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Amendments that become effective Jan. 1, 2017 (IL)

2016 was another fertile year for Illinois legislation affecting condominium and common interest community associations. This is the second of two columns that provides a summary of the amendments to the Common Interest Community Association Act and to the Condominium

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Dormant Season Pruning

Many of our associations were created and developed in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s. Trees and shrubs were part of the enhancements and have been thoroughly enjoyed over the years. Unfortunately, in all too many cases, they have been neglected over

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Vague ruling means uncertainty for slip-and-fall ice lawsuits in Illinois

Can you be held liable if someone slips and falls on ice outside your house? The Illinois Supreme Court says … maybe.  An Illinois Supreme Court opinion gives owners of icy sidewalks a reason to bust out some more salt.

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Changes coming in law for condo associations (IL)

2016 was another fertile year for Illinois legislation affecting condominium and common interest community associations. This is the first of two columns that provides a summary of the amendments to the Common Interest Community Association Act and to the Condominium

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Easy Way for Properties to Avoid Fines (IL)

With the holiday season upon us, many Associations are receiving numerous packages each day. As a result, the December and January months typically produce more waste and recycling than normal. With that in mind, there is an easy way for

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Guiding Homeowners through the Window/Door Architectural Request Process (IL)

One of the secrets to limiting the amount of conflict between the individual owners and the association at large is to be clear in guidance regarding the exterior standards for the association. For instance, in regards to window and door

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Lawyers Can Violate FDCPA by Making Factually Inaccurate Allegations in Bankruptcy Pleadings

Judge Castillo’s case involved a law firm that filed a motion to modify the automatic stay on behalf of a condominium association. The motion alleged that the debtors had not paid condominium assessments after being in chapter 13 for a

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IL Appellate Court Determines Extent of Immunity For Associations & Managers Under IL Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act

On December 1, 2016, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act (the “Act”), which provides immunity and limits liability for negligent removal of naturally accumulated snow and ice, does not apply to limit liability

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IL Supreme Court: Law shields homeowners from suits over snow removal, not ‘unnatural’ ice

The Illinois Supreme Court has put the freeze on certain slip-and-fall suits, by affirming an appellate ruling that the Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act immunizes homeowners against suits arising from weather-caused slippery sidewalks, but not from ice buildup caused

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Winter Is Coming…Is Your Association Entering Into a New Snow Removal and Ice Control Services Contract?

With the impending snow season rapidly approaching, it is important for associations to be aware of certain provisions of the Illinois Snow Removal Service Liability Limitation Act, which was signed into law and became effective on August 25, 2016. Most

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What’s the Deal With Ice Dams

If you’ve never seen an ice dam, it actually looks a lot like you would expect. It is an accumulation of ice on along the eave line of a sloped roof. The ice can build and build over the winter

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8 time-saving strategies for community associations to avoid strain

For many community association residents, serving on the board is a rewarding experience. They guide how the money gets spent, and they reap satisfaction when improvement projects are successfully completed.  Board service also can be a frustrating, thankless chore that

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Requirements to Add Management Fees to Delinquent Owner’s Accounts

It is not uncommon for a management company to charge their own fees on the ledgers of a delinquent condo owner’s account when collecting unpaid assessments. Courts are now reviewing account ledgers with scrutiny so it is important for associations

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Electric Vehicles Projected to be 35% of New Car Sales in 2040: What About the Electronic Charging Stations?

Governments from around the world, including, China, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, U.K. and the U.S. are taking steps to combat climate change by increasing access to clean energy technologies and reduce dependence on oil. One policy focus has been on

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Management and Administrative Fees: Are They Collectible? (IL)

Oftentimes, management companies will include their own management fees (such as a collection turnover fee or trial witness fee) on the ledger of a delinquent owner’s account when collecting unpaid assessments. As courts are reviewing account ledgers with increasing scrutiny,

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Judge won’t force condo association to allow woman to rent condo as ‘reasonable accommodation’ (IL)

A 94-year-old Oak Park woman could not get a federal judge on her side in a dispute with her condo association, who she says owes her the right, under federal law, to rent her condo while she undergoes medical treatments,

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Kass: Checks and balances can protect associations against embezzlement

Q:  I have just been elected president of my 150-unit condominium association and have heard that some property managers throughout the country have embezzled association funds. How can we protect ourselves and our money?       Read the Q&A…………..

