Illinois Condo & HOA News

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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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As More Condo Owners Suffer, Mayor’s Office Threatens to Cut Off Talks With AirBnB (IL)

A top mayoral aide threatened Thursday to cut off negotiations with Airbnb and push through a stricter version of the home-sharing ordinance proposed by a pair of aldermen after a trade group bankrolled by internet companies launched a “seven-figure” advertising

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Build your skills at serving on condo boards with these programs

Community association volunteers are mostly well-intentioned owners who try to do a good job. But their skills and experiences don’t necessarily match the diverse demands of the property and its population.    Read the article………..

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State bill to help with condo board disputes stalls (IL)

A “right to fairness” bill that would make it easier for unit owners in Illinois to sue their condominium association appears stuck in committee and may be dead for the spring session that ends this month.    Read the article…………..

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Minutes should be available to owners in a timely fashion

Q. My townhouse association has a procedure for the approval of monthly board meeting minutes that takes two months. Basically, the previous month’s meeting minutes are discussed, changes discussed and a motion to approve with corrections is made and voted

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Big dog and a sloppy lease leave renters facing eviction

Q: I am renting a condominium unit and our lease states that we can have up to a 50-pound pet dog. In fact, we have a pet dog that is about 40 pounds. We just received notice from the association

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Alderman: Canal Shores board doesn’t want neighbors to ‘hate’ them (IL)

Revelle said she scheduled the Tuesday night meeting at the request of residents who wanted the city official to facilitate additional dialogue between the association and neighbors of the course. The association previously hosted a similarly well-attended community meeting regarding

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Association boards must follow village ordinances

Q. Garbage is picked up in our single-family homeowners association on Friday. Week after week, the same few homeowners leave their empty garbage cans at the curb all weekend after the Friday pickup, and it is pretty unsightly. These owners

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City of Aurora, residents to deal with Farnswood area flooding (IL)

A deal between Aurora and residents of the Farnswood Condominium Association could end long-time flooding in the northeast side subdivision.    Read the article………….

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Des Plaines (IL) Condo Building Damaged by Explosion

A gas explosion caused damage to a condo building in northwest suburban unincorporated Des Plaines, fire officials said.  A brick wall partially collapsed, spilling debris onto the sidewalk and parking lot in the 9900-block of Linda Lane Thursday morning. Windows

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John Hancock residents sue over argument with building manager (IL)

Two residents of the John Hancock Center have sued the building’s homeowners association after one of them was fined for getting into an argument with its property manager following a a fire in the building last fall.     Read the

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Chicago condo associations back Airbnb rules, but don’t leave enforcement to City Hall

Condominium associations are generally favorably disposed toward regulations, like those being proposed in Chicago, that would require condo owners renting their units through online “sharing” services like Airbnb to register with the city or pay a licensing fee – even

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For condo owners caught renting out units on Airbnb, fines can be steep (IL)

The battle lines are clear. On one side are unit owners using short-term rental websites to earn extra income by leasing their unit for a night, weekend or sometimes a longer time period, and on the other side are community

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What’s the correct number of board members?

Q. The declaration for our condominium association says the board should consist of five members. The bylaws say the board should consist of three members. How do we reconcile this difference, and what is the correct number of board members?

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Chicago-area condo associations see wisdom in HOME Act

Here’s another reason to stay current on assessment payments to your community association: You might get a tax break.  Recent proposed legislation would allow homeowners who earn $115,000 or less in annual income (or $150,000 on joint returns) to deduct

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Attending a condo meeting via speakerphone is just fine in the eyes of the law

Q:  I live in a condominium association and a few of our board members are “snowbirds” (they reside in Florida for approximately six months a year). For board meetings, these board members call into the meeting on a speakerphone so

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Community association meetings are out of control

Q: I live in a town home community association of more than 200 units. Our quarterly and annual meetings are a mixture of confusion and unprofessional. Could you give me some information and guidance on how we should proceed to get

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Help Squad: Who’s responsible when townhome roof leaks and owner’s unit is damaged?

Dear Help Squad,  We need your help to get our kitchen ceiling fixed. We live in a townhome community. Last summer, our building received a new roof, for which our special assessment was $3,600. During an ice storm in December,

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Rural Colona (IL) homeowners object to pole building

Homeowners in a rural Colona subdivision are upset about a pole building going up in their neighborhood.  Owners of 19 nearby properties filed a civil suit earlier this month claiming the construction violates both neighborhood restrictions and Henry County zoning

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Chicken restriction is not uncommon, in even rural association

Q. My husband and I just moved into a single-family homeowners association in a rural area of McHenry County from a condominium association in Lake County. McHenry County residents may keep chickens. However, the keeping of chickens is prohibited by

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Condos to be scrutinized by Fannie and Freddie

Condominium associations and homeowner associations in Chicago and across the nation will be more closely watched by the federal government in the future under newly unveiled financial disclosure forms.    Read the article……………

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Judge: Mission Hills suit to block Red Seal Development will go to trial (IL)

A lawsuit by some Mission Hills homeowners to block Red Seal Development’s housing project on half of their community’s golf course will go to trial, a Cook County Judge ruled Tuesday.  Read the article…………

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Did the Caton Ridge HOA Board of Directors Cross a Line?

Politics and Homeowner Associations can seem to have a few things in common at times. Still, I expect those serving on the Board of Directors and the Property Management Company to be completely open and transparent, especially when it comes

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