Has your association been charging a Move In and/or Move Out deposit? If you are collecting money and returning it after the move is complete, you're missing an opportunity to put additonal income into the association's bank account to cover necessary maintenance over time.

Entryways, hallways and stairwells can take quite a beating each time an owner or tenant moves into or out of a condo building. This is particularly true if your associaiton has a large number of rental units. Eventually, repairs and maintenance need to be completed to mitigate dings and scrapes and freshen up these common areas. Move In and Move Out Fees (rather than deposits) can help to cover this work when it needs to be done.

Charging a fee, which the association keeps, is less complicated and more financially attractive than a deposit. These funds are added income to the association, and boards don't have to worry about holding payments or issuing refunds after a move. 

Note that a Move In/Move Out Fee is separate from a charge for any serious damage done to the common elements by owners or tenants. The association can also charge the cost for those repairs back to the offending owner. Simple wear and tear, however, should be covered by the fee.

It's a new year and a great time to re-examine your association's processes for moves. Move In/Move Out Fees are is a simple way to promote financial health in your association.

2020 has been a challenging year, to say the least. As we look ahead to 2021 and the change that is on the way, we encourage our readers to embrace the opportunity for a fresh start. More than ever, it is clear that we are all connected and interdependent, from our small condominium communities to our neighborhoods, our cities, the country, and the world. Be kind to each other, give support where you can, and find support when you need it. We are truly all in this together.

ChicagoCondoResource.com and Haus Financial Services are here to support you and your association through the challenges you face, both large and small. We can help make condo living easier, particularly in the most stressful of times. If you are struggling to do it all, please reach out. You do not have to manage alone!

A very Happy New Year to you and yours. Stay safe and may we all enjoy a healthier, successful 2021!

The City of Chicago has a Christmas tree recycling program that turns trees into mulch for the Chicago Park District and residents. Free mulch is available starting in mid-January. 

Find more details on the program here.

Get additional information about holiday recycling and more from Recycle by City: Chicago's website.

Happy Holidays from ChicagoCondoResource.com!

Creating a sense of community amidst a pandemic is certainly a challenge. Like most people, community boards have had to adapt while distanced.

An important aspect of any well-run community is the sharing of information between board members, property managers, and residents to keep everyone in the loop. 

Communication is not only a necessity, it is often a legal obligation. 

Here are a few ways to maintain strong communication, whether in-person or not:

  • Make a plan for regular, consistent, and ongoing communication. Ensure that your communication lines remain open and go both ways. 
  • Keep your website up-to-date so that residents have a one-stop resource where they can find information and necessary contacts if they have questions. 
  • Utilize apps and portals to help residents, board members, and property managers stay in contact, find information, reserve amenities, vote, etc. Just make sure to stay attuned to your residents tech-fluency and needs to boost satisfaction and communication.
  • Check in with residents more often who may be feeling isolated or lonely.
  • Be creative with virtual events to energize and bring the community together. 

Learn more here

Recently, you may have received a letter from the Cook County Assessor’s Office regarding the current economic downturn and the negative affect COVID-19 has had on property values. 

The Assessor has deemed it appropriate to apply a COVID-19 Adjustment to the 2020 assessed value for most residential properties. The adjustments range from about 8 - 11%.

In Chicago’s south and west suburbs, mailed reassessment notices will reflect COVID-19 adjusted property values. In Riverside, River Forest, Oak Park, and Calumet however, property values without a COVID-19 Adjustment were sent earlier this year and values were adjusted, where necessary, after appeals closed. 

In Chicago and the north suburbs, values will be adjusted, where appropriate, after the township is certified. 

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