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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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July Is A GREAT Time To Discuss Snow Removal

On behalf of snow contractors everywhere, if you currently have your snow and ice management contract signed, and/or plan to have it signed on or before October 15th, please consider yourself “HIGH FIVED”. Your pro-active leadership should pay off big

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Did You Know You Can Budget For Education?

One of the greatest investments a society can make is in the education of their young. The same principles apply to members of a condominium or HOA board. Educating those who have volunteered their time; charged with making decisions that

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Condo associations careful about collecting can weather foreclosures

The foreclosure frenzy hit homeowner associations hard and fast, but they may be better prepared for the future because of it.  More than 6.3 million Americans lost their homes to foreclosure between 2006 and 2016, according to real estate data

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Budget Chess: Formulating a Strategic Plan for your Association

Once we have completed our annual budgets, held all our meetings, approved the plans and sent out the annual assessment coupons /statements, we can breathe that sigh of relief and look forward to the new year. Hopefully in preparing your

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HOA Horror: Roaches, Bedbugs, And Rats Pt. 4

Last month, we continued our examination of HOA Horror stories about roaches, bedbugs, and rats. This week, we discuss how condo and homeowner associations are addressing the rampant bedbug problem infecting the nation.    Read the article…………..

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Summary of the New Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act (IL)

On July 1, 2016, the Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act will go into effect. The Act establishes the Office of the Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson. This regulatory Office is designed to educate and assist condominium and

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Mouse Trap!

The phrase “mouse trap” brings to mind methods of trapping mice, rats or other rodents, or the children’s board game that involves a plastic Rube Goldberg-like contraption to catch mice and win. In the board game, the goal is to

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HOA Horror: Roaches, Bedbugs, And Rats Pt. 3

Last month, we continued our examination of HOA Horror stories about roaches, bedbugs, and rats. This week, we BEDBUGSdelve into the dirty bedbug problem plaguing the entire nation.  Read the article………….

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Stopping Trouble From Derailing Your Association

Every association faces trouble in one form or another over the course of time. Some boards do a good job of preventing trouble, resulting in few occurrences, while other boards seem to constantly be battling trouble, both on their board

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Operation: Landscape

There are many parts to the landscape “game.” Some are small, some large, some moving and some waving their arms frantically in the air, calling you over to handle the imaginary emergency that needs to get taken care of immediately

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Reducing Risk

We all experience risk in our everyday lives. Things such as making our morning coffee in our own kitchen, driving a car or even shopping at our local grocery store are all actions that can put us at risk. We

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To Pay or Not To Pay Post-Judgment Attorneys’ Fees After an Eviction

A recent decision by the Illinois Appellate Court ruled that a condominium unit owner must pay post-judgment attorneys’ fees (in addition to post-judgment common expenses) before he or she can vacate the judgment and regain possession of his or her

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Reducing Risk

If you are a board member of your association it is important to be alert and attentive when driving or walking through your association property; make sure to assess your territory. Are any street lights burnt out which cause a

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Illinois Appellate Court Determines Payment of Post-Judgment Attorney’s Fees Is Condition Precedent to Regaining Possession of a Unit

Decided by the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court on April 20, 2016, State Place Condominium Association v. Magpayo confirms that in order for an owner to regain possession of their Unit which has been lost to the Association

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Illinois Appellate Court Limits — for Now — Subsequent Purchaser’s Ability to Seek Damages from Design Professional Under Implied Warranty of Habitability

As a quick reminder, the aptly named Implied Warranty of Habitability is a warranty that is implied into every contract involving the sale of a dwelling from a builder to a buyer, that a house will be reasonably suited for

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Buying and Selling a Condominium Can Feel Like Playing a Game of Monopoly

So you landed in Park Place and decide this is the perfect home for you. You sign the contract and look forward to paying the bank and moving in. It is just like the game, Monopoly. Not so fast –

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Operation: Landscape

There are many parts to the landscape “game.” Some are small, some large, some moving and some waving their arms frantically in the air, calling you over to handle the imaginary emergency that needs to get taken care of immediately

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HOA Horror: Roaches, Bedbugs, And Rats Pt. 1

Cleanliness may be next to godliness, but when your community is invaded by roaches, bedbugs, rats, maggots, and other vermin, it’s time for quick action.  Read the article………….

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HOA Horror: Toxic Stories About Mold Pt. 2

Although Bizar is the president of his small association, it is by default. No one else would – or could – step up. The moisture and leakage problems could not be fixed because the necessary special assessment to cure the

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Condo boards should work smarter, not harder

When meetings at your community association run on for hours. When unexpected bills mount up. When civility has been forgotten. It’s time for board members to work smarter, not harder. Here are a few strategies that will help associations save

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A new and powerful tool to compel prompt payment of assessments

On December 3, 2015, the Illinois Supreme Court entered its order in 1010 Lake Shore Association v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. In a unanimous decision written by Justice Kilbride, the Court held that a post-foreclosure mortgagee was liable for

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What condo associations should share — and what’s not fodder for gossip

An often-heard criticism about community associations is their lack of transparency. Owners say they don’t know what the board is doing or how decisions came about.  It’s a tricky issue. An informed membership is likely to be more harmonious than

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How To React to HOA Fraud

This week, we discuss how to react if you do not bulletproof your HOA against embezzlement and discover your HOA is the victim of fraud. Finding the proper authority to investigate allegations of fraud can prove to be extremely difficult.

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Bulletproof Your Homeowners Association’s Funds Against Fraud – Pt. 1

Last week, we discussed some clues that your HOA might be the victim of embezzlement. This week, we give tips to bulletproof your HOA againstHOA embezzlement and ask, “Who is guarding the guardians?” Unless boards are vigilant, the answer is:

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Illinois Appellate Court Invalidates A Lease Restriction Imposed By Rule

Decided by the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court on February 3, 2015, Strobe v. 842-848 West Bradley Place Condominium Association confirms the long-held position of KSN that the board of managers of a condominium does not have the

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The New Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act – What You Need to Know

The word “ombudsman” was first used in Sweden in the 1950s. Literally translated, it means “representative,” in Swedish and was derived from the Old Norse word “umbothsmathr” (Umboth = commission + Mathr = man). The definition has evolved over time and an

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Board lacked authority to enter three-year management agreement (IL)

A recent Illinois appellate level case concerns the validity of a management agreement entered into by a condominium association. The outcome did not go well for the management company.   Read the article………..

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