Understanding Your Condo Association’s Declaration: A Guide for Homeowners

Living in a condominium community comes with numerous benefits, including shared amenities, maintenance services, and a sense of community. However, it also entails certain responsibilities and obligations outlined in the condo association’s declaration. This document serves as the foundation for governance within the community, establishing rules, regulations, and guidelines that all residents must adhere to. […]

2024 Property Taxes: Impact on Chicagoland Community Associations (IL)

Cook County properties are reassessed on a triennial schedule. Every three years, the new valuations – along with appeals, exemptions, local tax levies, and assessments of nearby properties – determine the amount of future property tax bills.    Read the article…………………………….

Court Rules that Restrictive Covenant Banning Sex Offenders is Enforceable

Can your HOA’s restrictive covenants or condominium documents ban sex offenders? The ability to ban sex offenders from homeowners associations has become a controversial issue in recent years. Until recently, many attorneys across the country believed that some type of ban on sex offenders was permissible. This was largely based on a New Jersy case, […]

Major Ruling: Illinois Supreme Court Provides Clarity and Changes Precedent on CGL Coverage for Defective Work

The Illinois Supreme Court recently upended decades of Illinois caselaw regarding coverage under commercial general liability (CGL) policies, aligning Illinois with most states on the issue. On November 30, 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously held in Acuity v. M/I Homes of Chicago, LLC that the “your work” exception under CGL policies did not prevent […]

Discrimination: A Claim That Must be Taken Seriously (IL)

This past year or two, we have seen more lawsuits filed in the circuit courts of Illinois by unit owners against community associations, individual board members, and/or management companies than in years past. For this reason, we often talk about trends in the courtrooms and how judges rule in cases involving community associations. However, we […]

Illinois Supreme Court Overturns Decades of Confusing Law on Insurance Coverage for Inadvertent Construction Defects

Over the years, owners and contractors were frequently shocked to learn that there was no insurance that could cover damage caused by inadvertent defective construction. However, that all changed on November 30, when the Illinois Supreme Court, in Acuity v. M/I Homes of Chicago, LLC, aligned Illinois law with the modern trend followed by most […]

Do Condo Unit Owners Have First Amendment Rights in Illinois?

The answer to the above question about condominium unit owners’ first amendment rights is absolutely yes. Section 18.4 of the Illinois Condominium Property Act provides that no rule or regulation may impair the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States or Section 4 of Article 1 of the Illinois […]

The Essential Role of a Structural Engineer in Condominium and HOA Repair Projects

In today’s evolving infrastructure landscape, the role of a structural engineer is paramount, especially when it comes to repair projects for condominiums or homeowners associations (HOA). Their contribution not only ensures that the repair works are of high quality but also that the process remains transparent and in line with the expectations of the board […]

Meeting Minutes and the Role of the Secretary

The role of a secretary in a condo association is an important one, as they play a key part in the administrative and record-keeping aspects of the organization. In this article, we are going to focus on Meeting Minutes. Taking minutes at a condo board meeting is an important responsibility that helps document decisions and […]

What You Need to Know About Cannabis and Marijuana in Illinois Condos Under the Illinois Condominium Property Act

As Illinois became the 11th state to legalize marijuana in June 2019, it greatly impacted a condominium association’s right to simply restrict the consumption of marijuana in the condominium building(s). Previously, associations could rely on bans on criminal behavior to assert that marijuana could not be consumed, but that does not appear to be a […]

Aging in Place: 5 Considerations for Community Associations

“Aging in place” refers to the ability of a homeowner to remain living in their own house and community independently as they age rather than moving to a retirement or assisted-living facility. Motivations include comfort, autonomy, safety, and proximity to social connections. The trend is showing no signs of slowing down.   Read the article………………………..

