On August 25, the Snow Removal Service Liability Limitation Act became effective. This act voids certain indemnity agreements that are common in condominium association snow removal contracts.

The Act (which contains a lot of legal language) essentially limits liability provisions in snow and ice removal contracts relating to lawsuits arising from damages incurred as a result of the service. If your association has an existing snow and ice removal contract, your board should have it reviewed by a qualified condo law attorney.

For details on the language contained in the Act, click here. 

Beginning on January 1, 2017, both the Common Interest Community Association Act and the Condominium Property Act will be amended. This amendment will outline the instances in which a board will be allowed to close a noticed meeting or meet separately from a noticed meeting. These instances are listed below.

  • To discuss probable or pending litigation
  • To discuss third party contracts or information regarding appointment, employment, engagement, or dismissal of an employee, independent contractor, agent or other provider of goods and services
  • To interview a potential employee, independent contractor, agent, or other provider of goods and services
  • To discuss violations of the rules and regulations of the association
  • To discuss unit owners' unpaid share of common expenses
  • To consult with the association’s legal counsel

This effectively allows for the board to discuss specific association business in workshops held without notice and without owners in attendance.

If your condominium association has not yet put a snow removal contract in place, now is the time to do it.

Many companies actually finalize all of their seasonal snow removal contracts before summer even ends. Don't wait until the first flakes fall to make sure your property will be cleared of snow and ice. 

Contact a HausFS Recommended Vendor now and rest easy this winter. 

Chicago condo owners who also own vehicles will no longer receive postcard reminders to renew their license tags.  It is now each individual’s responsibility to track the expiration date of their tags and to renew them before the deadline. If the deadline is missed, an individual can incur fees, late charges or expensive tickets.

Individuals can register online to receive email reminders. A Registration ID and PIN from a prior renewal notice can be used for online registration. If you do not have an old registration card, you can call the Public Inquiry Division and personnel from the Secretary of State can provide the pin number.

On Wednesday, September 14th the Chicago City Council approved a new water and sewer tax that will go into effect in 2017.

The tax will start at 7% of the water and sewer bill in 2017 and increase 7% every year to 28% by 2020. This tax is on top of an annual rate increase determined by the applying the previous year's rate of inflation as determined by the Consumer Price Index.

Current inflation rates have hovered around 1% for the last year, however they have ranged from 2.1 to .1 since 2012. HausFS is recommending a 10% increase to Water and Sewer budgets for 2017 to account for both a rate increase and the added 7% tax. This should give most associations plenty of wiggle room for their water and sewer expense in 2017 and is still lower than historical increases of 15%.

It's a great time to start thinking about how your association can save water to reduce your overall water and sewer bill and to investigate potential leaks.

(Note that for buildings receiving waste removal service from the City, there is now an additional $9.50 per unit Garbage Fee added to your water and sewer bill. City pickup is available to buildings of 4 units or fewer.)

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