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April 2015 | volume 19 | numBer 1

CondoLifestyles

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THE SOURCE FOR INFORMATION ON COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS, CONDOS, TOWNHOMES, CO-OPS & HOAS

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Associations Feel Better About Financial Health F E AT U R E S

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table of contents COVER STORY

02 Associations Feel Better  About Financial Health By Michael C. Davids M A N A G E M E N T TA L K S

08 Manager Licensing: Taking the Fear Out of Being Licensed By Michael J. Shifrin BOARD BASICS

10 Condominium Board Service: Demystifying Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims By Howard S. Dakoff & Christopher M. Heintskill S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

13 New Insurance Requirements in Condo Act By Michael C. Davids 15 Industry Happenings Compiled by Michael C. Davids & Sherri Iandolo 18 From the Editor 19 Directory Advertisements GUEST EDITORIAL

26 10 Ways to Guarantee Leaks, Water  Infiltration, Plumbing Back-Ups and Floods By Salvatore Sciacca EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

29 IREM Premier Awards EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

30 MCD Pool Party featuring Condolympics M O N E Y M AT T E R S

32 Take a Closer Look at Assessments By Dawn L. Moody

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CONDO LIFESTyLES

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CONDO LIFESTyLES

By Michael C. Davids

Associations Feel Better About Financial Health... Planning More Major Projects for This year While economic conditions have not returned to lofty levels that were achieved in the years just before 2007 when the economic challenges and distress began, there seems to more positive movement for Chicagoland community associations in their overall financial health. 

L

eading managers of community association boards are always striving to improve the financial standing of the properties they are responsible for and most are starting to feel some relief after six or seven years of economic. This is not to say they are on easy street but at least they can begin to recover.

Foreclosures Decline Both foreclosure filings and foreclosure auctions declined substantially in the Chicago six county region between 2013 and 2014, new data just released in march 2015 from the Woodstock institute shows. Foreclosure filings, which indicate the beginning of the foreclosure process, fell by 33.7 percent in the

Chicago six county region between 2013 and 2014. Foreclosure auctions, which indicate the completion of the foreclosure process and transfer to new owners, declined by 22.4 percent in the Chicago six county region over the same time period. “We are encouraged by the continuing decline in new foreclosure filings because it suggests that fewer homeowners are becoming seriously delinquent on their mortgages,” said Spencer Cowan, vice president of Woodstock institute. “The decline in filings gives the courts a chance to work through the substantial backlog of foreclosure cases that has built up over the past several years. much work remains to be done, however, to help the thousands of homeowners who are still struggling to afford their mortgages and revitalize communities that have been hardest hit by the

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COvER STORy

foreclosure crisis of the past six years, neighborhoods that are disproportionately lowwealth communities.” The data on foreclosure filings and auctions in 2014 show that: » Foreclosure filings continued their downward trend between 2013 and 2014. The number of foreclosure filings in the Chicago six county region declined by onethird, from 39,985 filings in 2013 to 26,510 in 2014. » The sub-regions with the greatest declines in foreclosure filings were Dupage County (42.5 percent), Kane County (39.7 percent), and Will County (37.4 percent). » in the City of Chicago, foreclosures dropped by 32 percent. Community areas with the largest decreases in foreclosures were north Center (63.6 percent), Armour Square (61.5 percent), and West ridge (55.2 percent). The only community areas that experienced increases in foreclosure filings were Hyde park (20 percent), Calumet Heights (11 percent), and morgan park (nearly two percent).

» The region experienced its largest year-over-year decline in foreclosure auctions since 2011. The number of foreclosure auctions in the Chicago six county region fell from 31,830 in 2013 to 24,687 in 2014. » The sub-regions with the greatest

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declines in foreclosure auctions were Kane County (32.2 percent), lake County (27.1 percent), and Dupage County (27 percent). » in the City of Chicago, foreclosure auctions fell by nearly 23 percent. Community areas with the greatest decreases in

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general have also improved, however, past due assessments continue to plague a number of properties. Cathy ryan of rolling meadows based property Specialists, inc. says, “There are still plenty of people out there who are struggling financially. Although, things are greatly improved from where we were five years ago.” Charles perry who is Director of Business Development for lieberman management Services states, “we are seeing a significant decline in delinquency rates as new purchasers move in and begin paying on time. new foreclosures have dropped significantly as well. We are still waiting for many homes which have been in foreclosure for two, three, even four years to settle through the court process. Boards have learned the need for a strong, consistent collection policy over the years, which has contributed to increased recovery of delinquent assessments.”

completed auctions included Armour Square (57.1 percent), lincoln Square (52.7 percent), and lakeview (51.7 percent). Community areas with the largest increases in auctions included mount Greenwood (50 percent), Fuller park (29.4 percent), and north Center (14.3 percent). » The percentage of properties sold at foreclosure auctions becoming bank-owned is at the lowest level since the beginning of the foreclosure crisis. only 84.3 percent of properties sold at foreclosure auctions in the Chicago region in 2014 were repossessed by the bank, also known as real-estate owned (reo). in 2008, 99.2 percent of properties sold at auction entered reo status. While the overall trends are positive, over 90 percent of properties sold at auction in many low- and moderate-income communities are still entering reo status, presenting an increased risk of blight in the near future. Community managers have noticed a decrease in foreclosures although some areas are doing better than others. Delinquent Assessments at community associations in

Real Estate Activity real estate activity has “increased greatly in the last year compared to the most difficult

economic times of approximately 2008-2013,” according to michael rutkowski, president of Chicago based First Community management. perry adds, “We have seen a significant increase in real-estate activity in the past couple of years, and have been able to add extra staff to our in-house closing department to handle the transactions. it appears that sales prices are up moderately, and there are lower Association balances owed at the closing table.” lieberman management has offices in elk Gove village and Chicago. “While sales prices have generally increased overall from their lowest point in 2009, prices vary quite a bit and are largely dependent on the neighborhood and on the attributes of the property and individual unit, rutkowski adds. Annette Byrd, vice president of Associa Chicagoland which has offices in Schaumburg and Chicago, concurred with rutkowski’s assessment, and added her perspective on their properties in the suburban areas, “that while selling prices and home values have not

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COvER STORy

rebounded as quickly, the increase in sales in the suburban market bodes well for future values.

Real Estate Prices According to Trulia, an online residential real estate site for home buyers, sellers, renters and real estate professionals, the median sales price for homes in Chicago for December 14, 2014 to march 15, 2015 was $212,000. This represents a decline of 11.7%, or $28,000, compared to the prior quarter and an increase of 6.5% compared to the prior year. Trulia also reports that sales prices have appreciated 8.7% over the last 5 years in Chicago. The average price per square foot for Chicago was $192, an increase of 9.1% compared to the same period last year. illinois home prices continued to strengthen in 2015 as the statewide median price experienced a double-digit annual gain in February, marking 30 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases, according to the illinois Association of reAlTorS®. Statewide home sales (including single-

family homes and condominiums) in February 2015 totaled 7,865 homes sold, down 1.7 percent from February 2014 when 8,004 homes sold.

