Condo Law Watch

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The Illinois legislature has amended the Illinois Condominium Property Act (the “Act”) and while not mandatory, it allows Boards of Directors to implement policies on how Boards can be composed.  Pursuant to Section 18(a)(1) of the Act, the change now allows condominium boards to require that the majority of the condominium board be made up of unit owners who occupy their units as their primary residence. No Declaration may require that more than a majority of the Board members live on site.

While this may not be an option chosen by every Association or community, Associations should be cognizant of
Continue Reading Update On Residency Requirements To Serve On A Condo Board In Illinois

By: Matthew O’Malley

There are many pros to living in condominium associations, as they are often one of the more affordable options in urban environments and especially in many areas in the City of Chicago. Condos can provide a great sense of community and allow individuals to focus on just maintaining their unit without having to worry about some other maintenance issues such as roofs, masonry, snow removal, or landscaping.

With that said, purchasing a condo is a considerable investment and I am not just talking about an initial down payment or mortgage. Life within condo associations also has significant
Continue Reading Purchasing a Condominium Unit: Buyer Beware

By: Sarah Elizabeth Melendez

Have you had a request for governing documents? Have you sold a condominium in the last few years? Are you currently living in one and plan to sell it in the foreseeable future? If you sold one, purchased one, or plan on selling one, and the unit is located in Illinois, you will have to deal with the Illinois Condominium Property Act, 765 ILCS 605 (“Act”), and specifically Section 22.1 of the Act. Under Section 22.1, sellers of a condominium unit are required to make available to prospective purchasers nine categories of documents and information specifically
Continue Reading Governing Document Production and You: New Caselaw Regarding Excessive Charges to Sellers

By Joseph Silverstein

Evicting a tenant in Illinois requires a detailed legal process. Therefore, it is important for landlords to be patient and wait for the court to enter a formal eviction order providing possession of the unit versus taking voluntary possession.  Indeed, there are consequences that landlords can face if they take matters into their own hands and attempt to remove their tenant before the formal eviction proceedings have concluded. Further, landlords with units located in the City of Chicago must be aware that Chicago has its own unique laws with regard to eviction.

Section 5-12-060 of the Chicago Municipal
Continue Reading Legal Update: Chicago Tenants Now Have Five Years to File a Lawsuit Against Landlords Who Unlawfully Enter into Their Unit to Take Possession

By: Matthew O’Malley

The last 24 months have been unprecedented. Every industry and individual has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is helpful to reflect on some of the lessons we can learn from this pandemic, and I have gained the following insight through my representation of condominiums and community associations in the Chicago-land area.

First and foremost, be reasonable. If you are serving on a Board or a unit owner, always try to work things out before anything escalates. Condos and HOAs are communities after all, and many times those who are in dispute are neighbors and have
Continue Reading Two Years In: What Condominiums and Community Associations Can Learn from the COVID-19 Pandemic

By: Joseph Silverstein

In 2021, the Illinois General Assembly did not make any amendments to the Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act and only made one significant change to the Illinois Condominium Property Act (the “Act”).  Effective January 1, 2022, Section 18(a)(1) of the Act was amended to allow an association’s declaration or amendment to an association’s declaration to require a majority of members of the board of directors to be made up of unit owners who occupy their units as their primary residence. Specifically, Section 18(a)(1) of the Act, as amended, provides as follows:

(a)(1) The election from among
Continue Reading 2022 Legislative Updates

By: Sarah Elizabeth Melendez

With Chicago weather at full force, it is inevitable that condominiums, townhome associations and homeowner associations will be confronted with burst pipes and the subsequent damage. As a means of preparation, please review the steps below so you can be ready for when a pipe bursts your bubble.

  • Locate the burst pipe
  • This may seem self-explanatory; however, it is important to determine how many units the burst pipe services. This is important because if the burst pipe services only one Unit, it could be considered a Limited Common Element under the Association’s Declaration. Based on the
    Continue Reading Don’t Let a Burst Pipe Burst Your Bubble

    As of October 4, 2021, the Illinois Eviction Moratorium has ended. This means that residential tenants can once again be evicted from their units. The ending of the Illinois Eviction Moratorium also means that a “covered person” is no longer protected from evictions, and landlords are no longer required to send a tenant declaration prior to filing an eviction lawsuit. The end of the Illinois Eviction Moratorium benefits Homeowner Associations because Illinois Courts will now allow Homeowner Associations to freely collect on delinquent assessments without any obstacles.

