The City of Chicago has a Christmas tree recycling program that turns trees into mulch for the Chicago Park District and residents. Free mulch is available starting in mid-January. 

Find more details on the program here.

Get additional information about holiday recycling and more from Recycle by City: Chicago's website.

Happy Holidays from!

Creating a sense of community amidst a pandemic is certainly a challenge. Like most people, community boards have had to adapt while distanced.

An important aspect of any well-run community is the sharing of information between board members, property managers, and residents to keep everyone in the loop. 

Communication is not only a necessity, it is often a legal obligation. 

Here are a few ways to maintain strong communication, whether in-person or not:

  • Make a plan for regular, consistent, and ongoing communication. Ensure that your communication lines remain open and go both ways. 
  • Keep your website up-to-date so that residents have a one-stop resource where they can find information and necessary contacts if they have questions. 
  • Utilize apps and portals to help residents, board members, and property managers stay in contact, find information, reserve amenities, vote, etc. Just make sure to stay attuned to your residents tech-fluency and needs to boost satisfaction and communication.
  • Check in with residents more often who may be feeling isolated or lonely.
  • Be creative with virtual events to energize and bring the community together. 

Learn more here

Recently, you may have received a letter from the Cook County Assessor’s Office regarding the current economic downturn and the negative affect COVID-19 has had on property values. 

The Assessor has deemed it appropriate to apply a COVID-19 Adjustment to the 2020 assessed value for most residential properties. The adjustments range from about 8 - 11%.

In Chicago’s south and west suburbs, mailed reassessment notices will reflect COVID-19 adjusted property values. In Riverside, River Forest, Oak Park, and Calumet however, property values without a COVID-19 Adjustment were sent earlier this year and values were adjusted, where necessary, after appeals closed. 

In Chicago and the north suburbs, values will be adjusted, where appropriate, after the township is certified. 

Evictions can now be filed under the New Eviction Moratorium Order in Cook County. 

The new Eviction Moratorium allows for the filing of evictions if the tenant/occupant is not a “covered person.” 

A Tenant/Occupant is a “Covered Person” if the Tenant/Occupants submits the attached Declaration. Note that we could try to dispute the Tenant/Occupant’s claim that they are a covered person, if you have evidence that the following statements are false:

• the individual either (i) expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), (ii) was not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or (iii) received an Economic Impact Payment pursuant to Section 2001 of the CARES Act; and,
• the individual is unable to make a full rent or housing payment due to a COVID-19 related hardship including, but not limited to, substantial loss of income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, or an increase in out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic; and,
• the individual is using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other Non-Discretionary Expenses; and,
• eviction would likely render the individual homeless—or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting—because the individual has no other available housing options.

It is important to remember however, that although a case can be filed and an eviction order/judgement can be obtained, the tenant/occuptant cannot be evicted from the property until the Eviction Moratorium is lifted.

The Order sill prohibits the enforcement of any eviction order unless the tenant/occupant poses a threat to the health and safety of other tenants; an immediate and severe risk to property, or a violation of any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation. 

Successful community living requires structure which is why condominiums have a lot of rules. 

While the board has a fiduciary duty to enforce the association’s documents, house rules are put into effect, and occasionally amended, by the board and are intended to protect the general welfare of residents.  

Boards and managers walk a fine line when dealing with neighbors in residential communities. Getting community members to coexist harmoniously becomes difficult when conflict inevitably arises. 

One of the best ways to promote harmony is to encourage open communication. If that doesn’t work, the threat of enforcement is next, followed by fines, if applicable. 

Fines can be an effective means of enforcement. If a resident isn’t abiding by the rules after multiple fines, you can move an infraction to your association’s attorney. The attorney can then investigate a foreclosure or court injunction and order payment, plus legal fees. 

While they may not be universally likes, community rules are in place for the benefit of all residents. Whatever the house rules are, a board should not discriminate or waiver in its enforcement of them. Additionally, all enforcement needs to be within the law, the community’s documents, and the best interest of the community. 

Learn more here

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