What to Know About the New Corporate Transparency Act (IL)

As we enter the autumn season and approach 2024, condominium associations across the United States are readying themselves for significant change in legislation that is likely to enhance corporate transparency and combat illegal activities, such as money laundering and various other illicit activities. This comprehensive law, the Corporate Transparency Act, or the “CTA”    Read the […]

You Can’t Have Legal Malpractice Without Legal Damages (IL)

On May 1, 2023, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the trial court’s holding granting summary judgment to a condominium association’s former attorney Michael C. Kim (“Kim”). In support of its decision, the Court held that Hemingway House Condominium Association (“HHCA”) failed to prove injury or damages to support a cause of action. Read the […]

A Guide to Condo Board Elections (IL)

Condominium living offers many benefits, such as shared amenities and maintenance services, but it also comes with responsibilities, including participating in condo board elections. These elections play a crucial role in shaping the direction and management of your condo community. In this article, we will explore the importance of condo board elections, the process involved, […]

Surveillance in Buildings & HOAs: Privacy vs. Safety (IL)

In 2017, a Boston couple was brutally murdered in their penthouse apartment in a high-end condominium building. The murderer, the former employee of a company that supplied concierge services to the condo, had worked there, and so knew the ins and outs of the building—including some serious gaps in the property’s security that both the […]

Corporate Transparency Act Reporting Requirements: What Do Illinois Community Associations Need to Know?

In 2021, Congress enacted the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) in an effort to protect the U.S. financial system from illicit use. Generally speaking, the CTA requires business entities operating in the U.S. to report certain information regarding their beneficial owner(s). The CTA is slated to take effect on January 1, 2024, and imposes certain reporting […]

What Can I Do About Marijuana Smoke in a Condo? (IL)

The legalization of marijuana in many states has raised concerns regarding the impact of marijuana smoke in shared places, particularly in condo buildings. For those experiencing such situations, you may be wondering what you can do if you feel bothered by the aroma of marijuana in your condominium building.    Read the article………………………..

Fannie May and Freddie Mac Release Lender Bulletins for Condo and Co-Op Mortgages – What do Illinois Condominium Associations and Co-Ops Need to Know?

In the wake of the tragic 2021 condominium building collapse in Surfside, Florida, Fannie Mae (“Fannie”) and Freddie Mac (“Freddie”) adopted temporary eligibility guidelines for loans insured by Fannie and Freddie for condominium units or co-op apartments and required the completion of a condominium project questionnaire addendum in Form 1076. Recently, Fannie and Freddie released […]

New Community Association Management Rule Takes Effect (IL)

New administrative Rules governing Community Association Managers and Community Association Management Firms (68 Ill. Adm. Code 1445) became effective June 2, 2023. The new Rule represents a major overhaul to the prior Rule, which was adopted in October 2011.  Read the article………………………..

Legislative Update – New Laws and Regulations Enacted in 2023 (IL)

During the legislative session that began in January of this year, numerous bills impacting community associations and the community association industry were filed by various legislators in the House and Senate. The Illinois Legislative Action Committee (ILAC) reviewed those bills and engaged sponsors and other stakeholders as necessary to protect community associations and the community […]

What a Condo Association Should Know About Rule Changes (IL)

A condo association must occasionally change rules that are no longer working or introduce new rules to manage a new situation. It is normal and natural that the rules and procedures condo owners are subjected to may need to be updated from time to time. However, initiating those changes may be a process. A condo […]

Can You Charge Electric Cars at Your Condo Building? (IL)

With the increasing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) and the growing concern for sustainable transportation, condominium owners and property managers are faced with a crucial question:  Can you charge electric cars at your condo building?   Read the article………………………..

Monitoring Fraud in Condo Associations: The Do’s and Don’ts (IL)

Condominium associations hold a significant level of trust, as they are responsible for managing the community’s financial affairs and overall well-being.  Fraud can have devastating consequences for the condominium, both financially and reputationally. Not only does fraud have the potential to break down relationships between neighbors, but it can also cause a significant increase in […]

Refresher on Enforcing an Association’s Restrictions (IL)

Every community association has owners that violate the association’s community instruments. To ensure harmony and cohesiveness and to help avoid problems, the board of directors must enforce the restrictions contained within the association’s community instruments.Read the article………………………..