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The statewide median price in February 2015 rose to $149,900, a 13.1 percent gain over February 2014’s statewide median price of $132,500. The median is a typical market

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takes to sell a home are indicators that the housing market is quite robust entering into the busy spring season.”

Inventory & Mortgage Rates lower housing inventory remains a factor in the market with 59,042 homes available for sale, a 4.8 percent decline compared to February 2014. The time it took to sell a home in February was slightly higher at 91 days compared to 88 a year ago. The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the north Central region was 3.68 percent in February 2015, up from 3.66 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home loan mortgage Corp. in February 2014 it averaged 4.32 percent.

More on Sales Prices

price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. “Sellers should definitely be motivated by this market,” said Jim Kinney, ABr, CrB, CrS,

Gri, president of the illinois Association of reAlTorS® and vice president for luxury sales at Baird & Warner in Chicago. “The lower inventories and relatively short time it

in the nine-county Chicago primary metropolitan Statistical Area, home sales (single family and condominiums) in February 2015 totaled 5,611, a decrease of 1.3 percent from the 5,683 sales in February 2014.

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COvER STORy

The iAr states the median price in February of this year in the Chicago primary metropolitan Statistical Area (pmSA) was $175,000, up 12.5 percent from $155,600 in February 2014. “Spring has come earlier than the weather to the housing market with solid gains in prices even with slight declines in monthly and year-over-year sales,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the regional economics Applications laboratory at the university of illinois. “Home buyers seem to be differentiating between regular and foreclosed homes for sale with the former gaining increasing shares of sales over the last year and thus propelling the increase in median prices in both illinois and Chicago.” According to the data, thirty-five (35) counties out of 102 illinois counties reporting recorded sales gains for February 2015 over previous-year numbers, including Tazewell County, up 32.1 percent with 103 units sold, and lake County, up 4.0 percent with 497 units sold. Fifty (50) counties recorded median price gains in February 2015 over previous-year numbers, including Champaign County, up 27.6 percent to $157,000; DeKalb County, up 27.1 percent to $144,950; and Cook County, up 13.2 percent to $172,000. The city of Chicago saw sales of 1,448 homes in February 2015, up 3.9 percent from last year. The median price of a home in Chicago was $212,000, up 21.1 percent over February 2014. “Chicago’s spring buying season is starting strong. in a sign of buyer confidence, year-over-year city sales increased for the first time since last summer despite the low inventory,” said Hugh rider, president of the Chicago Association of reAlTorS® and copresident of realty & mortgage Co. “This is welcome news for potential sellers who might have been tepid about putting their home on the market. Homeowners also can be motivated by median sales prices that continue to top last year’s.” Sales and price information is generated by multiple listing Service closed sales reported by 31 participating illinois reAlTor® local boards and associations including midwest real estate Data llC as of march 8, 2015 for the period of Feb. 1 through Feb. 28, 2015. The Chicago pmSA, as defined by the u.S. Census Bureau, includes the coun-

ties of Cook, DeKalb, Dupage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, lake, mcHenry and Will.

Financial Health of Associations The financial health of community associations can be judged based a variety of factors including the aforementioned ability of resident members to pay their mortgages and assessments, real estate activity and values, the associations’ ability to meet obligations for necessary operating (maintenance) expenses

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and fund capital improvements as well as the actual amount of cash in their capital reserve account. ryan feels that the overall financial health of associations managed by pSi has improved moderately in the past year compared to the most difficult economic times of approximately 2008-2013. “Some have done really well adjusting their budgets while at the same time keeping up with necessary maintecontinued on page 34

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CONDO LIFESTyLES

By: Michael J. Shifrin, Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit

manager licensing:

Taking the Fear out of Being licensed The Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Act was adopted on July 1, 2010 after much anticipation.  

T

he intent, as stated in the Act, was to ensure that those who hold themselves out as possessing professional qualifications to engage in the business of community association management are, in fact, qualified to render management services of a professional nature, and provide for the maintenance of high standards of professional conduct by those licensed to provide community association management services.   The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (Department) is charged with the responsibility of overseeing and implementing the Act, which includes its enforcement.  The Act sets forth twenty-nine separate grounds for disci-

pline and grants the Department authority to place on probation, reprimand, suspend, or revoke any manager’s license that is deemed to have violated the Act.   Tales of witch hunts, uninformed Department investigators and lengthy interviews more akin to interrogations has caused some managers to panic.  Rest assured: The Sky is Not Falling!  Exercising common sense, good judgment, and following my top ten best management practices will reduce the likelihood of run-ins with the Department. 

1. Review an Association’s governing documents before acting. The action the Board intends on taking must be supported and authorized by the Declaration, Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, or a Board Resolution.  Furthermore, the action must comply with the specific procedures to be valid.  There is no “one size fits all” approach to management anymore.  

2. Avoid engaging in the practice of law. Leave the lawyering to the lawyers and we will leave the managing to the managers.  This generally means a manager should avoid drafting anything that contains a legal description or that will be recorded.  It also is best to avoid interpreting statutes, case law, and questions about maintenance responsibility concerns.

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M A N A G E M E N T  TA L k S

3. Consult experts whenever appropriate. Experts include lawyers, accountants, insurance agents, engineers, architects, bankers and the like.  Encourage Boards to utilize experts when faced with difficult decisions to ensure they make educated and informed decisions.

4. Avoid conflicts of interest. Bypass obtaining a quote for one of your Associations from the painting company whose owner is your boyfriend.  The likely outcome in the event his company is hired will be allegations of kickbacks and wrongdoing by the manager.

5. Conduct oneself in a professional manner at all times. As tempting as it may be to scream at the unit owner in the front row that continually interrupts the Board during its open meeting, do not.  Professionalism requires managers and industry professionals to maintain their composure in all situations.

6. Always consider the Association’s best interest before acting.

9. Keep your license current at all times. This requires paying annual dues, attending necessary management education courses and reporting to the Department such information in a timely manner to prevent jeopardizing one’s license.

Situations may arise in which a manager’s best interest conflicts with that of the Association.  The Association must have its interests placed first for the betterment and wellbeing of its members.

10. Avoid drug and alcohol use while performing management services.

7. Promptly notify the Board if a mistake is made and timely correct it. We are all human and mistakes can occur despite our greatest effort.  Accepting responsibility, communicating openly and fixing it is prudent.

8. Respond to inquiries from the Department timely and honestly.

Save your Appletini or single malt Scotch until the end of the day after the close of business when you can really kick back and enjoy it.   Although chances are good most managers will receive a complaint against them at some point during their career, due to the nature of our industry, exercising common sense and good judgment and following the top ten best management practices listed above will reduce the likelihood of having disciplinary action taken against you. Y

Delaying a response or misrepresenting information to the Department is an easy way to invite a complaint and investigation.

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CONDO LIFESTyLES

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CONDO LIFESTyLES

By: Christopher M. Heintskill, Esq. – Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC Howard S. Dakoff, Esq. – Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC

Condominium Board Service:

Demystifying Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims If anyone has ever served as a board member for a condominium association, chances are that he or she has heard the term “fiduciary duty” associated with their service. In Illinois, all members of a condominium board serve as fiduciaries  for  unit  owners  and  the  association,  and  if  a  board  member  acts  in  a manner inconsistent with his or her fiduciary duty, liability could ensue.    

