Are Your Proxies Valid Under Illinois Law?

In the context of homeowners and condominium associations, a proxy is a document authorizing a person to act or vote on behalf of an owner who is unable to attend a meeting. Proxies are most commonly used at board elections and owners wishing to run for a seat on the board of directors will often […]

5 Tips for Keeping Your Association Compliant with the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act

Following the Illinois Supreme Court’s January 25th, 2019 Decision in Rosenbach v. Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, condominium, townhome, and homeowner’s associations utilizing biometric-based technology (that is, employee timeclocks and other technology requiring a person to provide a retina scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, hand-scan or face-scan) can find themselves facing severe statutory penalties for failing to comply […]

1618 Sheridan Rd. Condominium Association v. Marshall Spiegel (IL)

In a collection of orders entered at the end of March 2019, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Margaret Ann Brennan ruled on several motions for sanctions, ultimately awarding over $1 million in sanctions against a single unit owner and his attorney. In so doing, Judge Brennan shone a spotlight on an all-too familiar phenomenon in […]

5 Things to Expect When You Purchase a Home in an Association

Purchasing a house, condominium, or townhome is a significant financial decision. Location, design, and amenities are all important factors to consider before making a commitment, especially if the property is part of a community association.    Read the article……………………………

The Hidden Dangers of Low Assessments (IL)

There is an old saying that goes “penny wise and pound foolish” which is perfectly apt when one discusses homeowner association finances. In other words, in an attempt to save money, associations might fall victim to unwise decisions in the short-term in an attempt to keep assessments low but ultimately regret the decision later when […]

Spring Landscaping Ideas for Buildings (IL)

It’s hard to believe that we’ve survived yet another Chicago winter! For property management companies, spring means two things: assessing any potential damage done by the winter weather, and diving headfirst into spring landscaping. Here are four aspects of spring landscaping we look to first:   Read the article……………………

Illinois Appellate Court Rejects Federal Insurance Coverage Analysis, Finds Duty to Defend Against Construction Defect Allegations

On March 29, 2019, the Illinois Appellate Court issued an opinion clarifying when a duty to defend against construction defect allegations exists under a subcontractor’s commercial general liability (CGL) policy. The decision reflects a broader shift in how courts have interpreted claims of faulty workmanship under CGL policies.  Read the article………………….

Parliamentary Procedure: the Why and the How (IL)

We hold meetings because we must. They are essential to decision making, and parliamentary procedure helps us meet effectively. “Parliamentary procedure” is an umbrella term, referring to the many rules that provide structure to a meeting where business is transacted. Most meeting gurus swear by Robert’s Rules of Order, and while there are other rulebooks, […]

2018 Case Law and Legislative Updates (IL)

There have been a number of changes in Illinois laws in 2018 that have impacted the management of condominium and common interest community associations. Below is a summary we have compiled in an attempt to keep our clients and the community aware of the implications of these legal updates.     Read the article……………………

HO-3 vs HO-6: Do You Know What Type of Homeowners Insurance You Need?

If you are a homeowner in a community association, whether single family, condominium, or townhome, are you certain you have the correct form of insurance?  When you own a home in an association, you may be told somewhere along the line that the association is providing insurance. This is probably true. However, as a homeowner, […]

Condo Association Preventative Maintenance: A Penny Wise Or a Pound Foolish

Now that community living has become mainstream, it is more essential than ever for the board of directors and the management company to run the operations of the association in a proactive manner. Of course, the term proactive could mean many different things to many different people. Proactive could mean ensuring that the building insurance […]

Condo owners lose key remedy for construction problems

A recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling blocks a route condo owners have used for decades to seek financial recovery for defects in construction, attorneys say.  In its Dec. 28 opinion on a case between an Evanston condo association and a manufacturer of aluminum windows and doors, the court ruled there is no implied warranty on […]

Snow and Ice Removal Tips (IL)

Chicago’s recent record-breaking cold temperatures presented associations with challenges and questions, which may not have been at the forefront of the board’s attention. These extreme cold temperatures may have left associations dealing with issues arising from burst or frozen water pipes. While not all associations had to deal with such severe scenarios last week, almost […]

