Rules and regulations allow associations to maintain property values and protect the quality of life of residents. However, many associations have rules that are unnecessarily complicated, difficult to enforce, or violate laws.

An association’s rules and regulations should be:

  1. Reasonable
  2. Consistent with laws and governing documents
  3. Formulated with community input
  4. Put in writing
  5. Distributed periodically
  6. Unambiguous
  7. Easy to follow
  8. Only developed if necessary
  9. Enforced uniformly
  10. Used to educate owners about what they should do instead of what they shouldn’t do.

It's always a good idea to have your Rules & Regulations reviewed by a condo/community association attorney before approving. To learn more, click here.

Courtesy of Elliott & Associates Attorneys, P.C.
www.elliottlaw.com

Cook County’s second installment of tax bills have been mailed and are due August 1, 2019.

Here are the trends that may affect your tax bill:

  1. All properties in Chicago were reassessed last year and the highest value homes and condos saw the largest assessment increases.
  2. Taxes for commercial properties increased much more than homes and condos.
  3. The suburbs were not reassessed in 2018 so tax increases are modest.
  4. Due to major disruptions, appeals didn’t receive the reviews they deserved, mistakes were made, and many appeals were denied. This will likely lead to a large amount of third level appeals to the Property Tax Appeal Board for 2018 and more Assessor and Board appeals in 2019.

The Cook County Clerk recently published a detailed report discussing the 2018 tax rates. Click here if you would like to read a copy of that report.

As you receive your tax bills, be sure to remain vigilant in monitoring your assessment, strategic in convincing assessing officials, and persistent in pursuing your case.

Getting members to participate in board member elections can be very difficult. However, the more convenient you make the process, the more likely members are to participate. Electronic voting is not only convenient, but it can also save the association money.

The Board must adopt a rule to allow for electronic voting at least 120 days before the board election. If an electronic voting rule is adopted for board elections, unit owners may not vote by proxy in board elections but may vote only by submitting an association-issued ballot in person at the election meeting.

Additional requirements for an electronic voting rule include:

  1. Instructions for electronic voting must be distributed to all unit owners between 10 and 30 days before the election meeting
  2. The instruction notice must include the names of all candidates
  3. The instruction notice must give unit owners at least 21 days before the deadline for nominating a candidate
  4. The instructions must explain that votes can still be cast in person

To learn more, click here.

 

Demand for rental units has been rising in the last few years as a result of rising home prices, declining senior homeownership, increasing single-occupant households, and difficult mortgage lending standards. To combat this, a new trend has emerged where all units in a condo are sold to a third party who “deconverts” the condos into apartments.

Here are 5 considerations in the deconversion process:

  1. Profitability. Transforming condos into apartments and renting them for the current market rental rate can be incredibly profitable.
  2. Letter of Intent vs. Binding Agreement. There are two scenarios in which a deconversion transaction may occur. The first is an unsolicited offer from a developer or purchaser, the second is an association that voluntarily seeks out an offer.
  3. Deferred Maintenance. Developers and investors should keep in mind any maintenance issues that may arise when evaluating whether a condo is a viable deconversion candidate.
  4. Building Code Violations. Code violations and uncleared permits can slow down or prevent the sale of all units in a condo deconversion transaction.
  5. Legal Issues. If 75% or more of the condo ownership approves the sale of the units, the action is binding for all unit owners.

To learn more, click here

 

Sometimes your condo association president can become a dictator. They can bully and intimidate fellow board members, the manager, and association members. Behind the scenes, they can be just as disruptive and stubborn.

However, you don’t have to put up with it.

Boards and owners have the power to remove an association president who behaves this way. Legal experts say that under most state laws and association governing documents, the board president has few powers beyond those held by other board members. Additionally, most laws and documents give association boards the power to remove the dictator from the presidency by vote at any time.

There are 5 basic steps that can be taken to remove a president, starting with the most basic procedure and escalating to the most extreme.

  1. Talk to the president and ask them to change their behavior
  2. Look into your association’s governing documents and laws to determine how to schedule and conduct a vote to remove the president from office
  3. Vote to remove the president as an officer of the board
  4. Vote to remove the president from the board entirely
  5. File a lawsuit

To learn more, click here.

 

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