HPKCC Condos/Coops/Plus
 Condos/Coops Committee and Resource Center

 

Condos/Co-ops Plus Committee and programs

of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference

A service of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, its Condos an Co-ops Committee, and the HPKCC website www.hydepark.org. Join the Conference: your dues and gifts support our work.

HPKCC programs home. Committees. About.
View report on April 19 2010 seminar.
NEW: Condominium law changes 2010 (5-18-10) and comprehensive- view in pdf -
it's code is 254876577-Illinois-Condominium-Property-Act-2010-Edition_[1].pdf.

Here:

Meetings and forums

May 2, 2013, Thursday, 5-7:30 pm. THE Management presents a Condo Owner's Workshop and panel on How to Run an Effective Association. Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell. $10. Call 773 544-8644 or 773 525-5326, or themanagementinc.com. or brownpapertickets.com/event/373321.

View report.

TOPICS INCLUDED MAJOR CHANGES IN THE LAW FOR 2010 WHICH AFFECT CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATIONS, CHANGES IN ILINOIS BANKING/LENDING CRITERIA WHICH AFFECT THE ABILITY TO OBTAIN FINANCING FOR CONDOMINIUM UNITS IN 2010; COLLECTION OF ASSESSMENTS, AND ANY OTHER ISSUES RAISED BY THE PARTICIPANTS. EXTENSIVE Q & A. Come and learn what other association board members are doing to meet the GROWING CHALLENGES OF ASSOCIATION OPERATION.

Extensive handouts by Mr. Bickley and the law firm of Kovitz Shifron Nesbit are made available to attendees. Mr. Bickley can be contacted directly at 847-777-7301 or jbickley@ksnlaw.com, or visit www.ksnlaw.com.

About the instructor: John H. Bickley III is a noted author and practicing attorney and principal with the law firm of Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, located in Buffalo Grove, Chicago, Naperville, Lake Forest, and Racine, Wisconsin. His area of concentration is in condominium and community association law, and he has substantial experience in litigation including developer turnover disputes and collection of assessments. his book "A Board Member's Guide to the Illinois Condominium Property Act" is the source book for board members. john brings his unique experience to helping board members and property managers understand the law as it relates to association policies. His courses and seminars provide valuable information relative to prevention of common legal mistakes and unnecessary litigation.


Attorney John Bickley III of Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit shared critical information for condominium boards at a seminar sponsored April 19 by Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference and co-sponsored by the offices of Aldermen Toni Preckwinkle (4th) and Leslie Hairston (5th) at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club.

Mr. Bickley explained new rules for filing registration with the Federal Housing Authority; without such filing, it may not be possible to sell units or for prospective buyers to obtain financing in your condo building. Associations should, Mr. Bickley stressed, start the process and get in line right now, using an experienced law firm. He walked attendees through the process and criteria and described some of the obstacles to qualifying—most of which, he explained, should be on the radar for correction in any case. Some of these obstacles include delinquency rate (the biggest problem), adequate reserve, unit owners having owner liability insurance, and rate of owner occupancy.

Mr. Bickley also described in great detail effective practices for collection of assessments and resolving delinquencies and why speed and consistency matter.

Watch for our next seminar or forum. Condos/Co-ops Plus Committee co-chairs are Gary Ossewaarde and Lenora Austin.

Important links

We wish that our readers understand that we can and do not furnish information about or how to get in touch with or do business with individual associations, or associations with businesses, agents and vendors or legal advice with the exception of the firm listed at the top, which gives the seminars and the books pro bono. The booklets, prepared by Mr. Bickley are proprietary and only available from him and his firm or for examination in our office.

John Bickley

Website urls for the Illinois Condominium Property Act:

Condominium law changes 2010 (5-18-10) and comprehensive- view in pdf - it's code is 254876577-Illinois-Condominium-Property-Act-2010-Edition_[1].pdf. Probably can be located in / from the sites below.

THE FOLLOWING DO NOT INCLUDE 2010 CHANGES TO ILLINOIS BANKING ACT.
www.cai-illinois.org/hoa/assn264/documents/ILCONDOPROPACT.pdf

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2200&ChapAct=765%26nbsp%3BILCS%26nbsp
%3B605%2F&ChapterID=62&ChapterName=PROPERTY&ActName=Condominium+Property+Act%2E

There is a copy in the Conference Office, but changes have been made.

