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What should community associations expect in 2017?

As another new year approaches, community associations face lengthy agendas. Some issues they will grapple with are ongoing, while others are first-time challenges.  What’s ahead in 2017? Several industry veterans offered their insights:     Read the article………….

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Budget must describe each owner’s assessment amount

Q. A question has come up at the board of our condominium association. Does the budget need to describe each owner’s assessment amount?    Read the Q&A…………….

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Reserve fund issues are subject to debate (IL)

Q. Our condominium association, with more than 100 units, had a reserve study done over a year ago. The reserve study recommended an annual increase in the reserve funds of more than $30,000 for each of the next five years.

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City to hand off pond maintenance to homeowners (IL)

Hobart city staff are in the process of cleaning up two long neglected detention ponds in the Liberty Heights subdivision, but told its residents that future maintenance will be their responsibility.     Read the article……………

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Property Manager Charged with Fraudulently Pocketing Fees from Chicago Condominium Association (IL)

November 14, 2016. A property manager has been charged in federal court with fraudulently pocketing more than $150,000 in illegal fees from a condominium association in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood.  ALAN P. GOLD, the owner and operator of Chicago-based A.P. Gold

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Elderly Rockford man charged with stealing homeowner association funds

An 82-year-old Rockford man was arrested Monday on charges of stealing more than $10,000 from the homeowner’s association of Thatcher Blake Riverwalk Condos located in the 2400 block of South of Main Street.  Frank O. Tartaglia, a former resident of

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Oak Lawn Man Upset About Roofers Threatens To Shoot Condo President (IL)

An Oak Lawn man was arrested after he threatened to shoot his condominium association president because he felt workers were looking through his window and not respecting his religious customs, reports said.  (badly edited)    Read the article………….

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FHA pulls housing head fake on condo communities

Call it a housing policy head fake — one with potentially painful consequences for moderate-income buyers, sellers and seniors in hundreds of condominium projects around the country. If you were thinking about purchasing a condo unit with a low-down-payment Federal

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After Shooting, Police Urge University Commons To Hire Private Security (IL)

In response to outrage over a recent shooting, Chicago Police are urging University Commons neighbors to consider hiring private security to patrol the development’s 900 units.  Concerned about an October shooting that damaged a sprinkler and waste line inside of

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Condo Association Snow Removal Contracts Affected by New Liability Limitation Act (IL)

On August 25, the Snow Removal Service Liability Limitation Act became effective. This act voids certain indemnity agreements that are common in condominium association snow removal contracts.  The Act (which contains a lot of legal language) essentially limits liability provisions

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Woman faces fine for ‘Flying the W’ at Chicago condo building (IL)

As everyone knows, the Cubs “Fly the W” every time they win. Well, WGN found someone who has to pay fines if she does the same at her condo, and she’s willing to do it even if the Cubs go

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This big Lakeview condo complex is poised to go rental (IL)

A big North Side condominium complex has gone up for sale, another prospect for developers that convert condos into apartments.  The board of Barry Quadrangle, a 116-unit property at Barry Avenue and Dayton Street, has hired CBRE to sell it,

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More than 2 dozen displaced after Romeoville townhome explosion (IL)

Twenty-four units were evacuated after a gas explosion that injured two utility workers Tuesday night.  Noak said village building inspectors would go through each unit and work with the area homeowners association while the village’s social worker was coordinating aid

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Condo lawsuit ruling appealed to Illinois Supreme Court

The plaintiffs in a lawsuit to stop a downtown Clarendon Hills condominium development want to take their case to the Illinois Supreme Court.  Residents Sue Hanlon and Phil Altvater filed an appeal Oct. 5 asking the state’s high court to

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Is hiring security guard best way to combat break-ins and burglaries?

