After a heated budget meeting with a client last night, I'm realizing how important it is for associations to create Rules & Regulations that spell out in non-legalese how their individual association functions. The Declaration & By-Laws are not easy to read if you've never seen such a document before (or you're not an attorney!). Boards need a way to better communicate this information to all owners to help everyone understand how a condominium association functions and particularly how their association functions. They also need to better understand the documents themselves.
I encourage all associations to work with an attorney to help interpret their governing documents and make them more accessible to everyone. It will cut down on a lot of conflict and get everyone on the same page.
For more information, please contact an attorney listed on our Condo Lawyers page.
One of our clients recently experienced some serious water backing up in the plumbing in several units. As it turns out, they were in dire need of a sewer rodding to clean out the grease and debris that will gradually build up and stop water from flowing successfully to the sewers. The bill for the service was almost $2,000!
Rodding the lines from your building out to the street should be done at least on an annual basis. The cost is generally a few hundred dollars. Regular maintenance of your plumbing systems can help your association avoid a major expense (and other potential water related damage) down the road. Need a good plumber? See Plumbing in our Vendor Listings for contact information.
Haus Financial Services recently embarked on a major project to help a condominium association on the south side of Chicago. The 27-unit building has 20 units in foreclosure. We are working with attorney Ebony Wilkerson of Peace of Mind Properties and the Board to take possession of the abandoned units and rent them out to recover seriously delinquent funds.
Ashley Gross from Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ 91.5) is covering the process. Please keep an ear on the radio and an eye on Ashley's blog to follow our progress.
Per changes to the IL Condo Act (effective in January), any owner who is more than 60 days delinquent in paying assessments does not need to be counted toward quorum requirements for any meeting called to review and adopt an amendment to the Declaration or By-Laws.
If your association is having difficulty achieving the necessary quorum to vote on an amendment to your governing docs due to absentee or non-participating owners and those owners are more than 60 days delinquent, you may remove their percentages from the total in order to calculate the new quorum requirement.
Percentage required to establish a quorum: 50%
One unit owns 20% and is 60 days delinquent.
New percentage required to establish a quorum: 50% of 80%, or 40%
The delinquent owner can still vote at the meeting if they do show up, however. Keep in mind that this change is specifically in regards to voting on an amendment.