August 21, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: CCIOA Requires Execution and Recording of Amending Documents to Subdivide Parking Garage

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Perfect Place, LLC v. Semler on Monday, September 17, 2018.

Common Interest Communities—Quieting Title—Deeds.

In this quiet title action, the supreme court reviewed whether the owner of a garage condominium unit validly subdivided the unit under C.R.S. § 38-33.3-213 of the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act by merely painting or marking lines on the garage wall, and thereafter separately conveying the spaces thus marked as individual condominium parking units. Because C.R.S. § 38-33.3-213(3) provides that “no subdivision of units shall be effected” without executing and recording the necessary amendments to the condominium declaration, and because no documents were recorded in connection with his purported subdivision, the court held that the owner did not accomplish a valid subdivision of the garage unit in this case. The court further held that a quitclaim deed obtained from the owner was not void for fraud in the factum. Although evidence in the record suggests the owner may have been deceived as to the purpose of the deed, fraud in the factum requires proof that the grantor was ignorant as to the nature of the instrument itself. Here, the owner understood that he was signing a quitclaim deed, even if he failed to appreciate the ramifications of his act. Accordingly, the court reversed the court of appeals’ judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings to determine the resulting chain of title for the disputed parking units.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.