Off and Running – First bill affecting HOAs has been introduced!

Off and Running – First bill affecting HOAs has been introduced!

HB-1050 was introduced in the house on January 4, 2019. The bill, if passed, would augment the existing law that establishes the rights of unit owners in common interest communities to use water-efficient landscaping (xeriscaping), subject to reasonable aesthetic standards.  The change would extend that […]

The 2019 Colorado General Assembly Regular Session Convened Today!

The 2019 Colorado General Assembly Regular Session Convened Today!

The 2019 General Assembly convened today and just like last year, Cornerstone will be keeping on top of issues that affect community associations and landlord/tenant law.  You can check our website here for updates throughout the session. In case you are curious as to how a […]

Ashley Nichols Elected to CAI Business Partners Council

Cornerstone is excited to announce that Ashley Nichols was recently elected to CAI’s Business Partners Council!  Ashley is appreciative of the opportunity to represent both the Rocky Mountain and the Southern Colorado Chapters of CAI at the national level! 
The Council provides input on policy matters to the CAI Board of Trustees, and serves as a key resource to staff. Members of the group give their constituencies a voice in crafting CAI policy and work to ensure that CAI continues to provide services and benefits that members need and value.

She’s looking forward to her seat at the table starting in 2019!  For more information about CAI at the national level, visit

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 […]