Assistance animals play an important role in the lives of people with disabilities. The federal Fair Housing Act (FHA), the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as state and local laws govern assistance animals in community associations.
Community associations must recognize the rights of individuals with disabilities to receive the assistance they need within their home and must comply with federal laws guaranteeing such rights.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released clarification earlier this year related to documentation from the internet, observable versus nonobservable disabilities, and types of animals that may qualify as assistance animals. Check out those resources here:
Documentation from the internet: Page 11 of January 2020 Guidance
Type of Animal: Page 13 of January 2020 Guidance
Observable and Nonobservable Disabilities: Page 9 of January 2020 Guidance
Condominium associations are often the unfortunate targets of fraud. Assocation bank accounts often hold enticingly large sums of money, and without proper oversight that money can be suddenly or slowly drained by individuals with access.
At Haus Financial Services, we know that a lack of transparency can be a major red flag, indicating possible fraud. Our services are designed with the goal of high transparency between our company and the board, and the board and the owners.
To learn about other red flags that may indicate a risk of fraud and ways to protect your association, see this article from Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit.
Condominiums associations are considered corporations in the eyes of the IRS. As such, they are required to file an annual tax return (either an 1120 or 1120-H).
Condo associations showing taxable income on their federal returns are also required to file an IL-1120 with the state of Illinois.
Tax returns must be postmarked by April 18th this year. If your association has not filed a return in the past, now is the year to begin!
Most associations allow for the use of a "proxy" for owner votes. A proxy is a document that assigns voting rights to another individual or to the board and may be used for elections, votes on amendments or other matters subject to owner votes. Generally, a proxy extends the power to vote on behalf of the owner for a specific matter and period of time. Proxies cannot be granted for voting on matters that are restricted to the board, however.
Prospective candidates have been known to solicit proxies from owners in order to gain the right to vote on their behalf. This practice is often controversial. Would your condominium association board be allowed to adopt an "anti-harassment" rule that prohibits an owner from contacting other owners to solicit proxies for the board election?
Find out here.