Visit our Foreclosures page.

LINK TO THE CHICAGO CONDOMINIUM ORDINANCE. In addition to the Illinois Condominium Property Act, which applies to the entire State of Illinois, the City of Chicago has enacted Chapter 13-72 of the City of Chicago Municipal Code, which is titled "CONDOMINIUMS." This chapter covers many important items, including the contents of the property report, the requirements for developers of more than six units, and the examination of records by unit owners. Under the "Contents of the property report" section for example,20one of the Ordinance's provisions states that "If no reserve is provided for any one or more of the costs listed herein, the following statement must be inserted in the property report in a type the size and style equal to at least 10 point bold type: THE DEVELOPER HAS NOT PROVIDED A RESERVE FOR CERTAIN POSSIBLE FUTURE COSTS OF THE CONDOMINIUM IN HIS BUDGET. ACCORDINGLY, IT MAY BE NECESSARY TO PROVIDE FOR A SPECIAL ASSESSMENT TO ALL CONDOMINIUM UNIT OWNERS TO PAY FOR SUCH COSTS SHOULD THEY OCCUR."
Accordingly, "The commissioner of consumer sales, weights and measures shall administer this chapter and may adopt rules and regulations for the effective administration of this chapter." For more information on the Chicago Condominium Ordinance, visit www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicago_il/title13buildingsandconstruction/chapter13-72condominiums?f=templates$fn=document-frame.htm$3.0

For a listing of the rules and regulations regarding condominium conversions, please visit http://egov.cityofchicago.org/webportal/COCWebPortal/COC_EDITORIAL/CondoConversions.pdf

Condo Refuse Rebate Program -

www.committeeonfinance.org/condo/index.asp


See Sprinkler and Life-Safety Code page on the retrofit debate and conclusion. Modifications of the facade ordinance are in progrs ss (If have done in last two years, not necessary until it its two years). New elevator ordinance has raised concerns.
Visit HPKCC News, Community and Neighborhood News, High Rise-Condo mania, Development, Helpline.

Neighbors had some comments on high rises, density, facade requirements, and housing affordability at the HPKCC public discussion on what's right and wrong with the neighborhood, October 2005. See in the Development page. The conversation has continued through numerous forums including on Harper Court, Antheus/MAC Properties and programs of the Coalition for Equitable Development in Hyde Park.

Next forums/seminars, reports, others' meetings/forums

Note: Historically, the Conference seeks to hold one or two of these informational forums each year. However, one attendee has asked if the Conference and Mr. Bickley would consider conducting a four session course designed to address a more rigorous treatment of the legal issues impacting condominium and cooperative owners and associations. The Conference needs to know if there is sufficient interest among members to support such a program. Please contact us at (773) 288-8343 or email hpkcc@aol.com if you would be interested in participating. Mr. Bickley offers classes at Harper College on these subjects. Mr. Bickley is with the firm Kovitz, Nesbit, Shifrin.

September 26, Sunday, 2 pm, Augustana Church, 5550 S. Woodlawn. Coalition for Equitable Community Development and co-sponsors incl. the Condos-Co-ops Plus Committee, hold a forum on Changes in the Property Tax Law. With State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie and tent. someone form the Cook County Assessor's Office.

Read report on December 2008 forum.

To Report on November 6 2007 forum/seminar on condo/coop finances.

Usually at Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, 5480 S. Kenwood or South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 South Shore Drive. Contact Jay Ammerman or hpkcc@aol.com (773 288-8343, 847-712-0560) or Mr. Bickley at jbickley@ksnlaw.com (including to be put on announcement/invitation list.
Suggested donation: $10 for HPKCC members, $20 for others. Make check out to Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference.

About the instructor: John H. Bickley is a noted author and practicing attorney and principal with the law firm of Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit located in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. His area of concentration is in condominium and community association law and he has substantial experience in association litigation including developer turnover disputes. His book, "A Board Member's Guide to the Illinois Condominium Property Act" is the source book for board members. John brings his unique experience to the forum assisting board members and property managers understand the law as it relates to association policies. His seminars provide valuable information relative to prevention of common legal mistakes an unnecessary litigation.

