Unit owner/member meeting basics
Unit owner (or member) meetings occur less frequently than Board meetings, and usually have a specific purpose. Here is the bottom line on unit owner meetings:
- The IL Condo Act requires that a member meeting is held annually to conduct Board elections (known as the annual meeting.)
- Special meetings of the members can be called by the president, board of managers, or by 20% of unit owners.
- Written notice of any membership meeting must be delivered no less than 10 and no more than 30 days prior to the meeting.
- Meetings might be called to vote on amendments, special assessments, or other matters. Your Declaration & By-Laws will indicate the specific matters that require an owner vote.
- A quorum must be present in order for owner voting to occur. The quorum may be 20% or higher, depending on your governing documents.
- Voting is always done on an ownership percentage basis, unless your governing documents provide otherwise.
- Voting may be conducted by proxy--a written authorization for another individual to cast a vote for an owner--and proxies count toward the quorum requirement.
Board meeting basics
A quick rundown on Boards and Board meetings:
- Only one owner per unit may serve on the Board, and each Board member must be on the deed to the property.
- Your Declaration & By-Laws will stipulate how many Board members are required by your association. They will also outline the method by which the number may be increased or decreased. A minimum of 3 members is always required.
- In order for a Board to meet and conduct business, a quorum must be present at the meeting. The quorum is typically a majority. A quorum of 2 is required for Boards comprised of 3 members, for example. Those two Board members may make decisions on behalf of the association.
- Board business must be conducted in person. Board members cannot vote on association business by email, though they may discuss items of business prior to an official meeting in person or by email.
- At least 48 hours' notice must be delivered to all owners prior to a Board meeting (your governing documents may require more). Notice may be delivered by email or fax if an owner has agreed to be notified in that manner.
IL Condo Act requires four Board meetings annually, plus an annual meeting/election
Does it seem like your Board is meeting every month, or do you rarely hear about Board meetings? While some associations tend to have the need to meet more often, the IL Condo Act specifies minimum requirements for the number of Board meetings your association must conduct annually.
All condo association Boards must meet four times a year in addition to conducting an annual meeting, during which Board elections are held. Your Board may choose to combine the annual meeting with one of the four Board meetings required.
The Board must provide meeting minutes to document each annual and Board meeting conducted. If you are concerned that your Board is not meeting the requirements of the IL Condo Act, you may request to inspect copies of the meeting minutes to determine if they are compliant.
It's a good practice for Board members to set the date for the next Board meeting before they adjourn the current meeting (while they still have association business on the brain). Some Boards even plan out their full year of meetings at once. If your Board has a habit of putting off meetings, these tricks can help you to stay on track.
Is your association still eligible for a Refuse Rebate?
As we prepare 2009 Refuse Rebates for our clients, we are finding many who used to be eligible for the Rebate no longer qualify.
In particular, if you use Allied Waste or Groot, who previously included recycling in their pickup service through post-collection sorting (they either sorted the recyclables from the regular waste or required owners to use Blue Bags when tossing recyclables into their containers), and you don't have separate containers for pickup of your recyclables, you are not eligible for a Rebate. As many already know, the Blue Bag program has been out of commission for some time now.
The City of Chicago requires that your association have a recycling program in place in order to receive your annual reimbursement (up to $75/unit). The easiest way to ensure that you are eligible, and the most environmentally-friendly option, is to contract for separate recycling pickup for your building. Contact your waste hauler for more information.