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Kick the Can and Deferred Maintenance

In the childhood game of “Kick the Can”, one person is designated It and an empty can is placed in the open playing field. With eyes closed, It counts to an agreed upon number, and the other players run and

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Mother May I? Coping with Permissions in Community Associations

Everyone remembers our parents’ favorite retort: “When you’re 18 and on your own, you can do what you want, but when you’re in my house, it’s my rules” or something similar. No matter what we wanted to do as young

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Musical Chairs & Management Stability

To be on a board of directors for a community association is not an easy job. Yes, “job.” Although these are positions filled by volunteer owners, it is a job.  Many community associations share this job with the assistance of

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Tag, You’re It – Welcome to the Board of Directors

Congratulations! You’ve been elected as a member of your community association’s board of directors. Now what? Serving as a member of an association’s board of directors puts you in a powerful seat while also conferring a great deal of shared

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Hide & Seek – Finding the Right Experts for Your Association

When looking for the right experts for your community association there are many places that you will have to search, much like the game of Hide & Seek you might have played as a child. To help avoid wasting time

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Many association pet bans are all bark and no bite

Many condominium associations have found their pet bans have no teeth.  That’s because an increasing number of residents are requesting permission to keep assistance animals due to physical or mental disability. Associations have little choice but to grant the exceptions.

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Subcontractor’s Alleged Negligence Was “Occurrence,” Seventh Circuit Says

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, affirming a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, has ruled that a subcontractor’s alleged negligence was an “occurrence” for purposes of a commercial general liability

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It’s all about the Planning! – Tips to getting an Association Loan

The key to obtaining an association loan is to be prepared and follow best practices. The planning that is done two, and even three years before the association actually needs the loan, is critical to getting a loan approved by

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Pending Foreclosures Should Not Halt the Collection of Delinquent Assessments

It is not uncommon to find that when a unit owner fails to pay his/her assessments, they are also not paying their mortgage. Thus, oftentimes foreclosures go hand-in-hand with the collection of delinquent assessments. Fortunately for associations, the Condo Act

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Insurer must defend contractor in condo water damage case (IL)

Failing to put an adequate coat of sealant to a building’s exterior, which led to water damage, can be considered an “occurrence” under a commercial general liability policy, says a federal appeals court in ruling that an insurer is obligated

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Illinois Appellate Court Clarifies Palm Decision Regarding Association Collections

In Lake Point Tower Condominium Ass’n v. Waller, 2017 IL App (1st) 162072, decided on June 28, 2017, the Association filed a forcible entry and detainer action against Defendant to obtain possession of Defendant’s condominium. Subsequently, Defendant filed a motion

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Smoking Complaints-The Saga Continues

Given the municipal smoking ban in public places(1) and the proven harm of secondhand and third hand smoke, many Boards continue to be besieged with complaints from residents of transmission of smoke into their homes. These complaints can range from

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Special assessments: 4 tips to pass them without owner outrage

Special assessments are a tough sell. Condominium boards have the authority to levy these add-on fees, but disgruntled owners potentially can overturn or at least stall them.  Don’t let it get that far.  There are two primary components to passing

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Funding Your Future: Predicting & Budgeting Your Association’s Repairs & Improvements

All community associations require routine maintenance, repairs, and replacement over time to ensure they remain in good condition. The task of ensuring the Association retains sufficient funding to pay for this maintenance, repair and replacement work falls squarely on the

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Summer Safety

The summer season is a ready welcome every June given our Midwest winters. However, with the warmer temperatures are considerations your communities may face during this time of year. Here are some reminders for issues most common to the summer

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How to pass a special assessment with less pain

In the language of community associations, the words “special assessment” are among the most heated. No one enjoys being commanded to come up with extra money, but few associations can avoid the occasional levy.  A special assessment is an amount

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“Offensive, Rude, Annoying, Mean-Spirited & Ill-Advised” Blog Posts Aren’t Defamatory–Milazzo v. Connolly (IL)

This is another case study of the overly litigious world of homeowners’ associations. For example, a few months ago, I blogged about another lawsuit involving a condo association, its no-pet policy, and a string of vitriolic blog posts over residents

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Another Illinois Case Decides When an Asset Purchaser is Responsible for Liabilities as a Mere Continuation of the Seller

