our dues going? Watkins questions. “What are they going to do with it? They haven’t done anything in the past. They haven’t done anything in the present. The only thing I see them doing in the future is the same thing and it’s not going to work.”

Crigler says they have done audits to account for their dues. And one audit showed someone misappropriated $5,000. He did not know if that was someone stealing HOA money or someone who didn’t pay their dues.

Crigler says they have six months to pay back the money or they will be turned over to collections.

The city of Westminster says while it has the power to condemn buildings, charge large fines and send people to jail—that is not what they plan to do. But they are working with the HOA’s management to get the problems fixed.

Crigler says best-case scenario, their HOA can get a bank loan to pay for the fixes.

Then, residents would be charged $100 a month to pay it off.

Worst-case scenario is they’d make owners pay $3,000 a year over five years—which adds up to $250/month.

The community meeting at Northglenn High School was crowded.

A second meeting will take place Monday, June 23 from 6-8 p.m. also at Northglenn High.

A third meeting has yet to be determined.

CAP Management plans to live stream the meetings at here.