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Boulder Real Estate Lawyers: Real Estate Law

Real Estate Law is a broad category that includes many specialized areas. It is not possible to list them all, but our knowledge of contract law, agricultural law, and public land law is of great benefit as we assist our clients in a wide variety of Colorado real estate law matters. I represent landowners and prospective buyers in Boulder, Denver, and throughout Colorado.   I was selected by Expertise as one of the Best Real Estate Lawyers in Denver.

Click Link Below to Jump to Any Section of this Page If you have real estate law questions or need to speak with a real estate litigation attorney, please call me at (303) 638-3410.

Real Estate Transactions & Litigation

Mark has significant experience in residential and commercial real estate transactions, disputes, partition actions, boundary disputes, easement claims, adverse possession, and other real estate litigation in Colorado.  He has a solid knowledge of real estate law.  He also knows how to get deals negotiated and transactions closed. He has given presentations to the Colorado Bar Association on mountain real estate issues and is an expert on easements.  View Mark’s  PowerPoint on Easements.

As a Boulder real estate attorney I regularly draft and review contracts to buy and sell real estate, deeds, financing documents, seller’s disclosures, title policies, and related documents, and advise clients concerning how property should be titled (joint tenancy, tenancy in common, LLC, partnership,etc).  Real estate documents must be clear and unambiguous so that disputes concerning the property do not arise many years later.

I also review and draft listing agreements, disclosures, sales agreements, purchase options, title insurance policies, easement deeds and agreements, closing instructions, settlement statements, promissory notes, deeds of trust, deeds, beneficiary deeds, financing documents, installment land contrracts (conntracts for deed), and common interest community documents such as HOA declarations and covenants. (I generally advise against using an installment land contract because Colorado has enacted several statutes many people are not aware of that cah negatively impact the seller). I advise clients concerning these documents. As experienced Boulder real estate lawyers we are also well versed in negotiating and reviewing commercial and residential leases, and in litigating commercial and residential lease disputes.  I also help in For Sale By Owner transactions.

Any party to a real estate transaction can reduce the risk of disputes by consulting qualified counsel at the outset. The time to hire a real estate lawyer is before you sign the transaction documents. It is always cheaper to pay a lawyer to help prevent a dispute than to pay a lawyer to help resolve a dispute.  Though we strive to help clients avoid litigation by practicing preventive law, we prosecute and defend a wide range of Colorado real estate actions including contract disputes, lien foreclosures, and quiet title actions.

Mountain Properties, Boundary Disputes, & Easements

Our firm is thoroughly familiar with the many issues that are often associated primarily with mountain properties, and provides service to mountain clients from Estes Park, Allenspark, Jamestown, Ward and Fort Collins in the north, and south to Coal Creek Canyon, Gilpin County, Black Hawk, Central City, Clear Creek County, Evergreen, Idaho Springs, Georgetown, Summit County and Grand County. Issues often associated with mountain real estate property law include: 

  • Boundary disputes
  • Construction on mountain properties
  • Mining claims
  • Prescriptive easements
  • Implied easements
  • Easements from pre-existing use
  • RS 2477
  • Condemnation of Easements on ways of necessity
  • County regulations
  • Adverse possession
  • Access Issues
  • Land use and zoning issues
  • Easements
  • Easements implied by prior use
  • Easements by necessity
  • Easements by estoppel
  • Termination of easements
  • For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Transactions
  • Investment properties
  • Rights of way
  • Licenses
  • Liens
  • Title issues
  • Title exceptions
  • Title Insurance
  • Property Management Contracts
  • Private condemnation of easements
  • Road maintenance Agreements
  • HOA disputes and HOA litigation

Mark spoke to the Colorado Bar Association on mountain real estate transactions in 2019.  View Mark’s PowerPoint Presentation on Legal Issues in Mountain Real Estate Transactions.     

Broker Issues / Commission Disputes

We represent a number of real estate brokers along the front range and one mortgage brokerage firm with offices in Denver and Fort Collins, and consequently we are fully competent to advise and assist real estate and mortgage brokers in particular transactions and in connection with issues pertaining to their businesses including commission disputes. We have have also advised and represented several brokers in franchise disputes with national organizations.  Our real estate lawyers are well versed in the rules of the Colorado Division of Real Estate and the Real Estate Commission.

