On January 1, 2017, the Condominium Property Act will be amended. Language will be taken out that previously allowed an association's declaration to require an owner vote to assign the association's right to future income.

Since associations do not hold physical property, the right to future assessments is given to a bank as collateral for any loan extended to the association. This protects the interests of the bank. Currently, if a board wanted to take out a loan on behalf of the association they would potentially have to hold an owner vote to make this decision, if required by the declaration.

Beginning in 2017, boards will no longer be required to hold an owner vote to approve a loan even if the declaration currently states that an owner vote is required. The decision will exclusively be a board decision. 

The city of Chicago wants your empty sunscreen bottles, but not your old pizza boxes! Read below for recycling updates:

  1. All empty sunscreen containers, including aluminum and plastic lotion and spray bottles, are recyclable.
  2. The only part of a sunscreen spray bottle that cannot be recycled is the spray nozzle. Other caps are recyclable.
  3. Rinse out any remaining sunscreen from the containers before recycling.
  4. Greasy cardboard, like a pizza box for instance, is non-recyclable because of holes in the paper caused by oil separating from the water in the paper making process. You can tear off a box top for recycling, however, if it has not been contaminated with grease.

Chicago has recently instated several new recycling requirements for condominium buildings. To read our other articles regarding these changes, click here and here. 

One of the factors that determines the amount of property taxes an individual must pay is the assessed value of their property. The Cook County Assessor determines this assessed value, which is then subject to review by the Cook County Board of Review. If you believe that the assessed value of your property is incorrect, you have the right to appeal the assessment. The deadline to do so in Rogers Park Township is Tuesday, August 30.

On Wednesday, August 24, a special workshop will be presented by Alderman Joe Moore's office (49th Ward) to teach property owners how to appeal their property tax assessments and possibly how to lower their tax bill. Attendees will learn how the assessment process works, how to file a Board of Review appeal and how an appeal is then granted. If you plan to attend, please bring your property tax bill.

If you cannot attend the event, you can learn more about the property tax appeal process here. And you can appeal a property assessment online here.

The Workshop will take place on Wednesday, August 24 at 6:30 pm at the Loyola Park Fieldhouse, 1230 W. Greenleaf (2nd floor).

 

The US Senate passed the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act, unanimously. Now, all that is needed is President Obama’s signature. This legislation includes reform to the current Federal Housing Administration restrictions on condominium financing.

The changes included in this legislation will make the FHA's re-certification process much easier. Additionally, it will lower the FHA’s current owner-occupancy requirement to 35% from its original 50%. Finally, the bill will require the FHA to implement a less-restrictive policy on transfer fees, which is already in place at the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

For more information on the Housing Opportunity Though Modernization Act, click here

Recently, the Chicago Recycling Ordinance was passed, but what does this mean for condominium associations?

This ordinance requires that building owners and condo associations must:

  1. Engage in source-separated recycling. (Meaning recycling materials must be kept separate from waste)
  2. Provide recycling containers
  3. Use signage to notify residents that recycling is required under Chapter 11-5 of the Municipal Code of Chicago
  4. Implement an educational program for residents to learn about the recycling program
  5. Provide written notice when changes are made to the recycling program

If your association is not currently providing recycling carts for owners and tenants, you will need to add the services or face hefty fines. Now is a good time to review your waste removal contract for potential savings on your entire waste removal bill - this is an expense that varies widely by provider and can often be lowered if you switch to another waste removal company or re-negotiate your existing contract. You will need to read the fine print, however. Contracts often run several years and auto-renew without warning, so you'll have to notify your existing company within the proper time frame in order to make a switch.

Pass along this list of easily recyclable materials to your owners and tenants: Chicago Recycling Guide. You can learn more about recycling additional materials in Chicago here

 

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