In Lake Point Tower Condominium Association v. Waller,  the condo board filed a collection lawsuit against a unit owner. That owner asked that the lawsuit be dismissed, claiming the board had not voted on the action at an open board meeting and had improperly delegated the authority to initiate the lawsuit to the property manager. The trial court granted the dismissal to the owner, even though the board subsequently ratified the action at an open board meeting, and determined that the association could not proceed on the initial lawsuit. The association appealed this decision.

The Appellate Court determined that the trial court erred in dismissing the lawsuit as the association had ratified the action, even though it was after the lawsuit was filed. Furthermore, the court concluded that the Illinois Condominium Property Act did not preclude an Association’s Board from delegating authority to initiate collection lawsuits to the property manager.  

Per attorney Rob Kogen of Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, condo boards should make a motion in an open meeting to allow a board member or the property manager to turn delinquent accounts over to an attorney for collection. Once the meeting minutes reflect a resolution allowing for this, the board does not need to vote at an open meeting on every owner account that is to be turned over for collections. As always, the minutes should be retained in the association's permanent files.

To read more about the case, click here.

Boards are continually bombarded with complaints from residents about the transmission of cigarette smoke into their homes. Most governing documents prohibit residents from engaging in “noxious or offensive activities,” leading residents to look to the Board to solve smoking related complaints.

In a condominium association, the Board determines whether a nuisance exists by ascertaining whether the conduct is unreasonable for the average person residing in the building property. The dangers of second-hand smoke have been sufficiently established in medical circles for the Board to reasonably conclude that it is justified in imposing abatement requirements.

This article from the CAI Illinois blog offers a strong template for rules regarding smoke transmission.

Many condo buildings are beginning to boast increasing amenities for pets. These buildings treat animals as valued guests with perks like spas, dog runs, grooming, toys, pictures with the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, and “Yappy Hours.” 

Smaller condos often struggle with managing pets in their buildings. Noise and waste can be a problem, but when rules & regulations clearly communicate expectations for pet owners and can be effectively enforced, pet owners and non-pet owners can live in harmony.

To read more how condo buildings are creating pet-friendly communities, click here.

Condo owners in Chicago are now receiving their 2nd installment 2016 property tax bills. Payment is due August 1, 2017.

Note that the 1st installment is issued for an amount equal to 55% of your total prior year tax bill. Once the Cook County Treasurer's office has calculated your final total tax bill, the 2nd installment is sent reflecting the total less the amount billed in the 1st installment.

Tax rates and property valuation assessments for Chicago property owners have increased, so many condo owners will be seeing an increase in their final bill. For more information about the effects of this year's property tax changes, see this article by our friends at Elliott and Associates.

"If I had only known how many problems there would be in my condo building, I never would have bought a condo!"

Does this sound like you? Unfortunately, this is a common refrain among condo owners. Condo living is complicated and confusing at times, and conflict is inevitable. Condo owners who look forward to owning property, building equity and being able to make alterations that aren't possible when renting often find that condo living isn't quite what they'd expected.

Sometimes, you just need someone to listen and sympathize. Sometimes, you need someone to give you guidance on how to tackle your condo conundrums. Sometimes, you need both.

On Wednesday, July 19th, CCR will be hosting a "Condo Therapy" session with the Experts. Come for FREE food, drinks and advice from industry leaders. This is an opportunity to connect to solutions and to other condo owners who can relate.

Details on our Calendar. Please spread the word!

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