Amidst coronavirus, board members and property managers have begun conducting virtual meetings.

While the switch from in-person to virtual meetings requires some adjustments, the accessibility, affordability, and convenience are hard to overlook. 

Benefits of virtual meetings include…

  1. Accessibility. The cost of video conferencing software, such as Zoom or Skype, is low. Additionally, board members will likely already own a smartphone or computer that will allow them to access the applications.
  2. Participation. Since virtual meetings don’t require attendees to be in the same place, seasonal owners, owners traveling out of state, and owners with tight schedules can all still participate.
  3. Convenience. Virtual meetings are easy to schedule and sending out calendar invites prevents the need to print fliers or post signs. Screen sharing options are also convenient for sharing documents, agendas, etc. without needing to print materials. 
  4. Structure. Virtual meetings can be held in the same way that in-person meetings would be, and follow the same rules, ethics, and customs.

Learn more about the benefits of virtual meetings, here

You can also check out KSN’s podcast episode on virtual meetings with KSN attorney, Janelle Dixon, here

Governor JB Pritzker extended Illinois’ moratorium on residential evictions for another 30 days, until at least September 21st.

Eviction lawsuits cannot be initiated against any condo owners for non-payment of assessments until the moratorium expires. Pending (previously filed) lawsuits are also on hold until at least September 21st. 

During this time, however…

  1. Commercial evictions can still be carried out.
  2. Evictions can be filed for tenants that poses direct health and safety threats to other tenants or immediate and severe risks to the property.
  3. 5, 10, and 30 day, or non-renewal notices, can be served to tenants. Chicago properties need to follow requirements for the non-payment of rent under the new ordinance. 

Read more, here

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) has established a crisis assistance program in light of COVID-19 to help Illinois homeowners secure their housing. 

Emergency Mortgage Assistance (EMA) provides a direct, one-time payment to mortgage holders for homeowners at less than 125% medium income who cannot cover mortgage payments as a result of coronavirus. The portal will be accepting applications from August 24 - September 4, 2020.

Learn more, here

The COVID-19 pandemic will lead to a rise in delinquencies. The question remains - how bad will it get and how can boards soften the blow?

While restrictions have begun to lift, financial troubles haven’t for the millions who have found themselves unemployed.

While it is unclear how bad it will be, there have been comparisons made to the Great Recession, which stymied community associations nearly a decade ago and dried up associations. 

Professionals say the issue of collections is on the front burner, but a variety of strategies could help associations weather the storm.

  1. Every association should have a collections policy to serve as a roadmap for dealing with delinquencies. The board should apply the policy evenly to all residents, however, they should leave wiggle room for flexibility depending on an owner’s circumstances. 
  2. Communities must continually educate owners about the importance of assessments because community associations with high delinquency rates may have trouble getting bank loans of qualifying for Federal Housing Administration insurance. 
  3. When delinquencies do happen, reach out and invite owners to discuss possible solutions with board representatives. 
  4. Keep in mind that, to protect homeowners and renters during the economic upheaval, some governors have used their emergency powers to issue temporary moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures. Representatives of the community association industry worried that this type of measure could end up including assessments. 
  5. Running collections through a dedicated department rather than individual managers can help stabilize finances. 

Learn more, here

 

KSN attorney, Omar Malik, recently released a podcast episode in which he discusses the challenges he and his team faced while closing a $6.15M deconversion sale amidst coronavirus. He also discusses the deconversion process, applicable legislation, and changes in the closing process.

Listen to the podcast here.

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Legal Updates: Illinois
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