Effective Strategies to Keep Your Condo Building Cool in the Summer

As temperatures rise in Chicago during the summer months, keeping buildings cool becomes a top priority for both comfort and energy efficiency.  This post will explore various methods to maintain a pleasant indoor environment while also conserving energy.   Read the article…………………………….

Overview of Rules and Regulations for Condominium Associations in Chicago

Condominium Associations are crucial in maintaining order and harmony within building communities. Governed by rules and regulations, these associations ensure that properties are well-maintained and community standards are upheld.  Here’s an overview of the regulations, laws and bylaws that govern Condo Associations in Chicago that board members and condo owners should be aware of.    Read […]

The Essential Summer Maintenance Strategy for Condo Buildings (IL)

Summer in Chicago is not just a beautiful time of year, but a crucial period for condo associations to focus on essential building maintenance tasks.  As the season changes, so do the needs of your property. By ensuring proper upkeep, you’re not just maintaining the property’s safety, functionality, and attractiveness for residents, but also preserving […]

The Essential Summer Maintenance Strategy for Condo Buildings (IL)

As the season changes, so do the needs of your property. By ensuring proper upkeep, you’re not just maintaining the property’s safety, functionality, and attractiveness for residents, but also preserving property values and enhancing the living experience for everyone.  A well-thought-out maintenance strategy covering both indoor and outdoor building areas is essential. This approach will […]

Effective Strategies to Keep Your Condo Building Cool in the Summer (IL)

As temperatures rise in Chicago during the summer months, keeping buildings cool becomes a top priority for both comfort and energy efficiency.  This post will explore various methods to maintain a pleasant indoor environment while also conserving energy.   Read the article…………………………….

Refresher Regarding Election Preparation Procedures (IL)

As signs and flags for this fall’s national, state, and local elections are popping up all around us, it is a good reminder for community associations to review their own election procedures and readiness. Prior to and in preparation for the annual meeting, the board of directors should know the answers to the following questions  […]

Should You Discount Assessments for Board Members? (IL)

According to the Illinois Condominium Property Act, no provision allows for the discounting of assessments for any unit owner, including board members. The Act states explicitly that the association shall have no authority to forbear the payment of assessments by any unit owner??. This means that all unit owners, regardless of their position within the […]

Board Civility in Community Associations: 7 Best Practices

Civility plays a critical role in maintaining positive relationships within community associations. It can facilitate conflict resolution, enhance decision-making, preserve property values, promote community engagement, and align with both ethical and legal considerations.  Additionally, board members are responsible for maintaining and enhancing the value of properties within the association. A civil atmosphere encourages fellow owners […]

Impending Changes to Condo Act Require Action Regarding Parking for Disabled Owners (IL)

The Illinois General Assembly has passed legislation adding Section 18.12 to the Illinois Condominium Property Act, requiring all condominiums with parking to implement policies for accessible parking access for disabled owners.  The legislation mandates condominium boards to adopt a written policy within 90 days of its enactment, which will take effect 90 days after Governor […]

765 ILCS 1085: What Community Associations need to know about the Illinois Electric Vehicle Charging Act

Requests to install electric vehicle charging stations have become commonplace in Illinois community associations. By 2040, experts project at least 35% of all new vehicles will be hybrids or fully electric vehicles. The increasing number of requests to install electric vehicle charging stations by those who live in condominiums or homeowners associations has resulted in […]

Impending Changes to Condo Act Require Action Regarding Parking for Disabled Owners (IL)

The Illinois General Assembly has passed legislation that will add a new Section 18.12 to the Illinois Condominium Property Act that will require all condominiums with parking to adopt policies regarding accessible parking access for disabled owners. The legislation will take effect ninety (90) days after Governor Pritzker signs it, which is expected soon.    Read […]

Managing Disruptive Residents in Your Condominium Association

Living in a co-op, condo, or HOA often involves dealing with disruptive residents who create problems ranging from noise disturbances to more serious conflicts. Industry professionals note two main types of troublemakers: those who inadvertently break rules and those who deliberately disregard them, with the latter often proving more challenging. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated tensions, […]

The Role and Responsibilities of an Association Board Member

Being a board member in an association is a position of significant responsibility and influence. It involves overseeing the management and maintenance of the property, ensuring the well-being and satisfaction of the residents, and adhering to legal and financial obligations. This role is integral to the smooth operation of the community, requiring a blend of […]

Moving into a condo? Make sure you know what you’re getting into (IL)

Kate Liebelt moved into her condo at Park Millennium — a posh, towering 480-unit building in the Loop — in 2020 and was looking forward to enjoying the property’s pool, location and vibrant community.  But Liebelt and other residents said problems have started to surface — from broken elevators without a clear maintenance timeline to […]

Illinois Legislature Approves New Accessible Parking Requirements: What Do Illinois Community Associations Need to Know?

