'Tis the Season to Celebrate your Board
Serving as a Board member for your condominium association tends to be a thankless job. Owners volunteer their time, effort and resources and often aren't recognized for their hard work. When owners do contact their Board, more often it is to complain or criticize rather than to offer words of gratitude or encouragement.
On behalf of condominium owners everywhere, HausFS and the Chicago Condo Resource would like to say THANK YOU to the individuals who take on the responsibility of serving on their Boards. Your neighbors may not know how hard you work, but we do. And we are grateful that you choose to make a positive contribution with your involvement.
Managing Conflict in Your Association
Last night I attended a meeting for a prospective client. The building is only 6 units, but the owners are currently experiencing quite a bit of conflict and there is clearly a lot of tension in the building. At the bottom of it all, however, it's clear that all of the owners care about their building and have put a lot of effort into maintaining their association. They simply haven't been handling the business of the association consistently and in a business-like fashion, have been a bit lax on enforcing rules because they are so small, and have had some communication issues. It's not too late for these owners to get back on track and find a way to live together peaceably.
Otavala Consulting is providing a FREE workshop on Conflict Management this Saturday, December 5th. I can't emphasize enough how beneficial this workshop is for any Board member or unit owner. As I told the owners last night, while some small associations feel they can operate more casually, conflict arises as soon as there is more than ONE person involved! However, it is possible to learn how different individuals approach conflict and, as a result, how to effectively manage conflict in your association.
Rules & Regulations: Your Declaration in Plain English
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.
Have You Had Your Pipes Cleaned Lately?
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.