Typical topics, to be selected, include the law and changes to it, board and owner obligations and rights, rules, common and non-common areas, collection of assessments--and what to do in case of arrears, insurance.

For more information call the Conference at 773 288-8343 or hpkcc@aol.com,
Mr. Bickley's office at Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit: (847) 777-7301 or 134 N. LaSalle St., Ste. 100 60602, 312 372-3227.

_____________________________________

The Condos/Co-ops Committee

of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference provides information through classes, forums, lectures, discussion, the website, and the Conference Reporter, regarding the law, insurance, and other matters relevant to owners of these dwellings. The committee maintains a set of Board Members Guides (prepared and provided by Mr. Bickley) on Insurance, Collection of Assessments, Guide to a one-hour meeting, Rules and Regulations as well as "100 most commonly asked questions." These quote extensively from and comment in practical terms on the Illinois Condominium Act.

Our main focus is professional informational forums.

Our Development, Preservation and Zoning Committee including Affordable Housing Focus deal with issues such as condo conversion, developments, density. Transit Committee deals with parking issues.

The Committee regrets that it cannot at this time provide references of trades people or other services to associations and owners.(An alternative for now, which we cite without a recommendation, is the free site www.servicemagic.com or www.windycity.servicemagic.com.)

If you are interested in participating in the Condos/Co-ops Committee, have suggestions for topics you wish covered, or for further details contact HPKCC or call (773) 288-8343. Co-Chairman Jay Ammerman will gladly answer questions of a non-legal nature or give referral.

The Committee and the Conference gratefully acknowledges the assistance and materials provided by Attorney John H. Bickley III, Attorney at Law, Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, conductor of two forums on the Illinois Condominium Act and its applications.

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Emergency update re proposed legislation. From Enrique Reports, PerezEG@aol.com. March 2, 2009

SPECIAL CONDOMINIUM UPDATE
Illinois Condominium Advisory Council Final Report Ready for Public Comment

In 2007, the Illinois State Legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law, the Condominium Advisory Council Act (Public=2 0Act 095-0129). This law created the Condominium Advisory Council, whose purpose is to "…identify issues facing condominium owners, condominium associations, and other persons who have financial interests in condominiums… study the Condominium Property Act and related Acts that affect condominium ownership and suggest legislation to the General Assembly to amend those Acts…" among other things. In late 2008, the Council held several public hearings where it heard from members of the public regarding their desired changes to the Illinois Condominium Property Act. The Council has now completed its preliminary draft of the legislation that it will propose to the Illinois State Legislature. The Council is offering the public a last opportunity to comment on their proposed changes to the Condo Act. The attached .pdf file, which I received from Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter (one of the Council members) for general distribution, contains those proposed changes.
Deadline to Submit Comments: Tuesday, March 3
(NOTE: I am working to get the deadline extended)

(Not sure this is still up to date or posted. Please download the attached .pdf file to review the proposed changes. Submit comments to Council Chairman Jordan Shifrin: jshifrin@ksnlaw.com or to Sen. Mattie Hunter: senatorhunter03@sbcglobal.net or fax 312-949-1958

Highlighted Report Recommendations
Special Assessments: "The Act shall be amended to reflect that all special assessments of any kind..."
Foreclosures: "...the lender... will owe assessments from the first day of the month after filing the foreclosure."
Developer Abuses: "...all developers of more than 20 units be required to post a 'warranty bond' equal to..."
Certificate of Occupancy: "... no municipality shall issue one without a complete inspection of the premises."
Property Managers: "...all individuals... shall register with the Department of Professional Regulation."


LINK TO THE ILLINOIS CONDOMINIUM PROPERTY ACT
www.cai-illinois.org/hoa/assn264/documents/ILCONDOPROPACT.pdf

 

Report on the December 8, 2008 Forum with John Bickley. In upcoming January 2009 Conference Reporter.
Contains important warnings

By Jay N. Ammerman, Chair, Condos/Coops Committee

On Monday, December 8, 23008, the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference held the latest informational forum for condominium and cooperative owners and associations. The forum was co-sponsored by Alderman Toni Preckwinkle (4th) and features Attorney John Bickley from the Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit law firm.