B

ut what does it mean to owe a fiduciary duty to unit owners? Simply put, it means that each individual board member must fulfill his or her duties with reasonable care, diligence, good faith, and judgment by complying with the association’s declaration and bylaws and applicable statutes. While that may sound like common sense, in the real world, not everything will fall into a black or white category. indeed, a

condominium declaration rarely, if ever, addresses every issue that the board will encounter. it is the grey areas of your governing documents that will present problems. For example, if a condominium declaration is unclear on cost responsibility between the unit owner and association, and the Board elects to assess the unit owner, does that decision expose the individual board members to liability for breach of fiduciary duty if the

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owner sues and a court finds in his or her favor? or how about if the board defers making common-element repairs that results in water damages to a unit? And what if it relied on the advice of the condominium’s attorney in making its decision? Does that reliance exonerate the board members from liability? These are the questions that can confound boards of directors and make it difficult for them to fully appreciate the legal issues surrounding their actions. This article highlights basic principles surrounding the otherwise amorphous breach of fiduciary duty concepts.

1. The Law The affairs of a condominium association are controlled by the illinois Condominium property Act (the “Condominium

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BOARD BASICS

Act”). Specifically, secIndividual board members cannot condominium’s declaration and by-laws, and (ii) tion 18.4 of the Act proself-deal. They cannot refuse to send resulting decisions to be vides that “[i]n the performance of their duties, a unit owner who fails to pay assess- made in the best interests of the association as the officers and members of the board, whether ments to collections simply because a whole and not for the benefit of any one particappointed by the developer a board member may be friends with ular unit owner or group or elected by the unit owners, shall exercise the the unit owner. And they cannot of unit owners. individual board care required of a fiduciary of the unit owners.” direct building personnel or man- members cannot selfdeal. They cannot refuse illinois courts have agement to refuse to perform serv- to send a unit owner construed the fiduciary duty in section 18.4 to ices for an owner because of a per- who fails to pay assessments to collections require board members simply because a board to “act in a manner reasonnel grievance. member may be friends sonably related to the with the unit owner. And they cannot direct exercise of that duty [where] the failure to do so building personnel or management to refuse results in liability for the board and its indito perform services for an owner because of a vidual members.”1 personnel grievance. What the Condominium Act and illinois The policy considerations for making courts require of individual board members boards of director’s fiduciaries of unit owners are (i) reasonable, uniform applications of the 1

Wolinsky v. Kadison, 114 ill.App.3d 527, 533 (1st Dist. 1983)

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2

are obvious: boards make decisions that affect other unit owners, including their property rights and, often, their money. unit owners are beholden to those decisions, and boards of directors cannot be provided with unfettered powers with no checks in place or standards by which board actions are governed.

2. The Business Judgment Rule and Advice of Counsel Whether a board of directors is applying the declaration and bylaws in such a way as to not breach the applicable fiduciary duty is often difficult to assess. Fortunately, not all mistakes will subject a board to liability. under the business judgment rule, “absent evidence of bad faith, fraud, illegality, or gross overreaching, courts are not at liberty to interfere with the exercise of business judgment of corporate directors.”2 As the illinois Appellate Court explained, “the purpose of this rule is to protect directors who have been diligent and careful in performing their duties

Goldberg v. Astor plaza Condo. Ass’n, 2012 il App (1st) 110620, ¶ 63 (citations omitted)

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CONDO LIFESTyLES

from being subjected to Board members sometimes wrongly Directors and officers liability insurance carrier liability from honest misbelieve that they cannot be held per- for defense-cost coverage. takes of judgment.”3 But the business sonally liable because of common Depending on the facts alleged in a lawsuit, the judgment rule can only be applied if the board clauses in condominium by-laws that insurance carrier will defend the lawsuit on members exercise due provide protection from liability for behalf of the board memcare in carrying out their corporate duties. acts carried out on behalf of associa- bers. nonetheless, a So how can board members demonstrate tions that do not rise to the level of breach of fiduciary lawsuit could result in indithat they exercised due fraud or intentional or willful acts. vidual liability for board care in carrying out their members if the facts and evidence establish duties? one clear way is to seek out and act misconduct. Board members sometimes on the advice of counsel, which will shield the wrongly believe that they cannot be held perboard from liability if the board seeks legal sonally liable because of common clauses in advice before reaching its decision and in fact condominium by-laws that provide protection relies on that advice.4 from liability for acts carried out on behalf of 3. Defense of associations that do not rise to the level of Lawsuits fraud or intentional or willful acts. When board members are sued for Typically, however, these so-called “exculbreach of fiduciary duty, the first step is to patory clauses” do not apply to relieve board turn the lawsuit over to the association’s 3

4

id.

members from potential liability for breach of fiduciary duty because, in such claims, there is a presumption of common-law constructive fraud, which will not be covered under an exculpatory clause. Therefore, board members should consult professionals when making controversial decisions.

4. Conclusion So while it may seem daunting to understand and navigate around the legal nuances of a board member’s fiduciary duty, the Act, the courts, and an association’s own declaration and by-laws provide clarity on the issue. Board members should be aware that it is rare that the facts will ultimately result in individual liability of board members for breach of fiduciary duty. nonetheless, board members need to also be aware of and understand the potential pit falls of their decisions and exercise due care to avoid breaching their fiduciary duties to unit owners. Y

palm v. 2800 lake Shore Drive Condo. Ass’n, 2014 il App (1st) 111290, ¶ 31 (citations omitted)

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S P E C I A L   F E AT U R E

By Michael C. Davids

New Insurance Requirements in Condo Act There have been several significant changes in the requirements for all insurance policies issued to condominium associations in Illinois after June 1, 2015. 

I

llinois Senate Bill 3014 amended Section 12 of the Illinois Condominium Property Act and was signed into law in late summer of 2014 and takes effect June 1, 2015. If you have not already checked to make sure your association’s insurance policies are in compliance with the new statue, now is the time. A summary of the changes follows:

Director’s and Officer’s Liability Prior to June 1, 2015 - Boards were required to purchase Director’s and Officer’s Liability insurance. The liability coverage had to extend to all contracts   and other actions taken by the board in their official capacity as

directors and officers.    After June 1, 2015 – the legislature expanded on what contracts and actions that must be covered by expressly requiring that all directors and officers liability coverage include: (1) defense of non-monetary actions (such as a cease and desist order, injunction, or declaratory judgment), (2) defense of breach of contract and (3) defense of decisions related to the placement or adequacy of insurance. The new law also defines who is to be covered under the policy and includes past, present and future board members while acting in their capacity as members of the Board, as well as the managing agent and employees of the Board or its managing agent. Nancy Ayers who is Senior Managing Director

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04.15

of the Insurance Division of Mesirow Financial, recommends purchasing a stand-alone (individual) Director and Officer Liability policy to comply with this requirement.  “Director and Officer Liability policies that are included as part of a package policy, may not.” She adds, “Many of the coverage forms that are endorsed to policies already covering the Property and Liability would not include the broad coverage required by this language.”

