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2012 Colorado Legislative Session Real Estate Summary

The Colorado legislative session ended in early May 2012, and Gov. Hickenlooper has been signing bills in the ensuing weeks. Below are  summaries of certain significant bills affecting Colorado real estate law or the commercial real estate industry. Given the limited format of this publication and the breadth of what may be viewed as affecting real estate, this list does not purport to be comprehensive.

Wind Energy Agreements (HB12-1105). This bill declares that the right to wind energy may not be severed from the surface of the land; however, wind energy may be developed under a wind energy agreement that takes the form of a lease, license, easement or other agreement, which may be transferred. Wind energy agreements must be recorded in the applicable county clerk and recorder's office. That includes all such agreements that were entered into prior to July 1, 2012, which must be recorded prior to September 1, 2012. Finally, wind energy equipment is exempt from personal property tax until such equipment is used.

Unit Owners' Association Records (HB12-1237). This bill requires unit owners' associations to maintain specific records, such as financial statements, tax returns, minutes and association contracts, and requires that each association make all records maintained by it available to unit owners, with certain exceptions such as personal information and attorney-client privileged information.

Special District Water and Sewer Service to Unincorporated Areas (HB12-1239). This bill provides that, if a county has not approved a special district's service plan, then the special district may not provide water or sanitary sewer services to property owners in unincorporated areas of that county unless the board of county commissioners specifically approves such services. Before approving such services, the county must provide public notice, which must state that owners wishing to be excluded from the service area must submit their requests within 45 days after the date of the first public notice. The requirements of this bill do not apply to (a) districts that provide water and sanitary sewer service to owners under an agreement with such owners, (b) districts that provide such service under intergovernmental agreements, or (c) districts that provide storm drainage services within the county.

Foreclosure Sales (SB12-030). For those foreclosures in which a borrower party files a notice of intent to cure, this bill establishes a form for the cure statement to be completed by the holder of the debt. The bill also defines "overbid" as a portion of a bid amount in excess of the bid by the holder of the debt and provides that, if unclaimed, the overbid is held in escrow for five years, at which time it is treated as unclaimed property.

Otten Johnson's attorneys have substantial experience counseling clients with their real estate matters. For more information on this Client Alert please contact any of the attorneys in the Real Estate practice group (for a listing, click here).