Bickley highlighted how the era of mortgage foreclosures has been impacting owners and associations in a number of unique ways. The financing landscape has changed in a dramatic fashion. Five years ago only five percent (5%) of the loans obtained by owners were FHA loans. Due to the current credit squeeze, the FHA loan percentage has increased to ninety percent (90%).

As a result of that change, prospective buyers and seller are encountering many more issues beyond price, financing, and other customary sales terms and conditions. Many condominium bylaws do not comply with FHA an Fannie Mae requirements. Bylaws containing a "Right of First Refusal" are not consistent with FHA rules and regulations. And Fannie Mae requirements stipulate strict guidelines for association reserves, insurance policy coverage, and assessment delinquencies.

Bickley also provided undated guidance for owners and associations who are confronting a growing number of mortgage foreclosures. He advises associations to act promptly as soon as any owner becomes delinquent in paying monthly assessments.

The HPKCC forums are not a substitute for detailed legal advice tailored to address specific circumstances. Never-the-less, many of the approximately forty-five attendees had an opportunity to ask general questions and to obtain some of the valuable booklets produced by Bickley's firm.

Historically, the Conference seeks to hold one or two of these informational forums each year. However, one attendee has asked if the Conference and Mr. Bickley would consider conducting a four session course designed to address a more rigorous treatment of the legal issues impacting condominium and cooperative owners and associations. The Conference needs to know if there is sufficient interest among members to support such a program. Please contact us at (773) 288-8343 or email hpkcc@aol.com if you would be interested in participating.

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Report on the November 6, 2007 Forum with John Bickley and Bank Financial, 1354 E. 55th St. (as in December 2007 Conference Reporter)

Associations Learn Key Financial Priorities, Steps at November Forum

by Gary Ossewaarde

Condominium, cooperative and town home association owner members learned of law changes and heard important advice on handling finances, collection of assessments, delinquencies, and loans at a HPKCC Condos Co-ops Plus Committee forum November 6 at Bank Financial in Hyde Park. Presenters were John H. Bickley III, attorney at Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, Teresa Handley, Regional Senior Vice President at Bank Financial, and Ken Sticken, Regional Vice President at Bank Financial.

While experts recommend that associations hire an attorney and all but the smallest hire a management company, we can “lift the veil” a bit with some of what was learned in the presentations and q and a.

· Associations should keep a complete ledger of transactions that includes what members owe and amount and date of payment or miss. From this can be demonstrated consistency, diligence, and patterns of costs and cash flow. This will be needed in pursuing delinquencies, seeking a loan, or in case of a suit.

· Keep records from the start, including changes to bylaws, rules and directors.

· Collection of assessments is the key ongoing financial duty of the association.

· Delinquencies need to be pursued immediately, correctly, and every time. If the series of legal steps is followed in timely manner, the association can use Illinois’ unique Forcible Entry and Detainer law to take possession, ahead of the unit owner’s mortgage holder. The court process for the association is uniquely fast, so in a few months, if the association has followed the law exactly and timely, it can gain possession to rent the unit (recommended on a month-to-month basis) up to 13 months to recoup the delinquencies. Then it can sell.

· One of the first things an association needs to do, and should repeat after a number of years is have a thorough engineering study of what it has, each item’s value, when it needs to be replaced, and what the costs are. This should be used to determine the required Capital Reserve Fund.

· Having and correctly using the reserve fund. It may not be necessary to actually have that amount in the bank, so long as a loan can be taken to cover needs. The reserve account should be used for normal wear and tear, replacement of routine elements as they reach the expected time for replacement or renewal, and for emergencies. But it matters that the work really be done, not deferred. This will also let the association build a record for borrowing. Borrowing was recommended for the big capital expenditures—porches, elevators, tuck pointing, roof—items that are covered by special assessments.

· Both loans and the assessments to cover them can be set up with options, including spread out over up to ten years. Many financial institutions now provide loans to associations per se. Getting a loan depends in good measure on having that good track record and documentation of following the engineering study, maintaining the capital reserve, and diligently and consistently collecting assessments and otherwise showing that the association can carry the debt load.

To be on a list for personal notification of future forums (although we cannot guarantee sending of notices for all forums) or to join the committee, contact us at hpkcc@aol.com or 773 288-8343 and we will pass the information to committee chair Jay Ammerman and to Mr. Bickley.