On May 24, 2024, the Illinois legislature approved legislation to amend the Illinois Condominium Property Act (“ICPA”) to impose certain new requirements related to parking for “a unit owner who is a person with a disability who requires accessible parking.” If the proposed legislation is signed by Governor Pritzker or not vetoed by Governor Pritzker […]

4 Step Process to Enforcing Condominium Bylaws

Enforcing condominium bylaws is essential for maintaining the harmony and integrity of a community. At Hirzel Law, we understand the complexities involved in this process and offer a straightforward four-step approach to ensure compliance and resolve conflicts effectively. Here’s a detailed guide on how to enforce condominium bylaws, incorporating our expert process:   Read the article…………………………….

Four Steps to Amending HOA Covenants, Bylaws, and Rules

Homeowners’ associations evolve over time as the world around us changes. For example, a new law gets enacted (e.g., marijuana legalization), or new safety or communication needs arise. Sometimes in response, an HOA must create a new rule or amend a bylaw. Boards must know how to change HOA rules properly. You’ll want to be […]

Block Parties in Community Associations

Block parties are an excellent way for residents in condo associations and HOAs to come together and celebrate community spirit.  Here are nine considerations for board member to ensure these events are not only fun but also safe and compliant with association rules and local laws.   Read the article…………………………….

The Corporate Transparency Act – should your association wait to file a report? (IL)

The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) aims to help detect and combat money laundering and terrorist finance, facilitate tracking money that has been sourced through criminal or terrorist activity, and safeguard national security and the U.S. financial system.  This act came into effect in January of 2024, and businesses that meet certain criteria are expected to […]

Water damage in condo buildings (IL)

The irony. Your condo building stretches 20 storeys high, but it took less than 20 minutes for your floor to be engulfed by water.  When a pipe bursts in a condo building, it doesn’t take long for the water to fill up hallways, stairwells and individual units. The incident may end quickly, but the effects […]

Illinois’ Electric Vehicle Charging Act and Its Role in Modern HOAs

The excitement over new vehicles combined with today’s technology is never-ending. Car shows and showrooms are filled with new and future models headed to market.  The electric vehicle (EV) is one innovation growing in popularity, especially in Illinois. Between 2022 and 2023 sales of electric vehicles grew by 60% with 94,000 EVs registered in the […]

There is No “I” in Board – The Collective Responsibility of Your Condo Board

Condominium and common interest community associations operate under a board of directors typically comprised of three to seven owners, who then elect officers like president, treasurer, and secretary. The role of president is crucial, serving as the primary liaison between the board and professionals, setting meeting agendas, and leading discussions. However, the president’s authority is […]

Navigating Summertime Woes: Challenges Community Associations Face

As the temperatures rise and the days grow longer, the nicer weather brings a flurry of activity to community associations. While the season offers residents ample opportunities for enjoyment and relaxation, it also presents unique challenges for associations to navigate. From increased maintenance demands to possible conflicts over communal spaces, summertime can put a strain […]

Essential Guide to Understanding Your HOA Board of Directors

HOAs play a crucial role in maintaining residential communities, ensuring they operate smoothly and preserve property values. Central to the functioning of an HOA is its Board of Directors, comprised of volunteers elected by members of the association (owners). This article provides a comprehensive guide to understanding HOA board members’ roles and responsibilities.  Read the article…………………………….

Supplementary Guidance on Corporate Transparency Act for Illinois Community Associations

On April 18, 2024, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Treasury Department (“FinCEN”) issued supplementary guidance on the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) as part of their FAQs. The updated FAQs include guidance specifically for community associations which affirms and is in line with our recent article summarizing what community associations need to know […]

Effective Committees – Maximizing Use of Community Volunteers

In a typical co-op, condo, or homeowners association, residents have a lot to say about how their building or community is or should be functioning … but few actually step up to run for and serve on the board that does the actual governing. One reason is that board service can be a heavy lift, […]

Corporate Transparency Act and Community Associations: Updates and Compliance (IL)

On April 18, 2024, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Treasury issued updated guidance addressing the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA).  The CTA directs FinCEN to establish a nationwide database of beneficial ownership of certain corporations and other legal entities including condominium, homeowner (HOA) and townhome community associations.    Read the article…………………………….