In our Risk Management Update of December 23, 2015, we discussed an Illinois case that had to decide when a successor entity purchasing the assets of its predecessor became liable for the debts of the predecessor. (“Mere Continuation” Doctrine Applied

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How Should the Association Handle Emotional Support Animals in Individual Units

The law that applies to accommodations for an emotional support animal is primarily the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”). Please note that the American with Disabilities Act pertains to the state and federal government being prohibited from discriminating against people with

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Why Have a Professional Reserve Study

Every community association has three functions – to serve as a business, a government and a community. Community associations are generally nonprofit corporations, functioning in many ways as businesses with revenues (association dues, clubhouse rentals, revenues from golf course or

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When is selling entire condo building the best move?

A condominium association enters into myriad negotiations for goods and services. Sometimes the best deal is to sell itself. That is, to sell the entire property to an investor or multifamily developer who will turn the condo units into apartment

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Illinois Supreme Court Clarifies Snow & Ice Removal Act

Decided by the Illinois Supreme Court on December 1, 2016, Murphy-Hylton v. Klein Creek Condominium et al. held that the immunity granted under the Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act for the negligent removal of naturally accumulated snow and ice

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Volunteers R.O.C.K.!

“Common areas do not automatically create a sense of community. Nurturing the community spirit is probably the greatest challenge facing community associations today.”—CLIFFORD TREESE, CPCU, ARM, CIRMS and community association guru extraordinaire  So, how can an association nurture community spirit?

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Community association lawyers answer 7 common questions (IL)

Community association law is extensive and sometimes quirky, and lawyers are expensive.  Attendees at the recent 2017 spring conference of the Association of Condominium, Townhouse and Homeowners Associations had the opportunity to meet with attorneys who specialize in association matters.

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Managing Safety and Liability vs. Managing A Budget

Signed into law on September 8th, 2016, The Snow Removal Service Limited Liability Act changed the liability relationship between Community Associations and their snow services contractor.  The act states, “Provides that any provision in a snow plow and de-icing services

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Swimming Pools: Summer Fun or Summer Burden? (IL)

Many communities have swimming pools for residents to enjoy. A lot goes into maintaining a clean, healthy, safe and fun swimming pool facility. These community facilities can add great value to the properties, but are they fun, or a burden

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Association Disclosures Under Section 22.1 of the Illinois Condominium Property Act

The focus of this article is to provide a brief overview on the disclosures provided in Illinois by a condominium association to a prospective buyer of a unit and: (a) what is mandated by law; (b) what current practice is;

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Case Update: Wing Street CA v. Kiss the Chef, LLC (IL)

In the case of Wing Street CA v. Kiss the Chef, LLC, the Illinois Supreme Court will review an issue pertinent to the collection of up to six months of a foreclosed owner’s assessments from a subsequent purchaser under Section

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IL App. Court Holds Post-Foreclosure COA Dues Need Not Be Paid Monthly to Extinguish Pre-Foreclosure COA Lien

Reversing a trial court’s ruling in favor of a condominium association and against a mortgagee, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, recently held that the Illinois Condominium Property Act’s (“Condo Act”) provision creating a mechanism to extinguish liens for

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Insurance Policy Did Not Prevent Association Recovery from Subcontractors for Defective Work

On February 17, the First District Appellate Court issued an opinion regarding the Implied Warranty of Habitability in the case of Sienna Court Condominium Association v. Champion Aluminum Court et al. The opinion involved three separate appeals: the first relating

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What is an HOA?

It is often said that you’re buying more than a home, you’re buying a neighborhood. Nowhere is that truer than in neighborhoods governed by a homeowners’ association (HOA).  Homeowners’ associations are nothing if not controversial. Some residents appreciate having, in

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Water is an Enemy to Asphalt Paving

In the asphalt paving business we are asked many questions regarding proper maintenance of pavement surfaces for driveways, parking lots and roads. Our best advice is to be proactive about maintenance to ensure the life of your pavement surface.  As

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The Bouncy House-Invitation to Liability

Residents in community associations often behave as if they still reside in single family homes. They tend to forget that liability exposures created through their personal activities will affect others. A perfect example is when a unit owner asks permission

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Don’t forget your Declaration: Appeals Court confirms necessity of the Declaration and Covenants in collection actions (IL)