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New Appellate Ruling Increases Residential Builders’ Exposure to Defect Liability in Illinois

Illinois law on the implied warranty of habitability (IWH) is continuously changing, and residential builders should take notice of a new opinion issued by the Appellate Court, First District, on October 26 in a construction defect dispute. Although the procedural

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Panel: Chicago commission OK to order condo association to pay lesbian couple’s $68K legal bills

The Chicago Commission on Human Relations acted properly in awarding more than $68,000 in legal fees to a lesbian couple who had complained their building’s owners association had harassed and discriminated against them for being lesbians, a state appeals panel

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Remodeling? Beware of condo association rules

Your condominium is your castle, until you try to remodel it.  Associations have a say in the types of alterations that can be made and the materials that can be used. If you don’t follow their rules, you could be

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Navigating Electronic Notice and Voting (IL)

Generally, associations have the right to adopt reasonable rules and regulations regarding their procedures and the operations of the association. This comes from Section 18.4 of the Illinois Condominium Property Act and general references in the Common Interest Community Association

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Caps on Special Assessments and Expenditures within Condominium Associations

In reviewing condominium association declarations over the past several years, on a number of occasions I noted a similar provision in many declarations which places a cap on the amount of a special assessment the board of directors can adopt

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Illinois Snow Removal Service Liability Limitation Act: Bad News for Associations!

The Snow Removal Service Liability Limitation Act became effective August 25, 2016, and eliminates common contractual remedies of associations.  In a “nutshell,” certain indemnity agreements in snow and removal contracts are now against public policy and void. Any snow and

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Risky Business: Discussing Association Matters in Emails

As well-known especially by those with teenagers, email has taken the place of ordinary telephone conversations and in-person communications. Unlike most telephone conversations and in-person communications, however, email communications are not ephemera. Rather, they live on in back-up tapes or

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New law loosens restrictions on community association board meetings (IL)

For community associations, change is afoot.  New legislation will ease some of the restrictions on how board members conduct their affairs, allowing them to convene privately for an expanded number of reasons starting Jan.1, 2017.  Both the Illinois Condominium Property

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Budgeting for Snow Removal Without a Crystal Ball

For community associations that maintain their own streets, exterior parking lots and sidewalks, snow removal services can easily be one of the highest budgeted expenses each year. In the real estate boom of the early 2000’s, buyers purchased homes without

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Associations work on annual budgets

Many associations are working on their annual budgets for 2017. Today’s column is devoted to issues that will help both the board and management understand the process.  The budget prepared by the board must set forth with particularity all anticipated

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Budgeting for Snow Removal Without a Crystal Ball

For community associations that maintain their own streets, exterior parking lots and sidewalks, snow removal services can easily be one of the highest budgeted expenses each year. In the real estate boom of the early 2000’s, buyers purchased homes without

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2017 IL Condo Act Amendment to Allow Condo Boards Exclusive Vote on Loans

On January 1, 2017, the Condominium Property Act will be amended. Language will be taken out that previously allowed an association’s declaration to require an owner vote to assign the association’s right to future income.  Since associations do not hold

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Legislative Update Summary of Laws Effective January 1, 2017 (IL)

This summary highlights legislative updates in the Illinois Condominium Property Act, the Common Interest Community Association Act, the Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act, and other statutes.    Read the article…………..

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Ancillary Income: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Most will agree that the best type of income for the owners is the income that they do not have to pay (outside income). That income of course reduces the assessments they pay to the association. Usually these types of

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When budgeting projects for your home association, plan to go all in

It’s that time again: Prepare to start planning 2017 community association budgets. They have to be sent to owners and approved by the board before Jan. 1.  Before prioritizing the expenses and locking in numbers, consider these financial planning tips

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Park It In a Good Space (IL)

As any Chicago resident with a motor vehicle knows, from the expensive park-per-day prices to the difficulty of parallel parking, owning a car in the city can sometimes be a nuisance and a burden. Even rightful owners of parking spaces

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Transition Studies: More Pros than Cons