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From the Chairman on the April 28, 2005 forum, attended by 84 at the South Shore Cultural Center

Preface, by Jay Ammerman. From the comments and questions that we heard during the forum, the attendees truly valued the information and materials that Mr. Bickley presented to them. John has a special ability to cover complicated issues related to the Illinois Condominium Property Act; Association Board Policies, Procedures, Rules and Regulations; Collection of Assessments; Insurance; and Litigation. And as one attendee commented to me during the break it was comforting to know that he and his condominium association were not alone in dealing with these issues. The interactive question and answer format that John follows is of tremendous value.

It was also helpful to hear the remarks from Angela Falzone, who provides property management training and support for self-managed associations.

From the response to a general question I posed near the end of the forum, the audience was also hungry for more. There was a clear interest for ongoing sessions, perhaps on a quarterly schedule. I believe we are going to consider follow-up sessions in July and September.

Chairman Ammerman thanked Mr. Bickley, Ald. Hairston, Dot Baker, George Rumsey and volunteers at the event Gary Ossewaarde and Sue Purrington.

_________

From the Summer 2005 Conference Reporter. By Jay Ammerman, Committee Chair:

Standing Room Only Condo/Coops Forum Held April 28, 2005 at the South Shore Cultural Center

The Conference and John H. Bickley III (Attorney at Law, Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit) held one of their most successful forums ever for community residents dealing with condominium and cooperative issues. As reflected in the following thank-you message, the Condos/Coops Committee was thrilled with the fantastic turn-out, the information content covered by Mr. Bickley, and the sponsorship and assistance provided by Alderman Hairston's office.

Alderman Hairston and John Bickley,

On behalf of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference and its Condos/Coops Committee, I want to thank both of you for helping make last week's April 23, 2005 Condominium Law Forum such a great success.

The fact that eighty-four individuals came out on a beautiful spring evening to attend the forum confirmed Alderman Hairston's recommendation that we co-sponsor a special event for constituents of the fifth ward. From the comments and questions that we heard during the forum, the attendees truly valued the information and materials that Mr. Bickley presented to them. John has a special ability to cover complicated issues related to the Illinois Condominium Property Act; Association Board Policies, Procedures, Rules and Regulations; Collection of Assessments; Insurance; and Litigation. And as one attendee commented to me during the break it was comforting to know that he and his condominium association were not alone in dealing with these issues. The interactive question and answer format that John follows is of tremendous value. I have attended most of John's forums but always come away with new information and insights that I can apply to my own condominium association. It was also helpful to hear the remarks from Angela Falzone, who provides property management training and support for self-managed associations.

From the response to a general question I posed near the end of the forum, the audience was also hungry for more. There was a clear interest for ongoing sessions, perhaps on a quarterly schedule. I believe we are going to consider follow-up sessions in July and September.

Since all of the work of the Conference results from volunteer effort, I must extend special "Thank You's" to Sue Purrington and Gary Ossewaarde. Sue and Gary had the unenviable task of staffing the sign-in table, distributing materials, and collecting donations. And prior to the event, Sue managed the planning and coordination efforts with the South Shore Cultural Center, which is a marvelous location for community programs. She insured that the room was appropriately set-up for our forum and insisted on staying until the last attendee left.

And finally, I must thank George Rumsey and Dot Baker for everything they have done to support and contribute to the success of the condos/coops forum series.

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Some past issues we addressed in forums:
(Contact HPKCC to see Conference Reporter issues reporting on these forums.)

Gilaad Matar
     Dean Witter
Improving Returns on Association Repair Reserves

Barbara Wick
Condominium Insurance
Specialists of America

Cover Your Assets:
How a Risk management Program Can Protect Your Building
Mark Pearlstein
     Pearlstein, Boehn, & Bright, Ltd.
Recent Changes in the Illinois Condominium Law

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HPKCC Sponsors 3rd Forum on Condos/Coops

Report on the February 9, 2004 forum on condo insurance. From The Conference Reporter, Winter, 2004

The Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference held its third public forum on Condos/Coops governance at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club on Monday, February 9. Two dozen participants carefully followed the main topic of the evening, "Insurance," including association versus unit owner insurance and coordination of coverage. This forum was cosponsored by the offices of Alderman Toni Preckwinkle and Alderman Leslie A. Hairston.

