HausFS advocates a collection policy, including late fees, as a Best Financial Practice for all associations, no matter the size.  In general, we also recommend that a flat amount, rather than a percentage, be applied to assessments paid after a certain date.  This is because it is generally easier for a Treasurer in a small association to tack on a $25 late fee than to spend the time calculating a percentage-based fee.

Before deciding on your collection policy, however, it's important to review your By-Laws to determine if they contain language specifying how late fees are to be applied.  Most By-Laws will simply grant the board the right to impose charges for late payments, but we've seen several that specify a late fee of a certain percentage.  The board should be sure that it does not adopt a late fee that contradicts the fees stated in the By-Laws.

A condominium association is created when the Declaration is recorded with the county.  The developer must submit the document and the necessary fees to the county Recorder of Deeds. Owners should receive a copy of the recorded document, showing the recording stamp, when a unit is purchased.  

HausFS has been helping many clients gather the documentation necessary for FHA certification.  One of the required documents is a copy of the recorded Declaration and By-Laws for the association, and we're noticing that most of the copies provided do not show a recording stamp.  A copy of the recorded document must therefore be purchased from the Recorder of Deeds office, which generally means a trip downtown.

Check your copy of the Declaration for a recording stamp.  If you don't see one, you may want to purchase one for your association to distribute to owners from the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.

HausFS clients have been steadily reporting on the receipt of their rebate checks from the city - $75 per unit! While we understand that rebates are pretty severely delayed, associations that file annually should see a check each year.  We are currently preparing 2010 rebates for our clients.

If your association contracts out its waste removal to a private hauler and has a recycling program in place, you are eligible for an annual rebate.  Filing deadline for the prior year is always 12/31 - you cannot file for prior years once the deadline passes.  Associations can also file for the Jan-June period during the current year if more than $75/unit has been spent on waste removal during that period.

This is a fairly simple way to put money back into your small association.  Get your forms here!

The proposed rules for the administration, implementation and enforcement of the recently enacted Community Association Manager Licensing Act  were published on May 6, 2011.

The Illinois Community Association Manager Licensing Act (Act) is a law passed by the Illinois Legislature in 2009 that requires professional community association managers to obtain a professional license to work in the state. This law is recorded as Public Act 96-0726.

The goal of this law is to provide for the regulation of community association managers to ensure that those engaged in the profession have a minimum set of qualifications needed to manage community associations. It also provides for the maintenance of high ethical and professional standards within the profession and creates disciplinary procedures.

FAQ about the Licensing Act

Proposed Licensing Rules

I've encountered several clients recently who seemed to be conducting meetings where board members were making decisions but unit owners were not notified of the meeting and were not invited to attend.

It's important to understand that ANY meeting of the board where decisions will be made and action taken must be open to all unit owners.  While owners do not vote on the matters at hand during a regular board meeting, they do have a right to observe the proceedings.

Board members can share information and discuss the issues that will be voted on at the meeting prior to the actual meeting, but whenever a decision is made that vote must be officially recorded in an open board meeting.  (The only exception would be where emergency action must be taken in order to address damage to the units or common elements or potential injury to the owners.)  

The IL Condo Act requires at least 48 hours' notice of a board meeting.  Your By-Laws may show a different requirement.  More about meeting notices here.

Certain topics should not be discussed in an open portion of a meeting.  See a previous post on this.

Board meeting basics

Guide to Conducting a Board Meeting

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