Increased Cost of Construction Current law requires associations to carry “Increased Cost of Construction” coverage. Under the new law, their responsibility increases. CA Boards will have to carry “Increased Cost of Construction and Demolition” coverage in an amount that will be no less than 10 percent of each insured building value or $500,000, whichever is less.  Prior to June 1, 2015 - Buildings were required

CONDO LIFESTyLES

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CONDO LIFESTyLES

to include coverage for the increased costs of construction due to building code requirements. An amount was not specified in the requirements.  After June 1, 2015 - Buildings are required to purchase coverage sufficient to rebuild the insured property in compliance with building code requirements subsequent to an insured loss. The ordinance coverage must include Coverage B Demolition Costs, and Coverage C Increased Cost of Construction. The combined total of Coverage B

and Coverage C shall be no less than 10% of the building value, or $500,000 whichever is less.  Ayers said about this change that, “This will effect smaller buildings that may be carrying a policy with a limit of less than $500,000 for building ordinance Coverage B and Coverage C.” She continued, “Buildings with a replacement cost of $5,000,000 or more need to carry a minimum of $500,000 of coverage for B and C.  Buildings with a replacement cost of less than $5,000,000 will need to carry 10% of their replacement value. For example, a building that is valued at $2,000,000, would need to carry $200,000.”

Improvements and Betterments The definition of “Improvements and Betterments” is expanded. Association policies do not

have to cover improvements and betterments, but if they do, any increased cost may be charged to the affected units.  “Improvements and Betterments” was already defined under the insurance portion of the ICPA to mean all decorating, fixtures, and furnishings installed or added to and located within the boundaries of the unit, including electrical fixtures, appliances, air conditioning, and heating equipment, water heaters, or built in cabinets installed by unit owners.  According to Ayers, “This was expanded to include:  ‘or any other additions, alterations, or upgrades installed or purchased by any unit owner.’” She adds, “This helps to clarify that any improvement or betterment made by a current or past unit owner would not be covered by the association insurance.” Ayers also said that, “The last change has to do with the mandatory liability insurance rule.” Prior to June 1, 2015 - If a unit owner did not purchase insurance, the board had the option to purchase insurance and charge the premium back to the uninsured unit owner.  “This was removed from the act effective June 1, 2015.” She concluded. Y

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INDUSTRy HAPPENINGS

Frost, Ruttenberg and Rothblatt, P.C.

Y Shown here are (from L to R) Amanda Paton, Kim Waite and Steve Silberman. Frost, Ruttenberg and Rothblatt, P.C. (“Frost”) recently celebrated its 60th anniversary. Since 1955, Frost has been providing audit, accounting, tax and consulting services. More than 37 years ago, Frost began specializing in Condominium and Homeowners Associations and today is proud to be providing its services to over 400 Associations. To commemorate this anniversary, Frost has redesigned its logo and brand name; with its new “simply call us Frost” campaign. Frost’s more than 100 employees gathered this January, along with Mayor Rosenthal of Deerfield, to pay tribute to its three founding Partners and to reflect upon its many achievements over the years. Among the firm’s most recent accomplishments, Frost has been awarded the Chicago Tribune’s Top 100 Places to Work and the Sloan Award for Excellence in the Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility.

industry happenings

FirstService Residential

FirstService Residential recently announced that in 2015, the company had added 14 new accounts, adding over 3,000 additional units to their portfolio. “Our presence has strengthened in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood, with the addition of Acorn Lofts, and the Trio Master Association and sub-associations,” said Asa Sherwood, President of FirstService. “The suburbs continue to be a huge opportunity with the addition of several communities in Naperville, Buffalo Grove, and Plainfield,” Sherwood added. FirstService Residential was also recently named managing agent for Michigan Avenue Lofts, a vintage highrise condominium located in Chicago’s Historic Michigan Boulevard District that consists of 260 units. Michigan Avenue Lofts was originally built in 1911, and was home to Standard Oil Company’s headquarters. In 2000, the building was converted into upscale loft condominiums and due to the U-shape design provides a large opening facing south which brings in lots of light to the community. “We are thrilled the original onsite management staff, Mary Daniels and Shonda Story, have joined the FirstService Residential family,” Sherwood concluded. “They are a great addition to our team and continue to deliver exceptional service to the Michigan Avenue Lofts community and its residents.”

Keough & Moody, P.C.

Attorney Gabriella Comstock of Keough & Moody, P.C. was formally admitted into the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL) during a ceremony on Friday, January 30, 2015 at the CAI Law Seminar in San Francisco.  CCAL is a prestigious group of attorneys practicing community association law in the United States. Fewer than 150 attorneys have been granted membership in the College. Keough & Moody, P.C. is also proud to welcome Jonathan Wassell to its team of attorneys.

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04.15

CONDO LIFESTyLES

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CONDO LIFESTyLES

industry happenings CARUSO MANAGEMENT GROUP & CIRACONNECT

Caruso Management Group Inc and CiraConnect recently announced that they have teamed up for a strategic partnership in the Community Association Management industry to form “Caruso Management Group, Inc. Powered by CiraConnect.” Since its inception in 2002, Caruso Management Group has year after year grown its client base serving the suburbs of Chicago. “CiraConnect provides us with a cloud-based program and back office support which enhances our level of service to our clients as well as an integrated and comprehensive tool for our managers.” says Marcia Caruso, CEO, Caruso Management Group. “The efficiency and support we now have with CiraConnect will allow us to continue to expand our client base.” About Caruso Management Group Caruso Management Group, Inc. is a leader in the field of Community Association Management and is recognized as a reputable and dependable firm. CMG’s founding partner, Ms. Marcia Caruso, brings extensive experience specifically in the industry of Association Management. Ms. Caruso is a prominent speaker in the industry and has been instructing managers for over three decades in all phases of Property Management. Furthermore, the combined skills and experiences of our employees and the resources available to us allow our company to accommodate the variety of needs and

requirements of our clients while staying focused and committed to each Association’s goals. About CiraConnect CiraConnect is a software-as-a-service and on-demand shared services platform that serves community association management companies, self-managed associations, and community association developers across the United States with flexible, high-quality, and comprehensive back-office services via a secure web portal and app ecosystem.

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Forum

Baum PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

Professional Community Management

After introducing legislation in February of this year that increases renewable energy standards, state Representative Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, hosted a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Forum with state Representative Ann M. Williams, D-Chicago. Over 60 attendees joined the discussion which featured Jennifer Walling, Executive Director of the Illinois Environmental Council. “Energy efficiency, green technology and renewable energy are all things we need to confront for future generations,” Feigenholtz said. “These initiatives will create over 30,000 jobs annually in our state and having such an engaged audience for this event demonstrates how people in the district are concerned and want to have an impact on the environment.” Participants in the forum learned about energy saving techniques and upcoming energy policy initiatives.

Ideas for improved energy efficiency included unplugging unused electrical devices and replacing older windows and doors to keep warm air inside.

