Banks are pushing debit cards more and more lately, and there's good reason for that: they generate fees for the banks without the liability of fronting users the funds.  The cash comes right out of your bank account and the bank collects an easy percentage on your purchase at the expense of the merchant.  Debit cards, particularly those with a Visa or MasterCard logo on the front, may be a convenient way for users to access cash in their bank accounts, but they are NOT ideal for condominium association accounts.

Convenient, easy access to cash.  Great for individuals, potentially devastating for a condo association.

A lost card can easily be used by the wrong person to drain an association bank account.  A card held by an unethical or criminal Board member can be used indiscriminately for unapproved expenses or personal use.  While owners may not want to believe Board theft happens, HausFS knows that it is a reality. Further, no member should have the right to make purchases that have not been specifically approved at a prior Board meeting.

Association funds belong to ALL owners.  Don't make them an easy target.  Ditch the debit.

While every condominium association is a community, the underlying structure is also a non-profit business.  For that reason, the principles of small business apply to every condo association.  And certainly, conflict is a reality for condominium associations.  Tomi Wahlstrom of Otavala Consulting explains why managing conflict is important for any business..

Every business that employs people regardless of size and industry experiences interpersonal and organizational conflict. This conflict is caused by multiple inter-related variables and circumstances. For example, some of these causes include constant changes in the competitive environment, increasing diversity among employees, and limited resources. As a result of these changing variables managing conflict is important in many ways. First, it is important because unmanaged conflict can have expensive legal consequences as people seek litigation as a way to resolve disputes. Second, managing conflict is important because

John and Jane Dover, a married couple, live at 1234 W. Chicagoland St. 

John Dover's name appears on the warranty deed for the property, Jane's does not.

John is the President of his 6-unit association, while Jane serves as the Treasurer.  There are three Board members total.

What's wrong with this picture?

John and Jane cannot serve on the Board together for two reasons.

Tax returns for condominium associations are due March 15, 2010.  EVERY association is required to file a federal Form 1120 or 1120-H.  Associations with federally taxable income must also file an IL-1120. 

Your association is a business, treat it accordingly.  That means filing your income tax returns every year!


Our client recently received a $200 fine from the City of Chicago for trash left outside of their dumpster.  Turns out that it was the neighbor's Christmas tree that had been left on the ground near the dumpster that triggered the fine.

$200 can be a lot of money for a small association.  And the city is hurting for cash during tougher economic times.  Don't become an easy target!  Notify your owners that all trash must be completely in the dumpster and the dumpster must remain closed.  If an extra pickup is needed to handle overflow, it will most likely cost less than a city fine. 

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