Condo Law Watch

Get up-to-date rules and regulations related to community associations and condominiums!

Don’t miss us at the Chicagoland Property Management, Condo & HOA Expo on September 26, 2019. Tressler will be speaking and exhibiting! We will be presenting The Litigious Nature of Today’s Unit Owner. This is a presentation that you don’t want to miss as we’ve noticed it has been a hot topic in today’s legal news and is an all too common issue. Make sure to use VIP code Tressler2019 to receive complimentary meals, parking and seminars. Please visit this link for more information: http://www.chicagolandpmexpo.com/. [See our recent blog post on where we successfully obtained full insurance compensation for a client…
Attorney Katerina Tsoukalas-Heitkemper received a successful result for her condominium association client after an extensive four-month forensic investigation led by Kathy (with the assistance of her HOA law team and client) revealed that the Association’s former employee, a licensed on-site community association manager, had committed multiple acts of theft and employee dishonesty over a four year time-frame resulting in a financial loss to the Association in excess of $150,000.  A newly elected Board President asking lots of important questions at the beginning of her term churned up information that did not seem to “add up”.  This initial inquiry and the…
It is a widely held concept that the US is a “litigious society.” Therefore, it is unsurprising that litigation by Unit Owners against condominium and homeowners associations are not uncommon. These suits can range from allegations of breach of fiduciary claims to property damage claims or personal injury claims to allegations of negligence. Regardless of whether or not Unit Owner claims are meritless, association boards find themselves having to expend resources defending against these claims. Even in situations where associations are not sued, they may also find themselves having to expend resources in order to comply with recent case law…
Typically, the governing documents of an association consist of various documents including a declaration, by-laws and rules and regulations. Associations are also bound by statute—condominium associations are bound by the Illinois Condominium Property Act (“Condo Act”) and common interest communities are bound by the Common Interest Community Association Act (“CICAA”). Due to the variety of documents an association is bound by, confusion often arises when there are conflicting provisions and/or requirements in the governing documents or applicable statute. It is important to remember the following hierarchy when it comes to your association: Condo Act/CICAA Declaration By-Laws Rules and Regulations When…
Getting members to participate in board member elections can be like pulling teeth. The more convenient you make the process, the more likely to get members to participate. Fortunately, the Illinois Condominium Property Act (the “Condo Act”) and the Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act (“CICAA”) allow Boards to adopt rules and regulations to permit electronic voting. Not only is electronic voting convenient, but it can save the association money by not having to pay for printing or postage.  Boards can always adopt dual systems of voting allow for those members who are not tech savvy to continue to vote in person via…
In the context of homeowners and condominium associations, a proxy is a document authorizing a person to act or vote on behalf of an owner who is unable to attend a meeting. Proxies are most commonly used at board elections and owners wishing to run for a seat on the board of directors will often times go door-to-door collecting proxies ahead of elections. Although proxies are a powerful tool for board elections, both the Illinois Condominium Property Act (the Condo Act) and the Common Interest Community Association Act (CICAA) contain strict requirements for proxies. While proxies do not need to…
Tressler attorney Katerina Tsoukalas-Heitkemper received a successful result for her condominium association client and its property management company after an 18-month investigation by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR”). The IDHR dismissed the familial status discrimination complaint after its lengthy investigation, finding that the Association had consistently and uniformly enforced its covenants while providing its owners with due process and that the owner’s allegations were not substantiated by sufficient evidence. While the IDHR complaint itself is not available for public dissemination, below is a brief recap of the matter: The Association commenced violation proceedings against one of its owners…
Mixed-Use Developments – Conflicts Mixed-used condominium projects have been steadily increasing throughout Illinois. It is unsurprising, considering that locating commercial spaces within condominium projects can benefit both the residents within these communities, as well as the owners of these establishments. But, what happens when the perceived burdens imposed by these commercial units outweigh the benefits? Is there anything that a condominium board can do to address issues with commercial unit owners? The reality is that residential and commercial unit owners have competing interests. Residential unit owners may be more interested in maintaining a quiet and peaceful community, while commercial unit…
Chicago’s recent record-breaking cold temperatures presented associations with challenges and questions, which may not have been at the forefront of the board’s attention. These extreme cold temperatures may have left associations dealing with issues arising from burst or frozen water pipes. While not all associations had to deal with such severe scenarios last week, almost all associations did have to deal with the accumulation of snow and ice that came as a result of the winter storm. Snow and ice removal efforts (or omissions) by associations bring about a common question that affects all condominium and homeowners associations: are associations…
A topic of great discussion is whether minutes should be kept for executive “closed” sessions and, if so, how detailed they should be.  Previously, there was little guidance for association boards and many were cautioned to not take minutes for executive sessions. But, all that changed on June 14, 2018 when the Illinois Appellate Court ruled in Boucher v. 111 East Chestnut Condo. Assn, 2018 IL App. (1st) 162233, that Section 19(a)(4) of the Illinois Condominium Property Act (the “Act”) requires condominium boards to keep and maintain minutes of executive sessions. The Appellate Court noted that Section 19(a)(4) of the…
The Association of Condominium, Townhouse, and Homeowners Associations (ACTHA) is hosting a free seminar on November 15th. Tressler attorney Kathryn Formeller will be discussing how to do what is right for your Association in foreclosures and collection of delinquent assessments. Join us to learn the latest in collection best practices and get your questions answered by an experienced attorney. We hope to see you there! When November 15, 2018 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Where Tahoe Village Townhome Association 1771 Tahoe Circle Drive, Wheeling, IL 60090 Click Here to Register! Registration Details: About Kathyrn A. Formeller Kat is a partner…
The housing market has fluctuated and changed drastically over the past few years. This is why it is important for an association board to be proactive when a unit owner is facing mortgage foreclosure proceedings.  Being proactive includes initiating a collection action immediately after the account becomes delinquent and filing an Answer and Appearance to the mortgage foreclosure complaint in order to preserve the Association’s lien as part of the judgment of foreclosure and sale. Our Tressler HOA Law attorneys have handled mortgage foreclosure actions on behalf of condominium and homeowners association clients in various stages of foreclosure throughout all…
There have been a number of cases that came down in 2018 that further clarified (and muddied) the amounts that can be collected from a third-party purchaser at a judicial foreclosure sale. Section 9(g)(1) of the Illinois Condominium Property Act (the “Condo Act”), creates a lien in favor of a condominium association when a unit owner fails to pay their assessments. Section 9(g)(3) of the Condo Act states: The purchaser of a condominium unit at a judicial foreclosure sale, or a mortgagee who receives title to any unit by deed in lieu of foreclosure or judgment by common law strict…
Tressler attorney and Chair of the Condominium & Common Interest Community Association Law practice, Kathryn Formeller, was recently featured in an article titled “Associations Must Prepare Policy for Resolving Complaints” by Pamela Dittmer McKuen of the Chicago Tribune. Click here to read the article. Kathryn regularly represents condominium associations as creditors in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings seeking to modify the automatic stay so that they can pursue their state court remedies.  Kat is the lead attorney for the Condominium & Common Interest Community Association Law practice. Her practice includes representing condominium associations and common interest community…