Last year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released Clean Power Plan regulations which set new renewable energy standards for each state. The Illinois Environmental Council believes that the state of Illinois can meet these standards within existing laws by modifying them. “Initiating new energy saving techniques will have a tangible impact on our environment in Illinois and beyond,” Feigenholtz said. “Thank you to the Illinois Environmental Council for putting this program together, and to all of the attendees for your input and passion for making Illinois green.”

C O N TA C T

Michael D. Baum, CPM, PCAM

630-897-0500 www.BaumProp.com

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INDUSTRy HAPPENINGS

Community Specialists

Community Specialists recently made the following announcements: Natalie Drapac has been hired to manage 900/910 Lake Shore Drive Condominium Association. Megan Medoza is the new Assistant Manager and Molly Trogdon is Administrative Assistant. John Hancko has returned to Community Specialists as Property Manager for The Grand Ohio. Sandra Farrell was promoted to Property Manager and Alana Devine was hired as an Assistant Manager for the Aqua at Lakeshore East Condominiums. Scott Pearlstein has moved to 4343 Clarendon Condominiums as the Assistant Manager. Cortney Cox is joining the team at South Commons Phase 1 as the new Property Manager. Cortney comes to this large and complex project with valuable prior experience as a portfolio Manager. Kate Murphy has taken a position as Property Manager for the 1000 Plaza Condominium Association to replace Lynn Winters who will be retiring. Best wishes to both Kate and Lynn as they embark on their new roles. We congratulate Andrew Warner for being assigned as Senior Supervisor for our newest properties, Streeterville Center and James Kilmer House Carl Sandburg Village No. 7, in addition to continuing to supervise Park Newberry and The Aqua at Lakeshore East.

MCD Golf & Bocce Outing

New Assignments Community Specialists was named managing agent for the Streeterville Center Condominium Association as of January 1, 2015, as well as, James/ Kilmer House Condominium Association at Carl Sandburg Village. Property employees that have joined Community Specialists at these properties are; John Hutul, Property Manager for Streeterville Center, Tom Kristufek, Property Manager, Nichelle McFarlin, Assistant Manager, John Zissus, Accounting and Larry Byrne, Administrative Assistant at James/Kilmer House. Award Recognition Joan Rabe was the recipient of the Community Specialists Directors Cup Award for 2014. The award is given to Joan in recognition of her willingness to take on any accounting project or assist with all types of tasks. She is a great asset to the C.S accounting team. James LaChapelle was awarded the Excellence in Leadership Award in recognition of his assistance on the LSE licensing several Community Specialists properties faced. Dorey Carvalho and Melissa Martinez from The Grand Ohio received the 2014 Kathy Patton Award. The Kathy Patton award is given each year to C.S. employees that provide outstanding contributions to one of more C. S. properties. We acknowledge their contribution to The Grand Ohio for their friendly, courteous and professional attitude in this very busy on-site office. Dorey and Melissa have been with C.S for nearly 8 years and 7 years respectively.

ABOMA Manager's Night Out

Diversey Harbor Lakeview Association

A well-attended and information-packed Winter,2015 Leadership Conference that was held in February of this year, launched the Diversey Harbor Lakeview Association’s (“Diversey Harbor”) 20th year of service to the coalition of high-rise residential complexes which are home to more than 11,000 residents along a three-mile stretch of Chicago’s north lakefront. Hosted by the 2800 Lake Shore Drive Condominium Association, and chaired by Diversey Harbor’s executive Director, Gene Fisher, the Conference was attended by delegates from the leadership of building associations in the 43rd and 44th Wards. The delegates focused their attention upon three principal issues: impactful legislation, nearby construction projects and community outreach initiatives. Legislation Issues The delegates took note of three legislative matters, the first of which was the year-end 2014 deadline for compliance with Chicago’s Life Safety Ordinance. Diversey Harbor had advocated the Ordinance’s passage in 2005, has been its strong supporter ever since, and its members’ compliance has been favorably recognized by the Chicago Tribune. Next addressed was Illinois’ recently enacted Ombudsman Bill. Although opposed to the measure’s original version, the delegates were appreciative of Representative Feigenholtz’ efforts to fashion the Bill’s much improved final version, which shifted emphasis from needless controls to unit owner education, eliminated the tax on condo owners to fund a new bureaucracy, and established safeguards against unwarranted bureaucratic intrusions. Importantly, the third issue was Illinois’ Senate Bill (SB) 2664, an attempt by special interests to deny condo associations the fair recovery of their foreclosure-related expenses. The delegates applauded all of the condo owners who made their voices heard in response to Diversey Harbor’s Call To Action, and significantly contributed to the Bill’s rejection.

The annual MCD Golf & Bocce outing will be held on Friday, July 17, 2015 at Eaglewood Resort in Itasca, IL. For more information visit www.condolifestyles.net. You can view photos from last years MCD Golf & Bocce outing at www.facebook/com/mcd media.

Y Pictured above are (LtoR): Sheila Byrne -The Habitat Company, Kate Brandise -Sudler Property Management, John Bieg - Draper and Kramer, Inc., Christine Friend - Community Specialists, and Brian Lozell - Seneca Real Estate Advisors. ABOMA held their Manager's Night Out program on March 5 at Marcello's in Chicago. ABOMA's next event is their Anchors Away event being held on September 10th at Navy Pier. For more information visit www.aboma.com

The delegates were informed of the frequently heard rumors that the special interests had not conceded, and were preparing to repeat their assault this year. Because of the possible need to mount another defensive effort, it was reported that Diversey Harbor has been working to strengthen our defenses by exploring collaborative efforts with other homeowner groups.

THE SOURCE FOR INFORMATION ON INDUSTRY NEWS AND TRENDS

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CONDO LIFESTyLES

17


CONDO LIFESTyLES

From the Editor

T

CondoLifestyles

®

April 2015 | volume 19 | numBer 1 editor & publisher Michael C. Davids vice president Sherri Iandolo Art Director Rick Dykhuis Special events Coordinator Mary Knoll Contributing Writers Pamela Dittmer McKuen, Jim Fizzell, David Mack, and Cathy Walker Circulation Arlene Wold Administration Cindy Jacob and Carol Iandolo Condo Lifestyles magazine is published quarterly by mCD media, a wholly owned subsidiary mCD marketing Associates, inc. For editorial, advertising and subscription information contact: 935 Curtiss Street, Suite 5, Downers Grove, il 60515. 630-932-5551 or 630-202-3006. Circulation: Condo Lifestyles is available for a single issue price of $8.95 or at a $30.00 annual subscription. Distribution is direct mailing and delivery direct through authorized distributors to over 5,000 officers and directors of Common interest Communities, 800 property managers, 400 realtors, 400 developers and 400 public officials. Total Circulation is 9,500. Condo Lifestyles attempts to provide its readership with a wide range of information on community associations, and when appropriate, differing opinions on community association issues. All material herein is copyrighted 2015. No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. it is issued with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal or accounting services. if legal advice is required, services should be sought. Advertisers assume liability for all content of advertisements printed, and also assume personal liability for any claims arising therefrom against the publisher relating to advertising content. The publisher and editors reserve the right to reject advertising or editorial deemed inappropriate for the publication.

