A 1993 Chicago ordinance required owners of buildings with five or more units to take responsibility for their own recycling because they're also responsible for arranging their own garbage pickup. The program started in 2007 but didn't reach every ward until 2013, after Mayor Rahm Emanuel ordered the expansion. However, many rental apartments and condominium buildings still did not provide recycling because there was little enforcement of the ordinance.

Now, things are changing and consequences are being instituted for rental and condominium buildings that do not provide recycling. Under a new ordinance proposed by Mayor Emanuel, owners of multi-unit buildings will be required to provide “source-separated, single stream recycling.” Building owners and condominium associations who fail to comply with this new ordinance will face up to $5000 in fines for not providing recycling options in their buildings.

If your association does not currently contract for recycling services with your waste hauler, you will need to add recycling services or potentially face hefty fines.

The City Council Committee on Health and Environmental Protection will consider the mayor’s proposed ordinance and the measure may be adopted as soon as the next City Council meeting on Wednesday, July 20th. 

Read more here in a letter from Alderman Joe Moore.

A Hartville developer and Minerva architect have agreed to pay $160,000 to resolve allegations that they violated the Fair Housing Act during the design and construction of two condominium complexes in Hartville, OH. The implication of the settlement is that condo developers can and will be held liable for violations of the Fair Housing Act including design elements that render buildings inaccessible to persons with disabilities.

The $160,000 settlement agreement is still pending approval in federal court.  According to the news release, the defendants will pay $100,000 to current condominium owners at Windham Bridge and Hampton Court who choose to make accessibility modifications to their units. These modifications include but are not limited to:

  • eliminating steps and excessive slopes in the walkways to the front entrances of the units
  • widening doorways
  • removing or lowering thresholds
  • installing removable cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms to increase maneuvering space for wheelchair use
  • relocating toilets, showers and sinks to provide access to a wheelchair user

The lawsuit was initiated by complaints filed about four years ago by Tri-County and Fair Housing Advocates with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD investigated the complaints and referred the matter to the Justice Department. Click here for the full article.

Protect your association by ensuring your building is accessible to all people, including people in wheelchairs. Members of Chicago Condo Resource have access to our recommended list of inspectors who can help you make sure your association is compliant with the Fair Housing Act. Subscribe today!


An anonymous, high-ranking mayoral aide in Chicago threatened to end negations with Airbnb and champion an unfavorable home-sharing ordinance due to attack ads against city lawmakers run by Airbnb and the Internet Association.  

Alderman Michele Smith said, “The key to our city’s future is keeping families and residents living in our neighborhoods. When they’ve invested in their homes, they expect to be living in a residential neighborhood — not next to a hotel.” Smith noted that there are at least 500 Airbnb listings in Lincoln Park alone.  

While home-sharing websites can be a boon for home-owners seeking to rent out their homes for extra cash, Alderman Brendan Reilly points out that they also generate a steady stream of complaints that range from “constant partying to not knowing who your neighbors are anymore and having no ability to find out who’s in the apartment next door to you”.

The ordinance proposed by Aldermen Smith and Reilly includes the following provisions: 

  • A 45 to 60 night per year limit for an owner-occupied unit, down from 90 days under the mayor’s original plan. 
  • A limit of no more than six units per building that could be offered for home-sharing at a given time.
  • An “opt-in” provision that would allow homeowners and condo associations in multi-unit buildings with 20 or more units to have final say on whether or not to allow home-sharing in their buildings.
  • A swift revocation process if people who rent units through Airbnb end up doing damage, creating excessive noise or otherwise wreaking havoc in the building.
  • A higher standard and lower ceiling for non-owner occupied units, which cause most of the trouble. Units not occupied by the owner would have a 15 nights a year limit. Anything above that would trigger a requirement for a stricter vacation rental license after an inspection. That’s the same cutoff that the Internal Revenue Service uses to identify commercial properties for tax purposes.

Click here to read the full article in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay on top of news and happenings in Chicago that affect you and your association.  Become a member of Chicago Condo Resource today!

Buyers seeking mortgages to purchase condo units face strict requirements from banks.  One area examined by banks is the number of owners in the association who are delinquent on their assessments (another area is the number of rentals in the association -- see our Ask the Expert post “How Many Renters is Too Many?").

Associations with delinquency rates higher than 15% may encounter problems when a prospective buyer applies for a mortgage. To improve your odds of selling, aim to get delinquencies down below 15%.

Does your association have difficulties collecting from delinquent owners?  Haus Financial Services can help.  Collection Support Services are available with our Basic Service Package.  Not a HausFS client? No problem! HausFS also offers Debt Collection Services to help self-managing associations.

Contact us to find out how HausFS can help your association handle delinquencies in your association.

A property manager named William Francis of Elkridge, Maryland recently plead guilty to stealing $2.5 million dollars from 51 of the condo associations he managed through fraudulent wire transfers from their reserve accounts. He supplied his clients with falsified bank statements while spending the associations’ money on a lavish personal lifestyle including thousands of dollars spent on dog grooming services, limousines, and strip clubs.

This crime exemplifies the importance of financial transparency to help minimize the risk of fraud.  Property managers and board members should be held to the highest standards of transparency, and should provide documentation for all association expenses.

Haus Financial Services is dedicated to providing full financial transparency to all owners.  All financial information is available to owners at any time through Online Documents, including bank statements, financial statements, paid bills, meeting minutes, and annual budgets

Stay on top of condo-related news that can affect you and your association.  Become a member of Chicago Condo Resource today!


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