Smoking in Community Associations: Carey v. The 400 Erie Condominium Association (IL)

The Illinois Appellate Court’s ruling in Carey v. The 400 Erie Condominium Association, a recent Rule 23 opinion of the First Appellate District Court, provided guidance for handling smoking nuisance cases in condominiums, emphasizing that rules may permit smoking within units as long as it does not cause nuisance or unreasonable disturbance to others.    Read […]

Upholding Decorum: Navigating Conduct at Association Board Meetings

Association board meetings are formal meetings where the board of directors conducts business. However, these gatherings can sometimes become arenas for discord, where conflicts escalate and civility wanes. Upholding decorum at association board meetings is paramount to fostering an environment of respect, collaboration, and effective decision-making.   Read the article…………………………….

Pickleball in your Community Association: 10 Considerations (IL)

Pickleball is sweeping the nation as a popular activity for all ages. It’s one of the fastest growing sports with over 8 million estimated pickleball players in the US.  Before jumping on the bandwagon, consider whether your condominium, homeowner (HOA), or townhome community association has the space, budget, and interest to support a pickleball court.  […]

Properly Addressing Nuisance Violations in Your Condominium Association (IL)

The Board of Directors is responsible for enforcing the terms outlined in the Association’s community instruments. While some violations are straightforward to identify and address, such as unauthorized improvements or improper parking, others, particularly those concerning nuisance clauses like noise or smoking, pose complexities.    Read the article…………………………….

Nuisance Violations: The Challenge Continues

One of the obligations of the Board of Directors of a condominium or common interest community association is to enforce the terms of the Association’s community instruments. In many cases, it is relatively easy for the Board to verify whether a violation of the community instruments has occurred. That is, by way of example, it […]

Navigating the Decision-Making Process in Your HOA

In the dynamic landscape of homeowners associations (HOAs), decisions shape the trajectory of community life, from financial planning to rule enforcement and beyond. The process by which these decisions are made is intricate, influenced by governing documents, board dynamics, and the needs of the community at large. Let’s delve into how HOA decisions are crafted […]

City of Chicago Adopts New ‘Cooling Ordinance’: What Do Chicago Community Associations Need to Know? (IL)

On June 22, 2022, the City of Chicago adopted a new ordinance commonly referred to as the “Cooling Ordinance”. The Cooling Ordinance modifies the cooling requirements for certain residential buildings, which does include condominium and community associations as well as residential cooperative high-rises that meet the building criteria discussed below.    Read the article…………………………….

765 ILCS 605/18.6 & 765 ILCS 160/1-70: A guide to displaying an American or Military flag in an Illinois Community Association

Can your HOA’s restrictive covenants or condominium documents ban flags? The ability to ban flags in community associations has become controversial in recent years. In many states, there have been news articles, and even lawsuits, involving owners who have encountered issues displaying political flags, thin-blue line flags, or flags from other countries. Generally, a community […]

Reserve Study vs Property Condition Assessment

In a comprehensive examination, this discussion delineates the essential differences and similarities between reserve studies and property condition assessments (PCAs), pivotal in the realms of condominium, homeowners’ associations (HOAs), and townhome associations management.    Read the article…………………………….

Clarified Rights and Obligations Under the Illinois Electric Vehicle Charging Act: What Do Illinois Community Associations Need to Know?

The Illinois Electric Vehicle Charging Act (“Act”), which imposes certain requirements to foster widespread adoption of electric vehicles (“EVs”), took effect on January 1, 2024. Per its original terms, the Act applied only to “newly constructed single-family homes and multi-unit residential buildings that have parking spaces and are constructed after the effective date of this […]

How Condos are Reassessed (IL)

The job of the Assessor’s Office is to calculate a fair market value for your property. The market value is how much your property could sell for based on the current real estate market. For residential properties, including condos, your property’s assessed value equals 10% of its fair market value, per Cook County ordinance.   Read […]

Dealing with Difficult Owners in an Association

Living in a community can offer many benefits, such as shared amenities and a sense of community. However, associations come with their own set of challenges, particularly when dealing with difficult owners. Whether it’s disagreements over rules and regulations, or disruptive behavior, addressing these issues requires a delicate balance of assertiveness, diplomacy, and adherence to […]

U.S. District Court Strikes Down Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) as Unconstitutional: Impact to Community Associations

A U.S. District Court judge in Alabama recently ruled that the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) is unconstitutional. The CTA, enacted on January 1, 2021, directs the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to establish a nationwide database of beneficial ownership of certain corporations and other legal entities, including condominium, homeowner (HOA) […]

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 […]