his past winter was a lot like the winter of last year in that we had long stretches of extreme cold and plenty of snow and ice events (approximately 50 inches of snow this year compared to over 80 inches last year). This past winter also continued all the way through March and Y Mike Davids even gave us a significant late season snow. Similarly, exterior projects have gotten off to a slow start this season just as last year.  We’ve had enough pleasant days to get some of the preliminary work necessary for exterior projects done this spring. However, there seems to be even more urgency this year to get projects started. According to managers that we spoke to, even more major projects are being undertaken this year. Let’s hope we enjoy some seasonable temperatures as spring moves along. Pleasant weather tends to make people act more pleasant toward others and of course, we need good weather to help get more outside work done.  Our cover story explores the financial health of Chicagoland associations and points out that improving economic conditions are evidenced by the surge in major projects that are being planned. We asked several managers, a banker and an engineer/consultant to share their perspective on the financial health of associations they are involved with and their general consensus is that the financial picture for most associations is improving and that more major projects are being undertaken as a result.  Our second story provides some great advice for managers on how to avoid having a complaint filed in connection with the Community Manager Licensing & Disciplinary Act. According to most industry pundits, if you are a property manager the likelihood is great that at some point in your career, you will have a complaint filed against you (and most will be dismissed, so they say). The managers that we spoke to that have had a complaint filed against them contend they are baseless, difficult to fight and only filed by a disgruntled resident that couldn’t get their own way. Board members that we spoke to on this subject said they were too unfamiliar with the process to know if it’s fair but said they are glad that a path of recourse against violators exists. There will undoubtedly be more to come on this subject. An article in our Money Matters column asks managers and their associations to take a closer look at their list of delinquent assessments. This article reveals that with a careful review and cross referencing your delinquencies with your collection list you may find items that can and should be removed for one of several reasons. Our Board Basics column this issue offers condominium board members an overview of what is involved with a “Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim.” The article covers the law on this subject, the business judgement rule, advice of counsel, and defense of lawsuits in this regard. A good understanding of each of these areas is very important for all board members. Our Guest Editorial column features a tongue in cheek list of things that boards should do to guarantee that an association will incur problems with water leaks, water infiltrations, plumbing back-ups, burst pipes and related headaches at your association. With this past winter’s bitter cold, a number of properties had to deal with a frozen or burst pipe and water damage issues first hand. For those who have not had the pleasure, this article should particularly helpful. Inside this issue we again offer our regular Industry Happenings column and highlights from a variety of special events.  A special thank you to everyone who attended our Condo Lifestyles’/Condolympics event on March 13th. The over $3000 raised in donations at this event benefit Special Olympics Illinois.     Upcoming MCD special events include our annual golf outing, which will be held on July 17 and a luncheon in the Million Room at Arlington International Racecourse on August 27. If your association(s) has a special need or challenge, there will be a variety of experts specializing in community association issues including many members of our advisory board who will attend these events. MCD special events provide a terrific forum for association leaders to get questions answered, meet new vendors, share a story idea, or socialize with other volunteers and professionals. Thanks to the many new subscribers that have found our publication useful and informative. Special thanks to the firms, associations and groups that are Authorized Distributors of Condo Lifestyles. Those of you who are not current subscribers can find subscription information at www.condolifestyles.net  We encourage you to take this opportunity to make your association and your community all it can be. If you have an idea that would benefit other Community Associations, a success story to share, or some advice on how to avoid a problem or failure, please call our office at 630-932-5551. you can also send us an email (mdavids@condolifestyles.net). Y

Michael C. Davids Editor and publisher

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SERvICE DIRECTORy

ACCOUNTANTS CANTEY ASSOCIATES, CPA’S (630) 681-9400 ANNUAL ACCOUNTING SERVICES:

Audits Reviews Compilations Income Taxes Board of Directors Training Monthly Services: Collection of Assessments Paying of Bills Monthly Financial Statements Consulting for Developer Turnover  and Major projects

ARCHITECTS/ENGINEERS

ATTORNEYS

FULL CIRCLE ARCHITECTS, LLC (847) 432-7114

KEOUGH & MOODY, P.C. (630) 369-2700

Daniel Baigelman, AIA dan@fullcirclearchitects.com Capital Improvements • Reserve Studies Engineering Reports www.fullcirclearchitects.com

www.canteycpa.com

MICHAEL J. COCHRANE, CPA (847) 301-0377

J. HERSHEY ARCHITECTURE (847) 549-5900 Evaluations/Bid Repair Specifications/Reserve Studies

www.jhersheyarchitecture.com

Specializing in Accounting Services for Homeowner Associations.

KELLERMEYER GODFRYT & HART, P.C. (847) 318-0033

CONDO CPA (630) 832-2222 EXT 113

Investigations and Repair  Documents for: Exterior Walls, Windows, Roofs,  and Parking Garages Condition Surveys and Reserve Studies www.kghpc.com

CONTACT BRAD SCHNEIDER Brad@CondoCPA.com CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS

Accounting Solutions for Management  Companies & Self-Managed Associations Audit & Accounting Services Income Tax Reduction & Planning

SUPERIOR RESERVE ENGINEERING AND CONSULTANTS

CUKIERSKI & KOWAL, LLC

(888) 688-4560

CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS

www.superiorreserve.com

(847) 496-7180

Legal Representation for  Community Associations www.kmlegal.com

LAW OFFICES OF KEAY & COSTELLO (630) 690-6446 pcostello@keaycostello.com www.keaycostello.com

KOVITZ SHIFRIN NESBIT (855) 537-0500 Community Association Law,  Property Tax Appeals, Landlord/Tenant Law, Cooperatives, Collections, Litigation,  Business/Corporate Law,  Construction Defects, Code violations www.ksnlaw.com

LEVENFELD PEARLSTEIN, LLC 312-476-7556 Howard Dakoff  /  hdakoff@lplegal.com www.lplegal.com

BALCONY REPAIR

A full-service accounting firm speacilizing in the unique needs of homeowners associations.

WALDMAN ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS (630) 922-3000

www.ckwcpa.com

24 HOURS

www.waldmaneng.com

FROST, RUTTENBERG & ROTHBLATT, P.C. (847) 282-6340

THE RESTORATION GROUP (630) 231-5700

ATTORNEYS

Structural Repair Services Balcony Repair/Replacement Stair Tower Repair/Replacement Fire and Water Response/Restoration dwells@trgrestore.com www.trgrestore.com

Contact:  Steve Silberman, CPA

DICKLER, KAHN, SLOWIKOWSKI & ZAVELL, LTD. (847) 593-5595

ARCHITECTS/ENGINEERS

www.dicklerlaw.com

BANKING

CODER TAYLOR ASSOCIATES

FULLETT ROSENLUND ANDERSON, P.C. (847) 259-5100

ALLIANCE ASSOCIATION BANK (815) 342-4228 / (888) 734-4567

CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS

coder@codertaylor.com

(847) 382-4100 “We Specialize in Emergency Repairs” Architects • Research • Engineering Specifications • Reserve Studies

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2015©.