The First District Appellate Court confirmed that Associations must be careful to enter their Declaration and Covenants regarding Assessment default into the record in a lawsuit to collect Assessments. In Blackstone Condominium Association v. Speights-Carnegie, (Feb. 3, 2017), the Appellate

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Rules and regulations for HOAs

There are many types and classifications of Homeowners’ Associations (HOAs) that are now under the umbrella and defined within the Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act. Some of these communities are also referred to as the “over 55” communities, multi-generational

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A summary of the 2017 changes to the Condominium Property Act and Common Interest Community Association Act

Public Act 99-0567 amends the Condominium Property Act and Common Interest Community Association Act (CICAA). P.A. 99-0567 allows for an executive session to be held as part of an open meeting or as a separate event with no notice requirement

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After the Spanish Court case: Limits of Board authority to maintain collection action highlighted in recent appellate court opinion

In the recent case of 4934 Forrestville Condominium Association v. McKinley, the First District Appellate Court held in the context of an Association’s action to collect delinquent assessments under the Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Act, that a Unit Owner’s

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Liability of Condo Associations for Damages Caused by Failure of the Common Elements

As a practitioner for many years in the area of association law, I have been aware of a long-standing difference of opinion among association attorneys as to the obligation of a condominium association to pay for damages caused to the

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How technology can save community associations time and effort

When a community association manager needed to know how badly the property’s gutters were clogged, Nik Clark had a solution. He launched an unmanned aircraft system, otherwise known as a drone.  It flew above the building’s roofline, and Clark and

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Seventh Circuit Finds Faulty Work Not a Covered “Occurrence”

In Allied Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Metro North Condo. Assn’     No. 16-1868, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4107 (7th Cir. Mar. 8, 2017), the Seventh Circuit had occasion to consider whether claims of faulty workmanship could constitute “property

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Don’t forget your Declaration: Appeals Court confirms necessity of the Declaration and Covenants in collection actions

The First District Appellate Court confirmed that Associations must be careful to enter their Declaration and Covenants regarding Assessment default into the record in a lawsuit to collect Assessments. In Blackstone Condominium Association v. Speights-Carnegie, (Feb. 3, 2017), the Appellate

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Recovery of Attorneys Fees in Litigation

One of the first questions we are asked at the outset of litigation on behalf of a condominium association is whether the attorneys’ fees we will generate are recoverable from the opposing party. The answer to that question depends on

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Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Third Party Buyer is Liable for Delinquent Assessments to Mortgagee’s Subsidiary

According to Section 9(g)(4) of the Illinois Condominium Property Act, any purchaser of a condominium unit who acquires a property either at a foreclosure sale or by post-foreclosure purchase from the mortgagee must pay the last six months’ worth of

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Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Third Party Buyer is Liable for Delinquent Assessments to Mortgagee’s Subsidiary

According to Section 9(g)(4) of the Illinois Condominium Property Act, any purchaser of a condominium unit who acquires a property either at a foreclosure sale or by post-foreclosure purchase from the mortgagee must pay the last six months’ worth of

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In a community association, who’s actually in charge?

It takes a village to run a community association.  This village typically is composed of an elected board and its officers, unit owners, perhaps a few committees and a hired manager. Each one has roles to play and responsibilities to

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Spring is Coming…Is Your Property Ready?

Winter, even the mild one we are experiencing, can wreak havoc on your property! Between the snow, ice, wind and cold, lots of repairs are made in the winter that need to be readdressed in the spring. Why are we

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Invalid Board Does Not Have Authority to Bring Lawsuit on Association’s Behalf

The Appeals Court of Illinois recently held that an association’s board of directors does not have authority to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the association if it is not formed properly according to the condominium’s governing documents and the

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Need a loan? Show lenders your association is a worthy investment

As spring weather approaches, big-ticket construction and repairs are coming up at many community associations. So is taking out a loan to pay for them. If associations qualify, that is.  Associations will be denied if their finances are in disarray.

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Reminder of 2017 Condo Law Changes (IL)

In case you missed them, here are highlights of new laws affecting condominium buildings in 2017:   Read the article………….

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Planning and Conducting a Successful Annual Meeting

Happy Birthday to your Association!! The annual meeting can be a chance for the current board to shine on the past year’s performance, promote the plans of the community, and answer the myriad of questions that come with being a

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