It’s fall in Chicago! On top of getting involved in all the fall festivities, it is also important to get involved in recycling. Below are several ways you can personally get involved or contribute to Chicago’s recycling efforts this fall:

1. The Recycling Partnership

This national non-profit has the goal of collecting more and better quality recyclables. In Chicago, the Partnership has provided the city with some needed resources, including recycling info cards that highlight what is recyclable, and the costliest items that are not recyclable.

To get real information about what is being placed in Chicago’s recycling bins, the Recycling Partnership took random samplings of carts to see what recyclables were going in the garbage and vice versa. Investigating these details gave the Partnership a baseline understanding of what’s happening, which allows them to modify their educational materials to meet the needs of the City of Chicago.

The Partnership also raised awareness for recycling with their “It’s All You” campaign, inspired by everyday moments that include recycling, the campaign reminds the residents of Chicago about the good they can do.

Click here to learn more or get involved with the Recycling Partnership. 

2. No carve, no waste, pumpkin decorating.

It is estimated that 40% of the food grown in the United States is wasted. This equates to $165 billion dollars’ worth of food that ends up in landfills every year.

Click here for no-carve, stylish, and simple to make pumpkin decorations. They will preserve the flesh of the pumpkin so they can go from decoration to dessert with no waste.  

3. Chicago’s Yard Waste Program

Nationally, yard waste accounts for about 15-30% of all landfill space. Chicago’s Yard Waste Program diverts waste by harvesting the nutrients found in leaves and grass. This is a simple and effective means of conserving landfill space, reducing pollution, and creating healthy soil.

To take part, collect your leaves and grass in a paper or plastic bag and call 3-1-1 to order free collection. Yard Waste service is available all year round, free of charge.

Click here to learn more.

Effective January 1, 2018, “on demand” owner access to Association records will be expanded: 

  • The categories of records available will now include all active association contracts and 10 years of financial books and records.
  • Of the nine categories of records that every association must maintain, only election ballots and the official unit owner list will not be subject to examination on an on-demand basis.  
  • A unit owner no longer needs to explain or prove a purpose to obtain the documents.
  • An association now must make the requested records available within 10 days instead of 30. 
  • If an association fails to meet the deadline to provide the requested records, and the requesting unit owner prevails in a lawsuit to compel their review of the records, the association must pay the unit owner's attorneys' fees and costs. 
  • The requesting unit owner is allowed, but not required, a charge-back for retrieval and copying costs of the requested records.

To read more about upcoming ICPA changes in 2018, click here.

It's budget season at Haus Financial Services! We are in the process of helping our clients to plan for 2018 and set their assessments accordingly.

A detailed budget that realistically projects anticipated income needs for the year is vital for every condominium association. It is also legally required by the IL Condo Act. If your association's board is not drafting and approving a budget each year, you may face deficits that can lead to inadequate reserves and deferred maintenance. This is the recipe for a major special assessment down the road.

All owners must receive a copy of the Proposed Budget at least 25 days prior to the board meeting at which the budget will be approved. Owners must also receive at least 10 days' and no more than 30 days' notice of the details (date, time, location ) of the meeting scheduled to approve the budget.

Remember - email notification is not a valid means of sending notice to owners unless the board has been given express authorization to communicate via email. Cover your bases by mailing or delivering notices personally as well as by email and by posting a notice in conspicuous locations in your building. 

Need guidance in preparing your budget? View our Educational Video "Budgeting Made Easy". (Available to CCR Subscribers.)

This is one of a series of articles regarding changes in the IL Condo Act that will become effective in 2018.

There are five changes to Section 18 of the Illinois Condominium Property Act:

  1. Section 18(a)8(i) permits owners to object to increases in assessments more than 115% of the prior year’s assessments, by submitting a petition to the Board signed by 20% of the Association owners. The amendment increases the amount of time to submit the petition from within 14 days, to within 21 days, of the Board action.
  2. Section 18(a) (16) permits unit owners to object to any contract entered into with a current Board member, the Board member’s family, or a company which the Board member or their family has 25% or more interest in, by filing a petition. This amendment increases the amount of time to file the petition from within 20 days of entering the contract, to 30 days.
  3. Section 18(b) (9) (c) provides that if the Board adopts a rule permitting electronic voting or mail-in absentee ballots for Board elections, the unit owners may object by filing a petition to the Board. The amendment increases the amount of time to submit the petition to the Board, from within 14 days of the rule’s adoption, to within 30 days of the rule’s adoption.
  4. Section 18.4(a) provides that unit owners may file a petition, signed by 20% of owners, to contest capital improvement projects approved by the Board costing more than 5% of the annual budget. The amendment increases the amount of time to submit the petition from within 14 days of the Board approving the expenditure, to within 21 days.
  5. Section 18.10 is new and states that Associations with 100 or more units should use generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

This is one of a series of articles regarding changes in the IL Condo Act that will become effective in 2018.

Section 19 of the IL Condo Act governs the books and records that must be maintained for examination and copying by owners. Several changes have been made to the subsections. Here are highlights:

  1. Subsection (a) (7) is amended so that the Board must maintain a list of the email addresses and phone numbers of all members for use by unit owners if requested for a purpose relating to the Association. This needs to be read in conjunction with Section 18.4 (s) which permits owners to consent to receive notices by e-mail, but permits an owner to designate an electronic address or USPS address, or both, as the unit owner’s address on any member list.
  2. Subsection (b) is amended to expand the categories of documents that an owner is entitled to examine and copy, by simply making a request in writing. This will make it easier for owners to obtain the books and records identified in these subsections. (More detail on this item will be posted in a subsequent post in this series.)
  3. Subsection (d-5) is added to define “commercial purpose” as the use of any part of a record, or records, or information derived from the records, in any form for sale, resale, or advertisements for sales and services.
  4. Subsection (e) is amended to eliminate the requirement that an owner state a “proper purpose” to examine books and records. However, as a condition, the Board may require that the requesting unit owner certifies in writing that the information will not be used for any commercial purpose, or for any purpose that does not relate to the Association. The amendment permits the Association to fine anyone making false certifications. The Board must now respond to a request for records within 10 business days, instead of 30. Additionally, the Board may, but is not required to, charge the unit owner requesting the records for the cost of retrieving the records.

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