Full service banking and lending solutions for management companies and associations. cfinck@AllianceAssociationBank.com www.AllianceAssociationBank.com

www.frapc.com

04.15

CONDO LIFESTyLES

19


CONDO LIFESTyLES

BANKING

BUILDING RESTORATIONS

CONCRETE

ITASCA BANK & TRUST (630) 773-0350

HOLTON BROTHERS, INC.

SUNDEK OF ILLINOIS (847) 392-3939

“Together We’ll Shape the Future” www.itascabank.com

COMMUNITY ADVANTAGE, A WINTRUST COMPANY (847) 304-5940 Loans, Reserve Investments & Lock Box Services www.communityadvantage.com

Masonry Repair Services, Tuckpointing, Caulking and Concrete Restoration

(847) 253-3886 TEL / (847) 253-3255 FAX John@holtonbrothers.com www.holtonbrothers.com

LS CONTRACTING GROUP, INC. T (773) 279-1122 F (773) 279-1133 Contact: Tom Laird tlaird@lscontrtacting.com www.lscontracting.com

CONCRETE RAISING

QUALITY RESTORATIONS (630) 595-0990

We Save Concrete, you Save Money! www.SaveConcrete.com

MUTUAL OF OMAHA BANK (866) 800-4656

CRC CONCRETE RAISING & REPAIR (847) 336-3400

HOA Banking • Internet Cash Management HOA Loans • Online Payment Services www.mutualofomahabank.com

BUILDING RESTORATIONS

We resurface Concrete We remove & pour Concrete Waterproof Membranes Pool Decks • Balconies • Rooftops Shower & Locker Rooms “The Only 1 Stop Service since 1967” JaykZ33@yahoo.com www.Sundek.com

CARPET CLEANING ATJ'S HOME IMPROVEMENTS (630) 432-3238 www.atjshomeimprovement.com

SITE MAINTENANCE, INC. (847) 697-1077

DONE JUST RIGHT INC. 630-893-0757

www.sitemaintinc.com

www.djrcleaning.com Email: mcorliss@djrcleaning.com

BRAL RESTORATION, LLC. (847) 839-1100 Masonry and Concrete Restoration www.bralrestoration.com

DAKOTA EVANS RESTORATION, INC. (847) 439-5367 Tuckpointing  ~  Masonry Repairs Waterproofing  ~  Terra Cotta Repairs Caulking & Sealants  ~  Structual Repairs Cleaning  ~  Balcony Restoration Concrete Restoration www.dakotaevans.com

FORUM GROUP, INC. (773) 732-3051 www.ForumGroupInc.com

CONCRETE

DOORS

FM&J ASPHALT PAVING, INC. (708) 544-6700 / (630) 279-0303 Concrete & Asphalt Paving Pavers & Color Stamping Drainage Systems & Sewer Repairs Sealcoating, Crack Filling & Striping www.fmjasphalt.com

WOODLAND WINDOWS & DOORS 630-529-DOOR (3667) Window and Related Masonry Interior & Exterior Doors | Siding & Gutters www.woodlandwindows.com

HARD SURFACE SOLUTIONS (630) 916-8005 / (847) 838-6610

DUCT CLEANING

Concrete Flatwork Specialists | Asphalt Paving Curbs & Driveways | Sidewalks Footings & Foundations Colored Concrete | Stamped Concrete Aggregate Finish Concrete Parking Structure Maintenance & Repair

AIRWAYS SYSTEMS, INC. 630-595-4242

Contact Tom Frye

Cleaning: Air/Laundry/Toilet Exhaust Ducts, Coils, Trash Chutes, Parking Garages. Also Air Filters, Belts www.airwayssytems.com

www.hsshardsurfacesolutions.com

GOLF CONSTRUCTION (219) 933-3420 www.golfconstruction.net

DONE JUST RIGHT INC. 630-893-0757 www.djrcleaning.com Email: mcorliss@djrcleaning.com

For Display or Professional Services Directory Advertising Info, Call (630) 202-3006 20                               C O N D O   L I F E S T y L E S         04.15

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2015©.


SERvICE DIRECTORy

ELEVATORS/CONSULTANTS

FIRE/FLOOD RESTORATION

SMART ELEVATORS CO. (630) 544-6829

GENESIS CONSTRUCTION, INC. (847) 895-4422

www.smartelevatorsco.com smartin@smartelevatorsco.com

www.genesisconstruction.com

SUBURBAN ELEVATOR CO. 847-743-6200

QCI RESTORATION (847) 891-2929 (866) 832-6724

Simplifying vertical Transportation Contact: Max Molinaro www.suburbanelevator.com

www.trgrestore.com

WESTSIDE MECHANICAL GROUP (630) 618-0608 / (630) 369-6690

FIRE SAFETY & PROTECTION

Serving the Tri-State Area Since 1970 Contact: Jackie Loftis * jloftis@wsmech.com www.wsmech.com

CONTECH MSI CO. (847) 483-3803

EMCOR SERVICES TEAM MECHANICAL FIRE PROTECTION DIvISION (847) 229-7600

Natural Gas & Electric Energy Reliable Service. People you Trust. Contact: Vickie Farina Vickie.Farina@centerpointenergy.com www.CenterPointEnergy.com/CES

OCEANS ENERGY (312) 870-0580 info@oceanscc.com www.oceanscc.com

www.emcortmi.com

NORTHERN ILLINOIS FIRE SPRINKLER ADVISORY BOARD (NIFSAB) (866) 2NIFSAB (866-264-3722) 708-403-4468 www.firesprinklerassoc.org

All types of environmental cleaning. (708) 396-1477 | www.bbsteamatic.com

HVAC ALTHOFF INDUSTRIES (312) 332-5700

EMCOR SERVICES TEAM MECHANICAL (847) 229-7600 www.emcortmi.com

AMS MECHANICAL SYSTEMS, INC. (800) 794-5033 24 Hour Service HvAC • Industrial Refrigeration Service/Maintenance • Systems Integration Energy Management • Electrical Process Piping • Plumbing www.amsmechanicalsystems.com

WESTSIDE MECHANICAL GROUP (630) 618-0608 / (630) 369-6690 Serving the Tri-State Area Since 1970 Contact: Jackie Loftis * jloftis@wsmech.com www.wsmech.com

FIRE/FLOOD RESTORATION BROUWER BROS. STEAMATIC (800) CLEAN54

(708) 396-1477 www.bbsteamatic.com

Mechanical - Plumbing - Electrical - Building Automation www.althoffind.com

Fire Detection & Signaling Systems Fire Alarm Systems Chicago Life Safety Evaluation Solutions Security Systems/CCTv Card Access Systems www.contechco.com

CENTERPOINT ENERGY SOLUTIONS (630) 795-2594

cgallagher@directfitnesssolutions.com www.directfitnesssolutions.com

BROUWER BROS. STEAMATIC (800) CLEAN54

THE RESTORATION GROUP, LLC (630) 870-0658

ENERGY SOLUTIONS

DIRECT FITNESS SOLUTIONS (847) 680-9300

GARBAGE CHUTE CLEANING

www.QCIrestoration.com

ENERGY USE/BENCHMARKING

FITNESS SOLUTIONS

SIMPLEX GRINNELL (630) 948-1235 Fire Alarm / Sprinkler Systems Fire Pumps / Extinguishers Fire Panel Monitoring Installation / Testing / Maintenance 24/7 Service: (630) 948-1200 www.simplexgrinnell.com

THE YMI GROUP, INC. (847) 258-4650 Mechanical - Plumbing Building Automation - Service www.ymimechanical.com

For Display or Professional Services Directory Advertising Info, Call (630) 202-3006 No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2015©.