Keep Your Chicago Condominium Fire Safe! (IL)

If you are a property owner in Chicago, one of the most important aspects of your property ownership is ensuring the fire safety of your tenants and your building. This includes regular fire safety equipment inspections, maintenance, and following all new regulations. This helps you to avoid costly penalties and to make sure that your […]

Illinois Supreme Court Reverses 35 Years of Precedent Regarding Homeowners’ Implied Warranty of Habitability

On Dec. 28, 2018, the Illinois Supreme Court held that subcontractors that do not contract directly with a homeowner cannot be held liable to the homeowner for breach of the implied warranty of habitability. The decision in Sienna Court Condominium Association v. Champion Aluminum Corporation (2810 IL 122022) expressly overrules 35 years of precedent from […]

True or False: 7 Privacy Questions in an Association

Living in a condominium, homeowners, or townhome association requires an owner to divulge personal information that is safe-guarded by the inherent fiduciary duties of the Board of Directors. Although providing information like the make and model of your vehicle might appear invasive, the Board collects this information in an effort to efficiently run the Association […]

The Science of Vendor Selection – A Practical Approach

Does embarking on a new project in your association seem as stressful as going to the dentist? Oftentimes, projects seem daunting based on scope and cost as it’s sometimes like pulling teeth for Board Members to part ways with the almighty assessment dollars. Many Board Members rely on keeping assessments low as a barometer of […]

Building Pet Policies: Some Best Practices

To the joy of some condo owners and the frustration of others, most buildings have some type of pet policy in place. These policies are really for the protection of the other residents — sooner or later, someone will come along with enough animals to really test the patience of his or her neighbors.    Read […]

Do You Take Minutes in Executive Sessions? (IL)

A topic of great discussion is whether minutes should be kept for executive “closed” sessions and, if so, how detailed they should be. Previously, there was little guidance for association boards and many were cautioned to not take minutes for executive sessions. But, all that changed on June 14, 2018 when the Illinois Appellate Court […]

Frozen – Flooded and Frustrated

Have you ever seen what happens to an aluminum can when it freezes? Or more succinctly – have you ever seen it after it’s ruptured and the contents have thawed? The power of ice and water (or liquid) is nothing short of awesome. Ice carved the great valleys of our country – and we all […]

Chicago City Ordinance O2018-3239

The City of Chicago passed an Ordinance, effective May 25, 2018, that amends the Chicago Condominium Ordinance.  The Ordinance now provides that owners may inspect, examine, and copy the names, addresses, and weighted vote of all members entitled to vote and, importantly, the Ordinance confirms that condominium owners do not have a right to inspect, […]

Home Based Businesses in Associations: 6 Things You Should Know (WI)

Operating a home-based business has become a reality for many Americans. Appealing factors including little to no startup capital requirements, flexible work schedules, and reduced commuting has given rise to the “side hustle” or freelance economy.    Read the article………………..

Associations Must Establish Written Policy for Resolving Unit Owner Complaints (IL)

No later than January 1, 2019, associations must establish and adopt a written policy for resolving unit owner’s complaints. This requirement is under Section 35 of the Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act (the “Ombudsperson Act”) and applies to all condominium associations as well as all common interest community association not exempt from the […]

Legal Considerations for Condominium Deconversions in Chicago

With the demand for apartments in Chicago rising, many real estate developers have discovered a previously untapped supply of potential acquisition targets — residential condominium buildings. This includes older condominium properties plagued by large deferred maintenance obligations and stagnating or declining unit sales prices.    Read the article…………….

Reigning in Chaos at a Disaster Scene: Tips for the Property Manager

If you are the property manager of a multi-unit residential building, you have no doubt developed a plan for emergency or disaster situations. Fires, flooding, storms, tornados, and hurricanes can wreak havoc on a multi-unit residential complex. The chaos that immediately follows can cause a ripple effect on survival and business continuity.     Read the […]

What to Do When a Board Member Resigns (IL)

It’s a fact of life: sometimes Board members resign. Whether due to selling their unit, a change in personal circumstance, a lack of time to devote to association business, Board member resignation happens. Once the dust settles, the remaining Board members are left asking, “What now?”    Read the article………………

