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Illinois Condo & HOA Articles Archive

/ Owner - June 28, 2012
  • 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, as more people stayed home, leading to increased complaints and stress for board members and management.   Read the article…………………………….
  • 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 leadership, dedication, and transparency.   Read the article…………………………….
  • 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 changes in assessment fees. And owners of larger, more expensive three-bedroom units have more voting power, according to the building’s bylaws.    Read the article…………………………….
  • 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 by July 23, 2024, the legislation will become law and be effective as of January 1, 2025.    Read the article…………………………….
  • 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 legally compliant, and manage the concerns of HOA members. This guide tells how to add rule amendments.   Read the article…………………………….
  • 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 file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) by January 1, 2025.    Read the article…………………………….
  • 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 can be felt for weeks after the water has been cleaned up.    Read the article…………………………….
  • 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 state.   Read the article…………………………….
  • 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 not absolute; decisions are made by majority vote.    Read the article…………………………….
  • 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 on even the most well-managed associations. Here are some common issues associations encounter during the summer months and strategies for addressing them effectively.   Read the article…………………………….
  • What can homeowners associations enforce in Illinois? Here’s what state law allows
    If you’re a part of a homeowners or condominium association in Illinois that has a long list of rules, you may have wondered just how much authority they have and what you should do if you feel like you are unfairly fined.  Read the article…………………………….
  • 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 about the CTA (available here). Guidance from the FAQs for community associations   Read the article…………………………….
  • 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, requiring time, energy, and diplomacy that the average homeowner might be unable or unwilling to give on a volunteer basis.   Read the article…………………………….
  • 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 the article…………………………….
  • 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.   Read the article…………………………….
  • 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 is straightforward to document and determine whether an owner installed an improvement without the prior written approval of the Board of Directors or whether a vehicle is parked in violation of the community instruments.   Read the article…………………………….
  • 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 and implemented.     Read the article…………………………….
  • 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 association has broad authority to regulate the exterior appearance of a condominium unit or a home in a common interest community, including the display of flags. However, community association board members should be aware that a homeowners association does not have an unfettered right to regulate the American flag or a military flag, as will be discussed below.    Read the article…………………………….
  • 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 Act.” However, the Act was amended by a subsequent public act (P.A. 103-572)     Read the article…………………………….
  • 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 the article…………………………….
  • 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 established procedures.    Read the article…………………………….
  • 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) and townhome community associations.   Read the article…………………………….
  • Discrimination in HOAs: A Claim That Must Be Taken Seriously
    Attorneys have seen an uptick in cases of alleged discrimiation in HOAs and condo associations. Complaints can become costly and stressful for an association.    Read the article…………………………….
  • 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. In this article, we’ll break down the key components of a condo association’s declaration to help homeowners better understand their rights and responsibilities.      Read the article…………………………….
  • 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, Mulligan v. Panther Valley Property Owners Association, 766 A2d 1186 (2001), in which the Court upheld a community association’s sex offender restriction that banned Tier 3 sex offenders from occupying, but not owning, in a homeowners association.   Read the article…………………………….
  • 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).  Read the article…………………………….
  • 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 a contractor’s coverage for unexpected and unintended property damage caused by the insured’s faulty workmanship    Read the article………………………………
  • Illinois court asked: Are defects covered by general liability insurance?
    The ruling, passed down from the state’s supreme court, could affect which issues contractors choose to litigate with insurers across the country.   Read the article…………………..
  • 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 cannot forget to monitor the decisions made by the Human Rights Commission or the appellate court related to charges of discrimination. To continue reading, click here……………..(PDF)
  • 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 other states and acknowledged that there can be coverage for claims arising out of inadvertent defective construction under standard commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policies.    Read the article…………………………………….
  • 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 Constitution.        Read the article……………………………
  • Understanding Balcony Support Systems: Maintenance, Damage Identification, and Material Choices
    Balconies serve not just as a personal outdoor retreat but also as a significant architectural feature for any building. They offer residents a space to enjoy fresh air and views without leaving the comfort of their home. However, a balcony’s functionality and safety are heavily reliant on its structural support system. There are various materials and support configurations used in balcony construction, and each comes with its own set of maintenance needs and indicators of damage.   Read the article………………………………
  • Understanding Balcony Support Systems: Maintenance, Damage Identification, and Material Choices
    Balconies serve not just as a personal outdoor retreat but also as a significant architectural feature for any building. They offer residents a space to enjoy fresh air and views without leaving the comfort of their home. However, a balcony’s functionality and safety are heavily reliant on its structural support system. There are various materials and support configurations used in balcony construction, and each comes with its own set of maintenance needs and indicators of damage.    Read the article………………………………..
  • 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 members and stakeholders.    Read the article…………………………………….
  • What Your Illinois Homeowners Association Needs To Know About Architectural Control Requirements
    Most condominium declarations will limit the ability of a unit owner’ ability to make changes to any structure, improvement, or any of the limited or general common elements within a condominium or common interest community association to preserve the aesthetics of the community. In many cases, deed restrictions will require the unit owner to obtain the express consent of an architectural control committee or the community association’s board of directors before commencing construction, modifying a unit, or modifying common areas.   Read the article……………………………………
  • What Trustees Need to Know About the Corporate Transparency Act – Sooner Rather Than Later
    January 1, 2024 is quickly approaching and it will be a milestone for small businesses and their owners. Why? Because it is the effective date of the Corporate Transparency Act (the “Act”) – historic legislation that requires certain companies to report information about the company and the company’s owners with the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).   Read the article………………………………..
  • What Community Associations Need to Know to Avoid Common Social Media and IT Pitfalls (IL)
    Here at LP, we know that community associations, their managers, and boards, are busy trying to run the day-to-day operations of their buildings and communities. With that responsibility comes the need to adapt to ever-changing technologies and the impact of social media on our world.   Read the article………………………………..
  • Smoke Alarms and Fire Prevention Systems in Illinois Community Associations
    …….discusses legal updates impacting smoke alarms and fire prevention systems in Illinois condominium, homeowner (HOA), and townhome community associations.   Listen to the podcast………………………………
  • 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 actions taken during the meeting. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it effectively:     Read the article……………………………
  • 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 valid basis after June of 2019. Although marijuana is technically still not legal at the federal level and there is a conflict between the two, it is not presumed that a court in Illinois would rely on a federal statute to find that the consumption of marijuana is illegal.      Read the article……………………………….
  • 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………………………..
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