Reserve Specialists and CAI Credentials

Much like knowing that your attorney or other business partner has earned the Educated Business Partner Distinction (Ashley Nichols of Cornerstone Law Firm, P.C. has!), you should also be asking whether your reserve specialist has earned CAI’s Reserve Specialist credential. Community associations rely on qualified reserve specialists 

Another Bill Affecting Landlords/Tenants Introduced

HB19-1118 was introduced this week relating to landlord/tenant issues.  Introduced on January 16, 2019, if passed, would require a landlord to provide a tenant fourteen (14) days to cure a violation for unpaid rent or for a first violation of any other condition or covenant 

Landlords! New Bill Introduced Regarding Rental Application Fees

HB19-1106, also known as the Rental Application Fairness Act (creating C.R.S. § 38-12-901 et seq), was introduced in the house on January 14, 2019.  If passed, the bill would do three things:

  1. Limit the application fee that a landlord may charge an applicant to the actual costs for a personal reference check or for obtaining a consumer credit or tenant screening report;
  2. Require a landlord to provide each prospective tenant with written notice of the landlord’s tenant selection criteria and the grounds upon which a rental application may be denied before accepting an application or collecting an application fee; and
  3. Require a landlord to provide a prospective tenant with an adverse action notice if the landlord takes adverse action on a prospective tenant after reviewing the rental application

In this blog, we’ll address each section of the bill and discuss in a bit more detail.


The first portion of the bill would, as stated above, prohibit a landlord from charging an application fee unless the fee is used to cover the landlord’s costs in processing the rental application.  The costs may be based on the actual amount the landlord incurs in processing the rental application OR the average amount that the landlord charges each prospective tenant based on the average costs incurred in processing rental applications.

Not only would the bill provide as stated above, but the landlord would also have to provide any person who has paid the application fee with either 1) a disclosure of the anticipated expenses for which the fee will be used; or 2) a receipt that itemizes the actual expenses incurred.  If the landlord is charging a fee based on the average cost of processing the application, then the landlord must include information in the disclosure about how the average rental application fee is determined.

Additionally, the bill would not allow a landlord to charge one prospective tenant a fee that is different from the fee charged to another prospective tenant who applies to rent either the same unit or any other unit offered by the landlord at the same time.


In its second portion, the bill would require that prior to accepting a rental application or collecting an application fee, the landlord must give the prospective tenant written notice of the tenant selection criteria and the grounds on which a rental application may be denied.  The bill provides the following list of grounds for denial which must be included in the notice (if the landlord will deny a prospective tenant’s application based on these criteria):

  • The prospective tenant’s:
    • criminal history;
    • rental history;
      • If using this as criteria, the landlord cannot consider any history beyond five years immediately preceding the application date.
    • credit history; or
      • If using this as criteria, the landlord cannot consider any history beyond five years immediately preceding the application date.
    • current income
  • Failure to provide accurate or complete information in the rental application; or
  • Failure to pay the application fee in the amount specified in the notice.


If the landlord takes adverse action (denies an application or requires additional conditions to be met), written notice must be provided to the prospective tenant which states the reasons for the denial and/or additional conditions.

What would be the penalty for violation of the Act?  Two times the amount of the rental application fee, plus court costs and reasonable attorney fees. 

While responsible landlords are already taking these steps to ensure that they are screening for responsible tenants, this bill would formalize those steps and require that landlords jump through a few more hoops to ensure compliance.  Is it really necessary?  What are your thoughts? Chime in with your comments – we’d love to hear from you!  We’ll be following the progress of this bill throughout the legislative session, so check back often for updates!


Acceleration – A Tool in Your Debt Collection Toolkit

Assessments are the cornerstone of an association, and the necessity of an association to collect delinquent assessments is of utmost importance – an association cannot be run without assessments being paid! It’s the start of a new year and your Board likely has its delinquencies 

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 bill becomes a law in Colorado, here’s a flowchart about the process!  We hope you’ll find it helpful!



If you have questions or want more information on the legislative session or bills being introduced, please contact us at or 720.279.4351.

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 

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 strength of our communities and we couldn’t be more excited to continue partnering with Colorado communities and industry members for another year and beyond!
THANK YOU to everyone who has been a part of this exciting journey. Without you, none of this would be possible … or nearly as much fun. Let’s keep it going!

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,