The primary speaker for the evening was Mr. John H. Bickley, III, attorney-at-law with Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit. He was joined by Ms. Karyl Dicker Foray, a specialist in insurance and employee benefits from Rosenthal Bros., Inc.

As he has done at prior forums with HPKCC, Mr. Bickley presented the audience with a carefully prepared overview of Illinois law, focusing in this seminar on legal requirements regarding condominium insurance. He also distributed special documentation prepared by his firm specifically for his presentation, including the very helpful publication A board Member's Guide to Illinois Association Law.

Mr. Bickley and Ms. Foray took turns answering questions from the audience, ranging from "responsibility if the bathtub upstairs overflows" to fidelity bonds for the association treasurer or manager. Focusing on "required" coverage (by Illinois law), the speakers addressed property insurance, general liability insurance, deductibles, mandatory unit-owner insurance, the status of insurance "pools," the need to require contractors to have valid certificates of insurance, and even the potential importance of insurance against discrimination, libel, and slander.

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Condos/Coops Committee Plans Course

Modified from The Conference Reporter, Winter, 2004

The Condos/Coops + Committee of HPKCC has announced plans to sponsor a six-session course on "Condominium and Homeowner Association Law," scheduled to start Monday, March 20. It will be presented by Mr. John H. Bickley, of Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, through the continuing education program of Harper College.

Topics to be covered in the two-hour classes will include (1) Litigation; (2) Rules and Regulations; (3) Association Insurance, (4) Collection of Assessments; (5) Budgets an Loans; (6) Condominium Property Act, Contracts, and Questions and Answers.

The classes...meet at the Neighborhood Club [5480 S. Kenwood Ave.]; cost will be [$100]. For additional information or to register, call the Conference office at (773) 288-8343 or visit hydepark.org [click on the announcement in the orange box on the home page].

HPKCC Surveys Condos and Co-ops

Due to the important role that condos and co-ops play in serving the residential needs of the Hyde Park-Kenwood community, HPKCC surveyed area condos and coops through a 29-item questionnaire earlier this year. According to Jay Ammerman, co-chair of the Condos/Co-ops/Plus committee, survey questions ranged from basic information including type of association, number of units, and type of management to detailed questions about assessments, financial accounting, and the issues most important to the association.

The Conference received 34 responses: 24 from condo associations, 9 from co-ops, and 1 from a home-owners association. The number of units in the responding associations were:

Number of units
Condos
Co-ops
6 units
10
3
7-20 units
6
2
21-100 units
6
1
More than 100 units
2
3

Nine of the condos were self-managed, while sixteen were professionally managed. Three co-ops were self-managed, while six were professionally managed.

Dot Baker, co-chair of the committee, reports that common issues of concern to condo associations, co-ops, and homeowners associations were:

Respondents also expressed interest in being able to access a list of recommended contractors/tradesmen that would be developed by the Conference. HPKCC continues to work on the development and organization of this valuable resource.

Survey results, which were sent to the participating associations, will be used by HPKCC to prepare programming ideas for future community forums.

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Other meetings and information services on condo and coop issues, homeowners

 


Building owner obligations you should know about

Condominium property is governed in descending order of precedence by:

The Illinois Condominium Property Act, the Declaration of Condominium Ownership, and the Rules & Regulations constitute a legal framework and hierarchy that must be consulted in their entirety to address specific ownership questions. As an owner, you should first review all of these documents.

If there is any conflict with the language of the Illinois Condominium Property Act, the Act will govern.

However, you may need to seek the advice of an attorney to assist you in reviewing all of these documents and understanding specific alternatives or remedies. If you know other owners who have the same concerns, you may wish to consult an attorney as an owner group.

By Chairman Jay Ammerman
____________________________

Building owners in Chicago are required to prepare the area of their trash storage, including fences and garages and any necessary tree trimming or removal, for convenient trash pickup. They are responsible for keeping alleyways clear, and to keep trash storage containers covered/closed. Owners are responsible for greening and leveling their parkways and for making sure cuttings are not blown into the curb gutters.

The exterior repairs deadline for certain larger buildings was extended into 2004. The elevator obligation is a ticking bomb for many buildings.

Clearing up confusion on snow shoveling laws. By Ald. Hairston and Preckwinkle

Hyde Park Herald, January 28, 2004.

