We've had a relatively mild winter so far, but snow is again on its way to Chicago! If you are comparing snow removal companies, here are three factors to consider.

Experience and Reputation

Taking the time to find, vet, and hire a reputable and experienced company will help ensure that your association is taken care of quickly and appropriately.

Contract Review

Before hiring a snow removal company, have your association’s attorney review the contract to ensure it protects the community. Every contract should contain:

  • A specific start and end date
  • Detailed areas that are to be plowed, shoveled, or blown 
  • When snow should be removed from your association 
  • Insurance requirements
  • Provisions for keeping a snow log
  • 24-hour telephone availability to address problems with melting snow and ice formation
  • Language requiring that the contractor is responsible for property damage done to any part of the association due to negligence

Liability

It is vital to confirm that your snow removal contractor carries the correct type and amount of liability insurance, as snow and ice can expose your association to a great deal of liability.

To learn more, click here.

Most board members take their position seriously, but there are a number of potential liability issues if a board member isn’t careful. 

Here are some of the common mistakes board members should avoid:

  • Holding meetings incorrectly

It is considered a board meeting any time a majority of members are together and talking about association business. Board members should be aware of what can be discussed outside of a properly noticed board meeting.

  • Not adhering to governing documents

Every board member should read and become familiar with the bylaws and all other association documents. Failing to read and adhere to governing documents leads to legal liability.

  • Mismanaging association funds

Many condo boards fail to plan for emergency maintenance, repairs or long-term finances. Boards need to create realistic budgets and plan for the future.

  • Becoming overzealous

Sometimes new board members make big decisions too quickly. It is always best to weigh any major policy changes carefully.

  • Not seeking legal advice

If you are dealing with a situation that could possibly turn into a lawsuit, it is best to work with the association’s attorney for advice and procedure. 

There is a lot for board members to navigate when managing a condominium building. Consider hiring management support for guidance and direction on your condo business matters.

Learn more here.

The law office of Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit works extensively with condominium and homeowners associations.

Their attorneys have written multiple booklets on condo law, that can be viewed, downloaded, and printed for free from the KSN website. These are great resources for condo owners and board members.

Find the booklets here.

The Cook County Treasurer has released first installment 2019 property tax bills that must be paid no later than March 3, 2020.

These estimated tax bills are equal to 55% of last years total tax. Any change in your 2019 tax bill (exemptions, assessments, tax rates, or the Cook County equalizer) will be reflected in the second installment bill that will be issued this summer.

If you have a 2019 appeal pending, you must still pay this bill.

If you have a new Property Tax Index Number for 2019, your first installment tax bill will be $0 and all 2019 taxes will be payable on the 2nd installment bill issued this summer.

On March 21, 2020, Brainy Board will host a Board Member Boot Camp powered by KSN.

During the 4-hour boot camp, KSN attorneys will review guidelines, expectations and qualifications for condo, homeowner, or townhouse community board members.

Topics include board member roles, governing documents, board operations, budgeting, and recreational cannabis use in associations.

The event will take place from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm at The iO Theater in Chicago.

Find more information and register here.

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