A client recently discovered that some of the real estate taxes for parking spaces owned by association members had been sold.  As it turns out, the owners never updated the mailing addresses on their tax bills, and the bills were still going to the developer.

All owners should take the necessary steps to update the mailing address on their real estate tax bill to ensure that they receive a bill each year and to confirm that the bill has been paid, even if your mortgage company is paying your taxes through an escrow account.  Address changes must be made both for units and for parking spaces, if your parking space is deeded separately with its own PIN.

To update your mailing address, visit the Cook County Treasurer's website.  You'll need your PIN (you can find it by searching your address on the Cook County Assessor's website).  Select Payment--> Payment Status, enter your PIN and from the Mailing Information section, select "To update your mailing address, click here."  You will need to complete the form, have it notarized, and send it to the Cook County Treasurer.

Budgets for the fiscal year 2011 are due to owners by November 30th.  The annual budget must be approved by the Board at a Board meeting and all owners must receive at least 10 days' notice of the meeting.

If you need help preparing your 2011 budget, please join us at the Resource Center on Wednesday, October 27th for "Budgeting for Small Associations."  We'll discuss the proper way to prepare a budget, allocating for reserves and tips for tracking your progress over the year. 

Registration can be completed online

Our "Ask the Expert" column receives regular submissions regarding who is responsible--the association or the unit owner--for various portions of a condominium building.

A primer on the difference between Common Elements and Limited Common Elements can be found in our Maintenance A-Z article "Who is Responsible? Common Elements & Limited Common Elements."  Understanding the fundamentals between common elements and limited common elements is important for every condo owner.  

If you have further questions or your governing documents require clarification (or revision), consultations with the Chicago Condo Resource Center are available to help your association address this issue.  Please feel free to contact us!

One of the easiest ways to spruce up your entryway is to standardize the labels on your mailboxes.  Self-managed buildings are notorious for having a hodgepodge of labels stuck to owners' mailboxes in haphazard fashion.  If they have labels at all!

I found customized labels online at www.mailboxworks.com for only $3.95 each.  The labels can be engraved with each owner's name and unit number, and they fit perfectly into the slot in the mailbox door.  Our entryway seriously looks a thousand times better since we installed the custom tags.  

Now if we could only figure out how to do the same for our buzzer system! 

While we're still enjoying warmer temperatures, colder months are just around the corner and HVAC companies are already getting booked up with annual maintenance appointments.  I just called today to make an appointment for our 4-unit building and aside from one open slot on Sept. 25th, they are pretty well booked through October.

If your building has a common boiler, it's time to call and make an appointment to have it serviced before you turn it on for the season.  A sub-zero day is not the best time to find out that you've got a boiler problem!  

For recommended vendors, see our Heating and Air Conditioning vendor listing page.

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