Best Practices for Planning and Evaluating Your Condo and HOA Budget

A thriving community starts with a thoughtfully prepared budget. Financial planning helps ensure a stable future for any condominium, homeowner (HOA), or townhome association. Accordingly, board members must take their financial responsibilities seriously.   Read the article………………………..

Enhancing Community Safety and Financial Planning: New Reserve Study Standards

Community Associations play a vital role in managing and maintaining the shared assets of their members. However, ensuring the safety and longevity of these properties requires meticulous planning and budgeting. In response to the tragic incident at Champlain Towers South, the Community Associations Institute (CAI) has taken decisive steps to promote safer and financially sound […]

What an Illinois Condo Needs to Know About Easements for Cable and Internet in Accordance with Sections 14.3 and 18.4(o) of the Illinois Condominium Property Act

Having quality access to cable television and internet has become nearly an absolute right to many homeowners, and the need for this service (especially the internet) was heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic when many more people started to work from home. Along those lines, a condominium association may be approached to provide an easement in […]

What your Condo Association Needs to Know About the New Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Lending Guidelines

The Surfside condominium collapse led to significant reform in the condominium lending industry. In Lender Letter LL-2021-14, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac implemented temporary lending guidelines in 2021 for condominium purchasers that desired to secure a mortgage as was previously discussed in Prepare your Condo for the new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Lending Requirements. […]

New Illinois Community Association Manager Rules for 2023

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is a state government agency responsible for the licensing, regulation, and discipline of Community Association Managers (CAM).  Community Association Managers are responsible for managing homeowner and condominium associations. Their duties often include collecting association dues, managing association vendors, resolving disputes between owners, and enforcing the community’s […]

What You Need to Know About Dogs Restrictions and Condo Associations

Dog lovers and those who would prefer not to have dogs around must often cooperate in communal living environments like condos. Most dog owners are unwilling to give up their pet, who they may view as a member of their family. However, there are limits to what a condo association must legally accept when it […]

Understanding Condo and HOA Insurance: Coverage Types and Key Considerations for Community Associations

Condominium, homeowner (HOA), and townhome associations carry insurance coverage designed to protect the common areas and shared spaces of the community.  While individual homeowners are responsible for purchasing their own insurance to protect their personal property and dwelling, the association’s insurance policy may cover    Read the article………………………..

Illinois Legislature Approves New Temperature Requirements for 55-And-Over Communities: What do Illinois Community Associations Need to Know?

The Illinois legislature recently approved amendments to the Illinois Condominium Property Act (“ICPA”) and Common Interest Community Association Act (“CICAA”) to impose certain temperature control requirements for condominium and community associations “in which the initial declaration limits ownership, rental, or occupancy of a unit to a person 55 years of age or older.”   Read the […]

2023 ILAC Update: New CAM and Management Firm Rules (IL)

Illinois instituted individual CAM Licensing in 2012 and the process is overseen by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). The IDFPR through its Division of Real Estate has worked over the past several years to standardize and harmonize requirements of licensed professionals in the State including Community Association Managers and Real Estate […]

Can Condo Associations in Illinois Prohibit the Use of Marijuana?

Starting in 2020, the use of marijuana for recreational purposes became legal in Illinois. While adults are allowed to possess and use a certain amount of marijuana or marijuana products, those who do not use these substances may be concerned about how they will be affected.   Read the article………………………..

Adding Property Under Section 25 of the Condominium Property Act

In Illinois, a developer can reserve the right to add property to a condominium at the time of the recording of the original declaration. This is an important right in that it allows a developer to make a decision about how many buildings and units to add based on several factors, including the market over […]