When community associations assume ownership of their buildings, the process is essentially no different than an individual purchasing a car or home, or making a substantial investment in the stock market.? Performing due diligence is always good practice to ensure

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What Property Managers Need to Know About the Changes to the AIC Elevator Program

The City of Chicago will be instituting new rules governing the Annual Inspection Certification (AIC) Program, effective August 17, 2016. Here is what property managers should know.  The AIC Program requires property owners/property managers to document the compliance of elevators,

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Budgets & Reserve Studies: Your Best Planning Tools

As the summer months are winding down, TV commercials for school supplies abound and parents are overjoyed with soon-to-be quiet households. It truly is a wonderful time of the year – unless you work in property management. For property managers,

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Condominium Deconversions: Examination of a Section 15 Sale (IL)

Until recently, the word “conversion” was generally thought to mean the process through which an apartment building was converted into a condominium association. However, in the wake of the 2007 market crash and real estate downturn, few condominium conversions have

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City of Chicago Passes Ordinance Requiring Associations to Implement Source-Separated Recycling Programs

Recently, the Chicago City Council passed the Chicago Recycling Ordinance. Effective January 1, 2017, the ordinance requires commercial and multi-unit residential buildings – including apartment buildings, condominium associations, and cooperatives – to provide a system for source-separated, single stream recycling

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Issues Involving Illinois Condo Claims

In Chicago, we often find property loss claims that occur at condominium units. Of course, these claims tend to come with their own special issues that require investigation. Aside from general issues that come with all property claims, such as

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How to Write Requests for Proposals for Best Results

Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are a tool managers can use to ensure the best products and rfpspecifications are used in their projects. By getting all vendors to bid on the same specifications and use the same materials you are ensuring

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New Chicago Ordinance Helps Condo Associations Enforce Short Term Rental Restrictions

On June 22, 2016, the Chicago City Council adopted an ordinance that now requires property owners wishing to rent on a short term basis to apply for and obtain certain licenses. A part of the application involves confirming that the

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Risks and Rewards of Association Self-Management

There are both advantages and pitfalls for common interest realty associations (CIRAs or associations, plainly) that wish to self-manage.  A self-managed association typically employs an onsite professional manager who works directly at the board’s behest and is given authority to

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For condo owners in trouble, repayment plans a good idea

Community association homeowners are obligated to pay assessments, usually monthly or quarterly, to maintain the common elements of the property. If they don’t, they could lose their homes. The Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Act allows associations to get court

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Who Let the Dogs Out?

Many condominium and community associations are receiving increasingly frequent requests from residents to keep dogs and other “assistance animals” in communities that do not allow pets. Where pets are allowed, the requests are often for dogs that are much larger

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Gov. Rauner (IL) Signs Bill Which Mitigates The Effects of Palm Relative To Meetings & Notice Requirements

SB 2354 (Sen. Haine), became Public Act 99-0567 on July 15, 2016 when Governor Rauner signed the Bill into law. The legislation, which is effective January 1, 2017, amends both the Common Interest Community Association Act and the Condominium Property

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Condo busted? Going rental? Here’s how to deconvert.

As the rental market heats up in Chicago, some condominiums are getting offers they cannot refuse. You may have heard that 75 percent of unit owners have to agree to a deconversion. But real estate attorney R. Kymn Harp says

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Chicago Adopts Home Sharing Ordinance

After heated debate for months in the City Council, Chicago finally adopted its short-term and shared housing rental ordinance on June 22, 2016. The final version of the ordinance affords condominium and homeowners associations protections against the growing number of

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Spotting and dealing with fraud in a condo building

Fraud in a condominium building can be devastating. The most common form of fraud in a condo building is theft by a board member who has the authority to sign checks. Risk is especially high when only one individual has

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The Game Of Association Life

Just like in the Game of Life, a board has to have a plan to succeed. Whether it is taking the quick route by attacking an issue head-on, or taking time to get educated on the issue first, a board

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Waivers of implied warranty strengthened for condo, home builders in Illinois

In two recent builder-friendly decisions, the First District and Supreme Court of Illinois have ruled that the standard conspicuous waiver of the implied warranty of habitability found in most builders’ sales agreements: 1) is effective even where not verbally “called-out”

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