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It is essential for condo associations to have trusted and experienced condominium attorneys on their side. Condo associations frequently encounter challenging legal matters involving amending condominium instruments, collections, enforcement of rules, contractual disputes, developer turnover issues and Fair Housing Act compliance. While each situation is unique with its own sets of challenges, all require skilled condominium lawyers.
Rather than managing these complex processes on your own, leave them to the experienced condominium lawyers at Hirzel Law, PLC. Our award-winning condominium lawyers handle all varieties of condo legal matters with our comprehensive understanding of Illinois condominium laws.
What You Need to Know About The Illinois Condominium Property Act
In Illinois, condominiums are governed by the Illinois Condominium Property Act. A condominium project is created when a developer records a condominium declaration with the recorder of deeds. The condominium project must be governed by a condominium association, which in most cases is a nonprofit corporation that is responsible for administering the affairs of the condominium according to the condominium declaration and condominium instruments.
The Illinois Condominium Property Act was originally adopted in 1963 and provides detailed regulations for most aspects of condominium living, including selling, voting, financing, assessing, and terminating a condominium association and its units.
Below is a summary of some important provisions within the Act and Illinois law that developers, buyers, and condo association members should all be aware of:
- A condominium unit owner cannot withhold assessment payments even if he is not satisfied with the condominium association.
- A condominium unit can be foreclosed upon if the owner fails to pay association fees.
- A unit owner may be evicted from his unit for non-payment of assessments.
- A condominium association may file a lawsuit to force a unit owner to comply with the Illinois Condominium Property Act, the condominium declaration, or the instruments.
- The board of managers of a condominium association has a duty to enforce the condominium instruments as written unless a legal justification exists for not doing so. The condominium association board of managers must enforce the instruments in a consistent and uniform manner.
- The Illinois Condominium Property Act requires most amendments to the condominium declaration and bylaws to be approved by 2/3 of the co-owners, however, certain exceptions do exist. Also, the condominium instruments can provide for a greater percentage not to exceed 3/4 to approve amendments.
- In Illinois, a condominium association must regularly review and update its articles of incorporation, condominium declaration, bylaws, condominium instruments and rules to ensure they comply with applicable laws, and adequately address owners’ needs and changes in technology.
Important Takeaways From The Illinois General Not for Profit Corporation Act for Condos
In Illinois, two primary statutes govern the affairs of a condominium association in addition to the Articles of Incorporation, a Condominium Declaration, the Condominium Instruments, and any applicable Rules and Regulation: the Illinois Condominium Property Act and the Illinois General Not For Profit Corporation Act. The last major revisions to the Illinois General Not for Profit Corporation Act took place in 2010. Below are several major takeaways from the Illinois General Not for Profit Corporation Act that could impact the governance of your condominium association.
- Annual meetings are no longer required to be held in person.
- Voting can be held in person or through electronic participation.
- Unit owners can inspect most of the books and records for nearly any purpose.
- The books, records, contracts, and financial statements concerning the administration and operation of the condominium project shall be available for examination.
Does My Condo Association Need a Condominium Attorney?
Without the guidance of an experienced condominium association attorney who has specialized in the rules governing condominium association law, navigating the legal requirements and risks of being part of an Illinois community association can be extremely challenging. Condominium association board of managers who rely on the advice of an attorney have a better chance of avoiding personal liability under the Illinois General Not for Profit Corporation Act.
Here is a list of the legal services an experienced condominium attorney can offer in the area of condominium law:
- Condo Instrument Enforcement: Condominium instruments help Illinois condominium associations operate in an orderly manner, uphold community aesthetics, preserve property values, and protect unit owners’ health, safety, and welfare. Enforcing these regulations is a very important job but is often time-consuming and complicated.
- Condo Collections: Condominium associations heavily depend on collecting dues from unit owners to afford essential services and operations. Whenever an owner neglects to pay an assessment, the other owners are wrongfully forced to shoulder the condominium associations operating costs. At Hirzel Law, our condominium lawyers can help your condominium association collect unpaid dues in straightforward and efficient manner.
- Condo Document Amendments: In Illinois, a condominium association must regularly review and update its articles of incorporation, condominium declaration, bylaws and instruments to ensure they are compliant with changes in federal and state laws. These governing documents must also adequately address changes in technology to avoid litigation.
- Fair Housing Defense: Fair housing lawyers at Hirzel Law, PLC represent condominium associations, co-operatives, homeowners associations, landlords, property managers, and university housing providers with respect to compliance with the Federal Fair Housing Act, Illinois General Not for Profit Corporation Act, Illinois Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act, Common Interest Community Association Act, Co-Operative Act, and Illinois Condominium Property Act.
- Transitional Control: Every condominium association in Illinois goes through a transition. During this phase, the control of the condominium association shifts from the developer to the unit owners. Transitional control must happen not later than 60 days after the conveyance of 75% of the units, or 3 years after the recording of the declaration, whichever is earlier. The process for this phase in condominium associations is governed by the Illinois Condominium Property Act and is referred to as “Developer Control” prior to turnover.
Reach Out to Hirzel Law’s Experienced Condominium Attorneys Today
At Hirzel Law, PLC, we understand the difficulties that condominium associations face when confronted with complicated legal matters. We highly recommended that your condominium association hire an experienced condominium lawyer to serve as general counsel to guide your association and resolve problems as they arise.
We can help condo association boards make sense of Illinois and federal law. Our ability to stay on the edge of community association law has earned our firm numerous awards from Best Lawyers, the Community Association Institute’s College of Community Association Lawyers, Leading Lawyers, and Super Lawyers. Our Illinois condominium lawyers are known for client education and highly responsive customer service.
Let the award-winning condominium lawyers at Hirzel Law resolve your complex issues. Contact Hirzel Law online or call 312-646-2770 (Chicago) to learn how we can help you today.