Q: We are a medium-sized homeowners association that contains several condominium associations. All are governed by the homeowners board of directors. There have been several incidents in the past year in which strangers were seen wandering through our grounds. There

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Gold Coast condo association issued three citations over records requests (IL)

A condo association that allegedly did not allow a unit owner to inspect tax returns and other financial documents has received three citations from the city.  Notices of ordinance violations have been sent by the Department of Business Affairs and

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Fence variance approved on Karros Court (IL)

“I have not voted for a variance because I think we have HOA documents that cover it, an ordinance that covers it; we’ve passed a resolution that gave us guidance about when, if there were previous things in an easement,

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Board asked to approve electric car charging station

Q. An owner in our condominium requests the board to grant this owner permission to install an electric vehicle charging station in his garage unit. This would require some infrastructure changes to the electrical system for the association. What sort

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Neighbor’s marijuana odor may be grounds for lawsuit

Q: Over the past four years we have suffered because of an unpleasant odor seeping into our condo. This goes on almost daily, on and off between 5 and 11 p.m., and starts earlier on the weekends. People familiar with

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Crown Point hydrant billing fix in the works (IL)

Negotiations are underway to remedy the longtime triple billing for fire hydrant services in a privately maintained subdivision and bring its streets into the city inventory.  Residents of the Prairie View subdivision and their homeowners’ association had been paying for

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How to navigate conflicts of interest on a condo board

Q:  I am on the board of directors of a condominium association and believe one of the other directors has a conflict of interest in regards to certain vendors due to her personal relationship with the principals of those businesses.

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Campton Hills VP threatens veto to stop hiring of second law firm Fox Mill acreage at issue (IL)

Kristin LeBlanc, former president of the homeowners association, said the trustees made the Fox Mill homeowners look foolish at the town hall meeting. She said the acreage involved is 275 acres.  “We knew they were taking action to have somebody

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Former condo lawyer out on bond in cold case murder indictment

In 1983, Rudd co-wrote amendments to the Illinois Condominium Property Act. At one time, Rudd had a law firm in Schaumburg with, he has said, more than 2,000 clients, mostly homeowner associations, but in 1994 he voluntarily changed the status

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Adding heat and water to monthly assessments

Q. I am looking at purchasing a condominium where among the “usual” homeowner association fees (building maintenance, snow removal, garbage pickup) the monthly assessments include heat and water for the unit. What are the pros and cons of having one’s

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How priority liens work

Q:  I have been hearing the concept “priority liens” but do not understand exactly what it means. Can you explain?   Read the Q&A………..

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Lease or sale of condo can remain private

Q. As a townhouse owner, am I entitled to see a list of the units that are rented in my association? I am concerned that too many units are being leased in the association. This certainly impacts my ownership greatly.

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Owners of problematic Fireside Terrace condos in Buffalo Grove elect new board

For the first time in months, condominium owners at Fireside Terrace in Buffalo Grove will lead their homeowners association board, casting doubt on the future of a property manager new board members say cannot be trusted.  At least 26 calls

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Can hardworking condo board members get a break in their dues?

Q: I am on the board of directors of a suburban condominium association. In my opinion, volunteering for a condominium board can be a thankless position. We are self-managed and our unit owners are quite demanding, requiring loads of personal

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Handling unit control when owner dies

Q. An owner in our association recently died. A person claiming to be one of the adult children of the deceased owner contacted the association and demanded access to the unit, and demanded the association provide her with the unit

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Filled with conflict, Fireside Terrace in Buffalo Grove looks toward condo board vote (IL)

Following orders from a Cook County judge, a group of Buffalo Grove condominium owners will assemble Saturday to elect an all-new board.  The move follows an ongoing battle between condo owners and their property manager that has resulted in at

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Man claims improper water temperature caused wife’s death (IL)

An administrator of his deceased wife’s estate is suing Briar Trace Condominium Association; Edward Horak, d/b/a Horak Management; and Boris Kofman, in a wrongful death claim alleging that dangerously hot tap water resulted in his wife’s death from scalding injuries.