Best Board Member Budget Practices REVEALED

Approving the annual community association operating budget is one of the most important obligations of the board of directors. It is also the duty of the board treasurer to take the lead in this endeavor and ensure that a budget is approved in a timely fashion i.e. before the end of 2018 and in accordance […]

Association Myths Debunked: Emotional Support and Service Animals

Property Managers and Board Members oftentimes ask how to adequately handle matters involving Emotional Support Animals (“ESA”) and Service Animals. This issue typically arises within Associations with a “no dog” or “no pet” policy when an individual requests an accommodation to these policies for an ESA or Service Animal. Given the heightened sensitivity needed for […]

Due Process Debate Impacts Condo Management With New Legal Ruling (IL)

Condo associations in Chicago might soon have a harder time managing difficult condo owners. Based on an Illinois Appellate Court decision, owners accused of unruly behavior cannot be fined without first being given due process. Owners must have the opportunity to review any evidence of the alleged incident and cross-examine witnesses. Illinois condo associations that […]

Another Victory for Condominium Associations with Regard to Rental Restrictions (IL)

Earlier this summer, Tressler LLP obtained dismissal of a source of income discrimination claim filed by an owner against a Chicago condominium association. On June 23, 2018, the City of Chicago Commission of Human Relations issued a lengthy written opinion holding that a condominium association’s restriction on leasing forbidding owners from renting their units via […]

Courts Address Condo Laws, But Questions Remain (IL)

The myriad issues plaguing the Illinois Condominium Law arena have been subject to several recent opinions from two separate divisions within the 1st District Appellate Court. Unfortunately, the contrasting court rulings ultimately serve to confuse more than clarify.  The string of new cases all focus on a particular section of the Illinois Condominium Property Act, […]

Alert: Has Your Association Adopted a Written Policy for Resolving Owner Complaints? (IL)

The Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act (“Ombudsperson Act”) is a recently enacted statute that applies to all condominium associations governed by the Condominium Property Act and all common interest community associations governed by the Common Interest Community Association Act. Section 35 of the Ombudsperson Act requires all associations *to adopt a written policy […]

Organizing Window Replacement in Associations: Money Saving Tips

Windows play a key role in the integrity of your building and should be maintained actively as part of the complete building system. Saving money through reduced energy usage and reducing maintenance is the goal of the association at large as well as individual unit owners. Ideally windows should be replaced collectively so as not […]

Ruling Changes How Boards Keep Minutes and Provide Evidence for Violations (IL)

“Business as usual” for Illinois condo boards has now changed. A very big decision by the Illinois appellate court (First District) makes number of Illinois condominium board standard practices illegal. Boucher v. 111 East Chestnut Condominium Association[1] held that a board, in levying fines against a belligerent unit owner who verbally berated and insulted management […]

Association Myths Debunked: Emotional Support and Service Animals

Property Managers and Board Members oftentimes ask how to adequately handle matters involving Emotional Support Animals (“ESA”) and Service Animals. This issue typically arises within Associations with a “no dog” or “no pet” policy when an individual requests an accommodation to these policies for an ESA or Service Animal. Given the heightened sensitivity needed for […]

Distinguishing Communities: An Overview of Condominium Associations, Common Interest Community Associations, Master Associations, & Cooperatives (IL)

Whether you are an experienced homeowner or a first time buyer in a community administered by an association, it is important that you understand the laws that effect how your association is maintained. Specifically, while you may have heard of the Illinois Condominium Property Act, the Common Interest Community Act, and the Illinois General Not […]

Condo Association Liens Can Step In Front of Second Mortgages (IL)

Most condo associations know that there is a process through which they can receive up to six months of assessments plus legal fees and costs in the event they institute an action to collect assessments and the property goes through foreclosure. What many of them do not know is that the condo association’s lien can […]

Appeals panel: ‘Obnoxious’ condo owner has right to free speech, to view evidence when accused by association (IL)

While condo associations are not extensions of the government, they still must respect the First Amendment rights of condo owners, and must disclose evidence to those accused of violating association rules before assessing fines, a divided state appeals panel has ruled. However, a dissenting justice warned the ruling had the potential to bog the courts […]