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.

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.

11/6/09 - President Obama signed into law legislation extending and expanding the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. 

Under the legislation, homebuyers will qualify for the tax credit until April 30, 2010* (as long as they have entered a binding contract), and have an additional 2 months (until June 30, 2010*) to close the transaction.  Borrower income limits have also been increased to $125,000 for individuals and $225,000 for couples (up from $75,000 and $150,000 respectively under the current program).  The legislation also includes a tax credit not exceeding $6,500 for move up buyers who have owned their current homes for at least 5 years.


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.



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