All Chicago area condominium properties will be re-assessed in 2018. Cook County properties are assessed every three (3) years. This year's tri-ennial assessment will determine 2018 taxes due in 2019.

Chicago homeowners can expect to pay more in real estate taxes in 2018 - $110 on average - than last year. This increase is a bit lower than 2017 taxes, which went up about 10% overall. For taxes payable in 2019, homeowners can expect further increases.

Cook County condo buildings can appeal an assessment increase as an association. This is generally more successful than appealing individually. See our preferred Vendor List for attorneys that handle Property Assessment Appeals.

Assessment for Jefferson Park Township (comprised of: Jefferson Park, North Park, Albany Park, Irving Park, Avondale, Hermosa, Belmont-Cragin, Montclare, Portage Park, as well as parts of Forest Glen, West Ridge, Lincoln Square, North Center, Logan Square, West Town, Humboldt Park, Austin, Dunning, the suburb of Norridge, the suburb of Harwood Heights, and Norwood Park) will be mailed out July 5th, with an appeal deadline of approximately August 3rd.

A complete list of scheduled assessment mailing dates and appeal deadlines can be found on the Cook County Assessor's website.

Pets are a major topic for many condominium communities. Some associations establish Rules & Regulations that restrict or prohibit certain pets, such as dogs, altogether. Pets may be considered family members by some condo owners, but there is no doubt that they can create a lot of conflict in condominium buildings. 

Pets can cause damage to common elements if they get loose, are not properly supervised or if owners simply do not clean up after them. If there are multiple pet owners in your building it can be difficult to identify the culprits, especially in small buildings that do not have the property under video surveillance. While Rules & Regulations may exist that require pet owners to clean up after their pets or be subject to fines, it can be difficult to enforce those Rules when you can't determine who to fine. 

A better option for small buildings is to charge a monthly or annual Pet Fee. Your building might implement Rules to limit the number of pets per unit, for example, and charge an annual $100/pet fee. These fees can then be used to offset the extra maintenance that may be required when pets are present is partnering with Countryside Bank this summer to bring a series of seminars to Chicago condo owners that are geared toward the unique challenges that small condominiums face.

The "Condo Therapy: Small Condo Challenges Seminar Series" will take place monthly from June to August 2018. Topics include bank loans, addressing delinquencies and amending your Declaration or Bylaws.

The first seminar, "Bank Loans for Small Condo Buildings (Financing Major Projects)" will take place on Thursday, June 21, 2018 in Lakeview. For details and to register, please see our Events Calendar.


Many small associations do not have regular annual elections as required by the IL Condo Act. Often, the same individuals end up serving on the board year after year. But having an annual election to educate owners and encourage them to get involved is always a good idea. Board members risk getting burnt out if they do not create an opportunity for other owners to take over.

If you are due for an election and need some guidance in how to prepare, Preparing for Your Condominium Association Election can help you to get started.  

Board members can also share our video on Board Responsibilities Made Easy to help owners understand the responsibilities of board members and election basics as well as the matters that the board handles versus those that owners have a right to vote on.

Association board members often disagree, but conflict can interfere with a board’s ability to function effectively. Conflicts should never be allowed to get to the point where they stop critical decision making, adversely affect building systems or an owner’s property values. 

Techniques to encourage a positive, productive board environment include:

  1. Establishing specific goals, timetables, and priorities
  2. Preventing discussions from becoming personal
  3. Distributing accurate information to all board members and unit owners
  4. Setting up fact-finding committees to obtain information
  5. Using independent experts to provide technical information

To learn more about these techniques and about managing conflict, click here.

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