With too many of our sidewalks resembling the ice rink on the Midway, we thought it is an opportune time to review a home or building owner's rights and responsibilities regarding snow and ice removal. City ordinance requires owner and tenants to remove ice and snow from the sidewalks near their buildings. If the sidewalks are extremely broad, the owner or tenant is only required to clear a five foot wide path. If snow and ice removal is not feasible at the moment due to weather conditions, the home owner should sprinkle sand or salt on the ice and snow.

It should be obvious that common sense as well as city ordinance requires that homeowners clear their sidewalks. The City of Chicago cannot possibly afford to shovel all sidewalks and no one would be interested in paying the property tax increase that would be required to fund this type of service. In fact, occasionally city crews have to clear especially dangerous sidewalks. This is an expensive proposition and ought to be avoided.

Unfortunately, whenever this subject comes up, some well-meaning individual leaps up and trots out the ancient argument that a homeowner is safer if they do not remove snow and ice because if they do and then someone falls on the ice, the unfortunate owner or tenant who has tried to be helpful will be liable for any injury o other damages. This is not true. City ordinance states clearly "Any person who removes snow or ice from the public sidewalk or street, shall not, as a result of acts or omissions in such removal, be liable for civil damages." Of course, a person is liable if they engage in willful or wanton misconduct.

So with the law and common sense on the same side, we need to work together to remove ice and snow from our sidewalks. We cannot imprison elderly people, people who have disabilities or people who happen to be pregnant in their homes because they cannot walk safely or use their wheelchairs on our sidewalks. so break out the salt and the shovels. If you would like to report dangerous ice and snow snow or an elderly homeowner in need of assistance with snow removal pleas call the Fourth Ward at 536-8103 or the Fifth Ward at 324-5555.

 

Note, despite this there is still confusion, Brian Steele of the Chicago Dept. of Transportation saying that residential owners are not responsible for the public way, ward superintendents saying they are, and railroads incorrectly saying they are not responsible. For sure applying to businesses private or public walks and to residential private walks (owner or lessee):

"Every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person having charge of any building or of ground in the city abutting upon any public way or public place shall remove the snow and ice from the sidewalk in front of such building or lot of ground."

Snow before 4 pm except on Sundays must be removed within three hours and on Sundays and after 4 pm by 20 am the next day.

But if the snow is frozen so hard that removal will damage the walk, it can wait until melting occurs. Report unremoved snow to 311.

Once property owners remove snow, they have to make sure sidewalks are kept clear.

Fines- $250-$500.


When the new board takes over....

STEPS FOR A NEW BOARD TO TAKEAFTER A CONDO TURNOVER BY A DEVELOPER

A GAME PLAN


1. Achieve a board consensus A

2. Get independent counsel G

3. Acquire pertinent documents A

4. Mull over the R.E.A.M

5. Examine the property report E

6. Peruse the existing contracts P

7. Leap into the budget and financial records L

8. Advance a transitional (engineering) study A

9. Navigate the next steps to an action timeline N


By Enrique G. Perez


In the News or in the works

Changes in the 2006 legislative session

Condominium law- SB 2165 - An association may not institute a rule prohibiting reasonable accommodation for religious practices such as attaching religiously-mandated objects to door area of unit. SB 2570 gives financial protection to associations in cases of foreclosure by placing the burden of some past due expenses onto the new purchaser.

New law on Manager Conduct Code effective January 1 2008. (Also new: law that permits associations per se to take our mortgages- attend forum November 6.)

After a year of lobbying the Manage Conduct Code was passed August 21, 2007. Insurance companies said that lack of certification or license requirements for property managers resulted in "chaos" in integrity and professionalism. Many managing companies have not special competence, knowledge of law, or dominant business in Common Interest Communities. The result has been several large embezzlement cases and widespread disregard for governing documents and laws.

Links of Interest:

Latest useful information on Senior Taxpayers Exemptions. See also Elected Officials-scroll down to city services, and visit LPCI on facade leaseback tax exemption and other preservation incentives.

Cook County Assessor's Office: How to calculate your property tax
Cook County Assessor's Office: Home improvement,  homeowner's & Senior exemptions, + Senior freeze, etc
A Committee of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference
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