Construction Law and Litigation

We represent owners, contractors, and subcontractors in construction disputes and construction defect and warranty claims. In 2006, Mark Cohen successfully represented a subcontractor in a two-week long jury trial in the Jefferson County District Court arising out of the failure of a retaining wall. In another case he obtained a six-figure arbitration award against a Denver building company, and when the builder was unable to pay the judgment, Mr. Cohen successfully brought suit against the owner of the company in his personal capacity and won a jury verdict that included punitive damages.

As experienced Boulder construction lawyers we work hard to draft construction documents that are both thorough and easy to understand.  We strive to help our clients understand the legal implications of specific contract provisions. We strive to employ Plain English in all documents we draft.  We are familiar with the construction documents offered by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Many construction contracts include an arbitration clause, and we are thoroughly familiar with the Construction Industry Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association. We have represented clients in construction arbitration actions before the AAA and in voluntary mediation conducted by an agreed upon mediator.

Visit our Construction Law and Litigation page to learn more about our Construction Law Practice

Mechanics Liens and Other Liens

Because we represent a distributor of heavy equipment and several general contractors and subcontractors, we are fully experienced in mechanics liens, mechanics lien law, lien foreclosures, surety bonds, lis pendens law, enforcement of lienholder’s rights in bankruptcy, and Colorado’s statutes governing excessive or spurious liens.  We draft notices of intent to lien, lien statements, and related documents.   We are also familiar with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) contracting process and the statutes governing liens on CDOT and other state projects.

When we represent contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers we work to educate them concerning the mechanic’s liens laws so that they understand what they must do to preserve their ability to take advantage of those laws.  The firm can also advise and assist property owners seeking to resolves lien disputes and/or have spurious liens declared invalid.

While the mechanics lien may be the best known statutory lien in Colorado, Colorado has other statutory liens that may attach to real or personal property.  We are familiar with these and can advise clients concerning the availability of these remedies.

Condominiums and Homeowners Associations

We advise and assists clients in condominium development projects, condominium conversions, and in the creation of common interest communities and related Homeowners Associations.   The firm’s HOA lawyers can prepare all legal documents required to create a condominium or common interest community:

  • Condominium Declarations
  • Condominium Bylaws
  • Declarations and Covenants 
  • HOA Bylaws
  • HOA Rules and Regulations
  • Liens for Assessments

While HOA’s have their place, there are times when a few owners gain control of an HOA Board and use that power to take actions that violate the covenants and/or Colorado law.  We are thoroughly familiar with the Colorado Condominium Ownership Act and the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act. Mark Cohen has also successfully represented property owners in disputes with homeowners associations. 

He has extensive experience in HOA litigaiton. The starting point inany dispute with an HOA is to obtain a complete set of copies of the relevant declarations or covenants and the by-laws of the HOA.
We also represents several mountain homeowners associations. We strive to teach HOA’s how to comply with the law and prevent disputes with association members.

Leases & Related Litigation

As a lawyer with expertise in commercial leasing, I draft, review, and negotiate commercial leases, and litigate disputes arising out of them. For any organization leasing commercial space, the lease is a critical document. Too often commercial tenants sign a lease, some as long as forty pages, without having a lawyer review the document and sometimes without even understanding some of the provisions in it.

Even some landlords and property managers are guilty of this.  This is penny-wise and pound foolish.  We know because we have litigated issues that might have been avoided had our client sought our services before signing the lease.  When we draft or review a residential lease or commercial lease, we know that today’s ambiguity may become tomorrow’s lawsuit, and we actively look for ambiguities as well as issues the parties may have overlooked. 

A lease is about much more than the amount of rent to be paid.  Issues to consider in leases include:

  • Use of the premises
  • Construction and improvements
  • Utilities
  • Real estate taxes
  • Insurance
  • Indemnification
  • Common areas
  • Maintenance
  • Repairs and alterations
  • Assignments
  • Subleases
  • Subordination
  • Damage
  • Condemnation
  • Remedies
  • Financing
  • Dispute resolution
  • Options to renew
  • Signage
  • Purchase options

A lease is not a one-size-fits-all document.  Different clients have different needs.  Some statutes may be applicable in one industry, but not in another.  We will draft a lease that meets your needs, and if you already have a lease template we can improve it.  Although we hope a well-written and thorough lease will prevent disputes, we are fully competent to represent clients in lease disputes that result in litigation.

Home Inspection Law

Mark served as General Counsel to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (“InterNACHI”), a trade association recognized under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code, for fourteen years. It is the largest trade association in North America specifically for home inspectors. Consequently, Mark is familiar with all aspects of home inspection law, including the standards of practice of the major trade associations, common contract provisions, state licensing laws, and trends in legislation.