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Commentary and Analysis Regarding Colorado Law

Eviction law update: Changes to Eviction Notices

edit2

If you own and rent-out real estate, chances are you have had to deal with a difficult tenant.  Recent changes in the eviction laws may affect how you remove a tenant who has breached your lease agreement. Importantly, in Colorado, the only way to legally remove a tenant who is in default of a lease and refuses to deliver possession of property (residential or commercial property) back to the landlord, is to go through the court eviction process.  In an eviction action, the court determines who is entitled to legal possession of the property, and what damages are due because of the breach of a lease. Eviction court procedures must be strictly followed or the case could be dismissed – leaving a landlord with lost time and money.  Recent changes in the law have, in some circumstances, lengthened the notice/cure period a landlord must provide a tenant before an eviction action can be started.

There are two types of notices in an eviction action: 1) Demand for Compliance or Possession (which gives the tenant a right to cure during the demand period); and 2) Notice to Quit (tenant has no right to cure).  The Demand for Compliance or Possession (“Demand”) is typically used when a tenant has failed to pay rent on time. The Demand gives the tenant the right to cure the rent within the notice period, and if the tenant fails to cure, a landlord may proceed with an eviction action.  With regard to the Demand itself, the new law changed the notice periods as follows (HB 19-1118 (C.R.S. § 13-40-104), effective May 20, 2019):

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Creating a Condo Association in a Commercial Setting

Condos

If you own a commercial building and are looking to get the most value out of your investment, one option to consider is creating a commercial condominium association.  This article will explore some of the benefits of commercial condos, and provide a brief overview of the process to create a condo association.  A condominium is a form of ownership of real property within a common interest community where portions of the real estate are designated for separate ownership, and the remainder is designated for common ownership. Colorado permits this form of ownership pursuant to the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act, C.R.S. § 38-33.3-101 et seq. (“CCIOA”). According to CCIOA, no zoning ordinance, or other real estate use law or regulation may impose any requirement upon a condominium which it would not impose upon a physically identical development under a different form of ownership.  In other words, merely converting the ownership of the real estate to a condominium should not require additional governmental approvals or intervention.

In a commercial context, such as an office or industrial building, this form of ownership can create flexibility and value for an owner by creating individual saleable assets (units). Creating condos allows a building owner to avoid having to sell the property as a whole, and/or avoid going through a costly and time-consuming subdivision process to subdivide the land.  Additionally, the owner (called the “declarant”) has complete control over the condo process and result; including the control to define the specific offices, buildings, floors, and common areas, and control to determine the terms of the association and the management. Once the project is finalized, the declarant even has the control and flexibility to sell off some of the units, and retain ownership of others. Condos also offer an attractive form of ownership for potential buyers. Each unit owner becomes an owner in the association, allowing for the right to vote on important management issues, and the sharing of common expenses – typically determined by the square footage of a unit in relation to the building as a whole.  Potential buyers may appreciate that the common elements, such as structural building components, landscaping, and parking areas are all maintained by the association.  Business owners may also recognize that when they purchase a condo they are building equity in their business, rather than throwing money away for rent.

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Brevity is the Soul of Wit

Chad Kupper

As a litigator, it’s not often that I see a judge begin a District Court order by quoting Shakespeare; but reading the introduction in the Court's Order in Sinclar v. Larson gave me the sneaking suspicion that this judge was about to make an example out of someone. This is not my case (thankfully), nevertheless, soon after the judge issued the order it found its way to my office, and I’m sure countless other attorneys’ offices - not to express a concept of law, but to emphasize an often-overlooked principle of legal writing: Brevity.

In the case, Sinclair’s attorney, who filed multiple briefs exceeding the 10-page limit without asking permission first, provoked Judge Taylor to take extreme action in striking 5 of Sinclair’s pending briefs. On the eve of trial, I can only imagine the impact of this order, which undoubtedly sent shivers down the spine of Sinclair’s lawyer. The order surely resulted in wasted attorney’s fees and court costs, and ultimately an unhappy client; and all because Sinclair’s briefs were not brief.

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Thinking About Purchasing Equipment?


Submitted by Chad A. Kupper

If so, your District may need to determine whether a lease-purchase agreement is necessary. Under TABOR, Districts are precluded from incurring any form of multiyear indebtedness absent voter approval, including federal loans. However, a District can take a loan and use those funds to partially purchase equipment using a lease-purchase agreement. The Colorado Supreme Court has approved lease-purchase agreements as not being “debt” under TABOR because the annual payments are subject to appropriation by the Board each year.  In other words, if the District can’t afford the payment in any year, the Board doesn’t make an appropriation for that payment the next budget year, and the bank simply repossesses the equipment but can’t sue the District for any deficiency in the amount owed. A lease-purchase agreement must contain the magic TABOR provision making the yearly payment obligations subject to Board appropriation of funds for that payment each year.  If your District needs help purchasing equipment, don’t hesitate to contact our office to make sure the lease-purchase documents are in order.

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Starting a New Business


Submitted by Chad A Kupper

A limited liability company is flexible, and offers distinct advantages over a sole proprietorship, namely, the ability to reduce the personal liability of its members. But, did you know that an LLC also offer pass-through taxation in certain circumstances? If there is only one member in the company, the LLC is treated as a “disregarded entity” for tax purposes, and the individual owner would report the LLC’s income or loss on Schedule C of his or her individual tax return. Thus, income from the LLC is taxed at the individual tax rates. Make sure you know which corporate tax election is best for your LLC. Ask us how we can help you set up the right business for your needs.

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