    The State of Illinois as well as various counties throughout Illinois have set up
    Continue Reading The End of the Illinois Eviction Moratorium

    After the tragic events that occurred in Surfside, Florida, it is important for Associations to understand the responsibility that they have in maintaining the structure of their condominium building. Cosmetic issues are often easy to spot, for example, a sagging ceiling, windows that stick or will not close completely and doors that jam or cannot be closed properly. When managers see these issues, they are often repaired right away. However, issues within the foundation of your building, such as cracks in the foundation are harder to spot. Cracks in the foundation can lead to framing issues, roof issues and even leaks.
    Continue Reading The Collapse of the Champlain Towers and Hard Lessons Learned – Part II

    In the wake of the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers in Surfside, Florida, last month, many Condominium Associations are questioning whether deferring maintenance on their property is still a safe option.

    According to media reports, the estimated cost
    to repair the Champlain South premises totaled $15 million. However, the condo
    had only $800,000 in reserves for such contingencies. Unit owners were faced
    with individual special assessments between $80,000 and $200,000 each. After
    facing owner pressure, the board refused to levy these assessments and further deferred
    essential maintenance, thus contributing to the resulting disaster.

    Responsible members of condo boards need
    Continue Reading The Collapse of the Champlain Towers and Hard Lessons Learned – Part I

    Gov. JB Pritzker has announced a phase out of the statewide moratorium on evictions to begin August 1, 2021, and to end by August 31, 2021.  This announcement was made in conjunction with the state’s launch of a $1.5 billion rental relief program for Illinois. Repeated executive orders issued by the governor during the pandemic have banned virtually all evictions in Illinois since March 2020. However, the eventual end to the eviction moratorium is expected in a few short weeks and our offices anticipate a wave of issues for landlord/tenant clients.

    Given these changes, it is important to be cognizant of pandemic-related laws to
    Continue Reading The Floodgates Will Open: An End to the Illinois Eviction Moratorium

    It is expected that many
    Americans will be celebrating the Fourth of July, and quite frankly, we all
    deserve it after living through a global pandemic for nearly 16 months. 

    While Independence Day is synonymous with all things American (apple pie, baseball, the flag and beautiful fireworks displays), recreational use of these pyrotechnics can pose liability and hazards to both people and property. We recommend that community associations and condominium associations remind residents of the dangers, the law and ultimately adopt rules and regulations in an effort to keep residents and the Association’s property safe.

    As a general reminder, the
    Continue Reading Keep the Fireworks to the Professionals

    We are pleased to invite you to our upcoming virtual Tressler Talk:Handling Disasters – Building Code Violations, Fires and Leaks

    Tuesday, June 22, 20211:00-2:00pm CT

    Join Tressler’s experienced attorneys for this complimentary webinar to learn about building code violations and how they impact your association clients; fires and the turmoil that unfolds if you don’t have a plan of action for this type of disaster; and best practices for the handling of leaks and water damage.

    Participants earn 1.0 Hour CAMICB Continuing Education Credit.Register Now: https://cvent.me/n9EY83View Event Website: https://cvent.me/M8RZQ3

    Meet Our Speakers

    Kathryn A. FormellerPartner at Tressler
    Continue Reading Tressler Talks: Handling Disasters – Building Code Violations, Fires and Leaks

    Click here to view the trailer on YouTube.Check out Kathryn Formeller on the Professionals’ new YouTube channel! She joins forces with other professional ladies to provide quick tips and helpful productivity tricks in a Life Hack series.

    Click here to view the Professionals’ YouTube channel.

    About Kathryn Formeller

    Kathryn is a partner and Co-Chair of the Condominium & Common Interest Community Association Law practice. Her practice includes representing condominium associations and common interest community associations in a variety of areas, including rule enforcement, interpretation of governing documents, review and negotiation of contracts, and collection of assessments. Kat also
    Continue Reading Life Hacks, A Series With Kathryn Formeller

    There have only been a few municipalities in Illinois that have passed ordinances that seek to strengthen and expand tenant rights. Notoriously, Chicago’s Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (the “RLTO”) contains stringent provisions that require strict compliance from landlords. Other cities such as Evanston and Mount Prospect have passed similar ordinances, but the vast majority of cities and municipalities throughout Illinois do not have these ordinances.

    On January 25, 2021, the Cook
    County Board of Commissioners passed its own county-wide version of the
    Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (hereinafter referred to as the “Cook
    County Ordinance”) that mirrors Chicago’s ordinance. The Cook
    Continue Reading Cook County’s Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance

    Illinois winters can be brutal as the conditions increase the rate of slip and fall accidents. Inadequate or improper snow removal can be one of the contributing factors. The following tips regarding snow and ice removal as well as property management when it comes to winter weather should be considered:

    • If you are a business that handles your own snow and ice removal, ensure your personnel are trained and know that they should remove the snow and ice from all sidewalks and parking lots.
    • After all removal is completed, all areas should be adequately salted.
    • Stay attuned to local weather


    Continue Reading Small Business Survival: Winter Weather Tips