Many smaller condominium associations operate fairly casually and do not adhere strictly to their governing documents or the IL Condo Act. They also ignore Best Practices for operating the association like a business. This can become a problem when the association needs to pursue legal remedies for unpaid assessments. Specifically, failing to properly elect a board to act on behalf of the owners can stop a lawsuit to recover unpaid assessments.

In the case of 4934 Forrestville Condominium Association v. McKinley, the First District Appellate Court held that a unit owner’s claim that a Board was not validly constituted could go forward and potentially defeat the Association's claim.

The owner sought to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that the board did not consist of three unit owners, that the two board members pursuing the lawsuit owned a single property, that annual elections had not been held, and that the association's incorporation was not in Good Standing with the Secretary of State. The motion to dismiss was originally denied. The Appellate Court reversed this decision, requiring the association to provide a response to the claim.

Associations can avoid such complications in court by doing the following:

  1. Hold board elections annually in compliance with your Bylaws
  2. Elect the proper number of board members as required by your Bylaws
  3. Ensure that board members meet eligibility requirements for serving
  4. Incorporate your association with the Secretary of State and adhere to annual filing requirements to remain in Good Standing

To read more about the case, click here.

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