When Deanne Barker’s* offer to purchase a two-bedroom condominium in Vail was accepted, she was ecstatic. The professional mother of two looked forward to spending long weekends during the ski season with her family and friends. So she was heartbroken when – almost three weeks after she’d made the offer – her broker told her another owner had exercised the Right of First Refusal clause in the condominium association bylaws, at Deanne’s price and terms. Deanne had no recourse; she was simply out of luck.
The Right of First Refusal process is fairly common in the governing documents of many condominium owners’ associations in Vail and other Colorado towns. With such a clause, whenever someone contracts to buy a condominium, they must wait a specified period of time before they can close the sale. During that time any current owner has the right to more or less “steal” the contract. If an existing owner chooses to exercise their right they must match the terms of the contract, but if they do, the buyer who had originally contracted for the unit is simply out of luck. Naturally, this can be a trying experience for someone who has gone through the psychological (and sometimes emotional) gymnastics necessary to make a million dollar buying decision.
While the ROFR clause can be advantageous to existing condominium owners, the ownership of the Antlers at Vail will soon decide whether to strike the 20-day ROFR clause from its governing documents. After considering the matter for many months including a lengthy discussion at the last annual owners meeting, the Antlers Board of Directors unanimously recommended to the ownership that this clause be eliminated from the Condominium Declaration. Doing so requires the approval of 67% of the entire Antlers ownership (63 out of 94 total units). The board and management are optimistic that benchmark can be reached. The formal vote to amend the Declaration will be held at a special meeting on July 16.
The Antlers Board has distributed a summary of their opinion, which makes the case that the ROFR could be a deterrent to sales, thus depressing property values, however slightly. Additionally, its implementation could be the source of lawsuits for a variety of reasons, as it has been elsewhere. The Board felt that whatever perceived benefit might be attributed to the ROFR, it was far outweighed by these negatives. Hopefully the Antlers ownership agrees.
“I know of no other homeowners association in the state that has eliminated the ROFR clause from its governing documents,” says noted condominium law expert Jerry Orten, legal counsel for the Antlers. “The Antlers has been on the cutting edge of Colorado condominium activity before, and the owners should be admired for their progressiveness.”
Since 1972, the Antlers at Vail hotel has offered a unique Vail lodging experience in a relaxed mountain setting. The hotel recently completed its $2 million swimming pool redevelopment project that includes two outdoor hot tubs and sparkling changing rooms in addition to the spacious heated pool that faces Vail Mountain. A mere 150 yards from the gondola, dining and night life, the lodge emphasizes exceptional service and amenities—including a recently renovated lobby, conference center, business center and fitness room, plus dog-friendly services and more. For additional information call 800-843-8245.
Contact: Rob LeVine, General Manager, The Antlers at Vail, RLeVine@antlersvail.com, 970.476.2471