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Insurance dispute at trial in Judge Crowder’s courtroom (IL)

According to the complaint, a fire severely damaged the condominium structure on June 20, 2012. At the time of the fire, insurance policies covering the loss had been previously issued by the defendants and were allegedly in full force.  The

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The Art of High-Rise and Condo Inspections

When you’re inspecting condominiums, attached townhomes and high-rise properties, you expect to check a few outlets, mash the (GFCI) buttons, run the appliances, flush the toilets and that’s about it, right? For most inspectors, it is. For a few of

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Chicago home associations opposed to Airbnb can get on the list

On June 22, the city of Chicago adopted an ordinance that establishes regulations for condominium and homeowners associations affected by the recent surge in home-sharing and vacation rentals — the so-called Airbnb ordinance.   Read the article……………

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Examination of books and records by board members

Q. I am the treasurer of our condominium association. From time to time, I have requested certain books and records from the board in order to carry out what I understand are my duties as treasurer. However, the board president

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Seven people taken to hospital after fire at Dolton condo building, mayor says (IL)

Seven people were taken to the hospital and several residences were left uninhabitable after a fire broke out late Tuesday in a condominium building in Dolton, the village’s mayor said.  Mayor Riley Rogers said the fire, which began about 10:10

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People bring bridge troubles to council (IL)

It’s the bridge seven different homeowners associations have their eyes on. They sent a letter to the mayor and city council last month saying it’s in worse shape than other bridges IDOT officials are already considering fixing.  The group says,

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Condo board sues tenant, alleging vacation rental violations

The board of a South Loop condo building sued a renter, alleging he repeatedly violated building rules by filling the unit with short-term tenants via online vacation-rental services.  Although numerous Chicago condo boards and apartment owners have struggled to stop

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Flawed voting procedure on condo board

Q. We belong to a Common Interest Community Association. The board of directors of our association consists of three employees of the developer; we are still under developer control. During each of the two quarterly meetings held so far this

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2 condo boards sell buildings for deconversion to rentals (IL)

The condo boards of two North Side buildings sold their properties for deconversion to apartments, with the combined 34 units going for nearly $12.2 million.  JAB Real Estate paid $4.87 million on July 13 for a 15-unit corner building at

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Help Squad: Condo owners ask about special assessment liability, access to finances

Following two recent Help Squad columns addressing townhome and condominium issues, I received the below two interesting inquiries from readers. Chicago attorney Joseph Scharnak of Arnstein & Lehr LLP offered his advice in response.     Read the article………….

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New FHA bill brings good news for condo buyers

Congressional Democrats and Republicans haven’t agreed on much lately, but they’re together on one issue that affects condominium buyers and sellers across the country: The Federal Housing Administration has bungled its condo finance program.    Read the article…………..

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Private street always used by the public

Q. The streets in our condominium association are privately owned. However, the streets are routinely used by nonresidents to get from one side of town to the other. Frankly, the roads in our association are traveled more by nonresidents than

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Boards can withhold bid documents from owners

Q. I have requested copies of the competing bids for work in my condominium association from time to time. I received copies of bids for one project in response to my first request. However, the board refused to provide copies

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Campton Hills subdivision to board: hands off open space (IL)

Residents of Fox Mill subdivision, the largest in Campton Hills, are speaking out against the village potentially suing the homeowners association to gain control over maintaining 275 acres of open space.    Read the article…………..

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Graue Mill flooding remedies approved (IL)

John Romanelli, a longtime resident of Graue Mill Country Residences, president of the homeowners association and a local realtor, said the improvements were a long time coming.  “We were fairly pessimistic but when we got word that the federal grant

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Open meeting laws (IL)

Q. As I understand it, the board of our condominium can ratify unanimous decisions at board meetings, after the decision is made and action has already been taken outside of a meeting. However, I understand we may not act on

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Contractor can file lien against individual unit

Q. Can a contractor performing work on an individual condominium unit file a lien against that unit for nonpayment?   Read the Q&A………….

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Help Squad: Condo owner receives advice preparing him for dispute with association

Who is responsible for repainting a bathroom ceiling that was damaged by roof repairs ordered by the condo association? Our condo townhome complex is undergoing major repairs for which we have had a special assessment. The roofer hired by the

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A look at Chicago’s proposal to regulate short-term rentals

Chicago aldermen are expected to discuss a reconfigured plan to regulate short-term rentals through companies like Airbnb, as several other big cities have done. The City Council could vote on the proposal Wednesday.  Here are the highlights:   Read the article…………

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