Drones, Drones, Everywhere – What Does Your Association Need to Know?

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in 2018, there were over one million registered consumer drones in the United States.  If you are like me, you may not have known that if you have an unmanned aircraft system (UAS or drone), you are now […]


Today, we are celebrating one year of business for Cornerstone Law Firm. Ashley Nichols has over a decade of experience partnering with managers, business partners, and community board members to provide a strong foundation for our associations. This foundation leads to the overall vitality and […]

Hot Rental Markets, Deferred Maintenance, and Deconversions

Recently, a condominium community in Chicago, by a vote of almost 80% of its owners (75% was required by the governing documents), accepted an offer to sell the building to an investment group that will turn its 188 units into apartments.  According to the Chicago Tribune, the sale will be one of the largest deconversions in the city’s history.  Why is this noteworthy?  Let me count the ways …

First, what is a deconversion? This is a term used to refer to the process of converting a condominium project to apartments.  The deal that the Chicago owners approved is worth $27 million dollars.  According to the article from the Community Associations Insitute, owners will receive approximately 40-50 percent more on average for their units than if they were going to sell them on their own.  That’s a HUGE incentive to approve the sale.

Second, the building is from the 1950’s.  If you are doing the math along with me, that means that the building is in its 70’s.  I have recently taught a few classes to managers and board members about aging communities and how to finance necessary repairs for those buildings.  Updates, modernization, code compliance, and capital improvements in an older community are not inexpensive.  Often times, the association’s solution to pay for the needed repairs is a large special assessment, or over time, many large special assessments for its owners.  In this case, the owners were able to see a solution to the problem of deferred and/or necessary maintenance (sell the building rather than fund costly repairs/replacement).

Third, the rental market in Chicago, like in Denver, has been strong.  The need for quality, affordable housing and the limited availability of our land resources, is leading developers toward more creative options of buying older condominium buildings and turning them into apartments.  Given our state’s construction defect laws, development on condominiums had all but stopped.  Changes to the laws in 2017 were made in an attempt to reinvigorate the market.  Look for a resource from Cornerstone on that soon!

Deconversion may not be the right solution for your aging community, but it’s certainly something worth considering – especially if you have 27 million reasons to do so!

We’re growing!

  Cornerstone Law Firm would like to introduce Sam Firenze as the newest addition to our Community Associations team. With over 18+ years as a Business Development professional, Sam brings with him his ability to build long lasting relationships and to serve the needs of […]

Ashley Nichols obtains CAI Educated Business Partner Distinction!

Today, Ashley Nichols, Cornerstone’s founder, received the Community Associations Institute (CAI) Educated Business Partner distinction. She is the first, and only, attorney in Colorado to obtain this distinction.  Additionally, only a few hundred individuals hold this distinction nationwide!
CAI Chief Executive Officer Thomas M. Skiba, CAE says the following: “We congratulate CAI members who take the time and effort to complete the CAI Educated Business Partner online course. This achievement demonstrates a personal and corporate commitment to industry-specific education. It also reflects a desire to understand not just their own business clients, but also the nature and challenges of community associations in general. CAI applauds this accomplishment.”
Ashley looks forward to continuing to partner with community associations and other members of our industry to help ensure the vitality of our associations and to help rehabilitate the perception of our industry that unfortunately exists for many people!

2018 Legislative Wrap Up

The Colorado legislative session wrapped up yesterday, so today on the blog we are wrapping up all the information you need to know about bills affecting community associations and landlords and tenants. What did and did not pass? First, what DID NOT pass. Let’s just […]

Manager Licensing Bill Dead

The following is from the Colorado Legislative Action Committee. The Colorado Legislative Action Committee (CLAC) is a statewide committee appointed by CAI National. House Bill 18-1175, the Community Association Manager Licensing Sunset Bill that would continue the CAM licensing program for 5 more years, was defeated […]

Quick Legislative Update!

For those interested in landlord/tenant law, SB-10 was signed by the Governor on March 22, 2018. The bill will go into effect on the day following the expiration of the ninety-day period after final adjournment of the general assembly (August 8, 2018).

The bill requires a residential landlord to provide each tenant with a copy of a written rental agreement signed by the parties and to give a tenant a contemporaneous receipt for any payment made in person with cash or money order. For payments not made in person with cash or money order, the landlord must provide a receipt if the tenant requests it. The landlord may provide the tenant with an electronic copy of the agreement or the receipt unless the tenant requests a paper copy.

For questions or more information, please contact Cornerstone at or 720.279.4351.  To keep up to date on other bills pending in the legislature, check the blog or the 2018 Legislation page on our website!

Changes on the Horizon for Community Association Foreclosures?

A recent Washington D.C. appellate court’s decision, while not binding in Colorado, could make waves in the community association industry, especially if judges in other jurisdictions, including our own, take notice.  The case is Andrea Liu v. US Bank.  In 2014, Liu purchased a condominium […]