04.15

CONDO LIFESTyLES

21


CONDO LIFESTyLES

H V A C CLEANING

LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS

BROUWER BROS. STEAMATIC (800) CLEAN54

BALANCED ENVIRONMENTS, INC. (847) 395-7120 | (630) 916-8830

All types of environmental cleaning. (708) 396-1477 | www.bbsteamatic.com

www.BalancedEnvironmentsInc.com

MAILBOXES MAILBOX WORKS (630) 355-9989/(773) 528-3111 Large variety of Commercial and Residential Mailboxes Intercoms and Tele-Entry Address Signage & Engraved Nameplates Installation Services Since 1989

INSURANCE

CHRISTY WEBBER LANDSCAPES (773) 533-0477

HOLLINGER SERVICES, INC. (847) 437-2184 Property Casualty • Employee Benefits Workers Compensation www.HollingerInsurance.com

ILT VIGNOCCHI (847) 487-5200 www.iltvignocchi.com

MESIROW FINANCIAL (312) 595-8135

LANDSCAPE CONCEPTS MANAGEMENT, INC. (847) 223-3800

Nancy Ayers www.condorisk.com

OCEANS ADVISORS (312) 508-3032 info@oceansadvisors.com www.oceansadvisors.com

www.MailboxWorks.com

NON PROFIT/EDUCATION ABOMA (312) 902-2266 ABOMA1@aol.com www.aboma.com

ACTHA (312) 987-1906 Association of Condominium, Townhouse and Homeowners Associations

actha@actha.org | www.actha.org

www.landscapeconcepts.com

SEBERT LANDSCAPING, INC. (630) 497-1000

COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION INSTITUTE OF ILLINOIS (847) 301-7505 info@cai-illinois.org | www.cai-illinois.org

www.sebert.com

INTERIOR DESIGN

PAINTERS SEMMER LANDSCAPE 708-926-2304

CANDY SCOTT DESIGNS (630) 301-2410

gsemmer@semmerlandscape.com

AAA PAINTING CONTRACTORS, INC. (630) 231-8350 www.aaapaintco.com

JANITORIAL SERVICES

LAUNDRY SERVICES & EQUIPMENT

DONE JUST RIGHT INC. 630-893-0757 www.djrcleaning.com Email: mcorliss@djrcleaning.com

LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS ACRES GROUP (888) 231-1300 / (847) 526-4554 Professional Landscaping and Snow Removal www.acresgroup.com

FAMILY PRIDE LLC (630) 827-6362

ATJ'S HOME IMPROVEMENTS (630) 432-3238

Contact Paul Anzell paula@hughesenterprises.net www.familypridelaundries.com

www.atjshomeimprovement.com

LAWN CARE SPRING-GREEN LAWN CARE (800) 830-5914 www.spring-green.com

ABBOTT PAINTING, INC. (312) 636-8400 (773) 725-9800 Quality Painting & Decorating since 1973 Our Mission: Guaranteed Committment to Quality Now offering Parking Lot Painting www.Abbottpainting.com

ALAN HORTICULTURAL ENTERPRISES, INC. (630) 739-0205 www.alanhorticultural.com 22                               C O N D O   L I F E S T y L E S         04.15

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2015©.


SERvICE DIRECTORy

PAINTERS

PEST CONTROL

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

CERTAPRO PAINTERS OF THE NORTH SHORE (847) 287-2642

ALL-OVER PEST SOLUTIONS (773) 697-1100

ALMA PROPERTY MANAGEMENT (847) 517-4400

Interior & Exterior Painting Wallcoverings • Decorating • Remodeling Drywall Repair • Decks & Staining Tile Installation • Metal & Iron Painting www.certacommercial.com tivanov@certapro.com

Bed Bug Specialists. Results Guaranteed! www.all-overpest.com

www.almapropertymanagement.com

SMITHEREEN PEST MANAGEMENT SERVICES (847) 647-0010 / (800) 336-3500

BAUM PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, LTD. (630) 897-0500

www.smithereen.com

www.BaumProp.com

PLUMBING

CARUSO MANAGEMENT GROUP, INC.

DDI DECORATING & DESIGN INSTALLATIONS 773-790-6669 Professional Commercial Grade  Custom Quality Painting–Decorating–Wallcovering Interior -Exterior / Fully Insured 25 yEARS ExPERIENCE Contact Mike: ddimidwest@gmail.com

PARKING GARAGE CLEANING

Plumbing • HvAC Service/Maintenance • Systems Integration Energy Management • Electrical Process Piping •Industrial Refrigeration www.amsmechanicalsystems.com Chgo #BC 16138 / IL #055043442

Plumbing - Heating & Air Conditioning Water Heaters - Sewer Cleaning & Repair Hot Water Drain Jetting www.INEEDLIFELINE.com

PAVING DUBOIS PAVING (847) 634-6089 (800) 884-4728

Concrete & Asphalt Paving Pavers & Color Stamping Drainage Systems & Sewer Repairs Sealcoating, Crack Filling & Striping jeff@f-jpaving.com www.f-jpaving.com

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT A PLUS PROPERTY MANAGERS, INC. (847) 315-0222 Professionals helping volunteers. info@aplusmanagers.com / www.aplusmanagers.com

ACM COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT (630) 620-1133 Contact Tom Skweres

www.acmweb.com

www.associachicagoland.com

www.chicagoland-inc.com

CHICAGO PROPERTY SERVICES, INC. (312) 455-0107 X102 www.chicagopropertyservices.com

MORE LIVING. LESS WORRYING. COMMUNITY SPECIALISTS (312) 337-8691 www.communityspecialists.net

DK CONDO (312) 346-8600 Contact Tom Taylor

HARD SURFACE SOLUTIONS (630) 916-8005 / (847) 838-6610

ADVOCATE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 630-748-8310

Contact Tom Frye

www.advocatepm.com

www.dkcondo.com

THE HABITAT COMPANY (312) 527-5400

www.hsshardsurfacesolutions.com

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2015©.

ASSOCIA CHICAGOLAND 312-944-2611 / 847- 490-3833

CHICAGOLAND COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT (312) 729-1300

LIFELINE PLUMBING 847-468-0069

www.ExtremePowerCleaning.com info@extremepowercleaning.com

F&J PAVING, INC. (708) 544-6700

(630) 717-7188 www.carusomanagementgroup.com

24 Hour Service

EXTREME POWER CLEANING INC. (630) 532-0345

www.duboispaving.com

RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL

AMS MECHANICAL SYSTEMS, INC. (800) 794-5033

www.habitat.com

04.15

CONDO LIFESTyLES

23


CONDO LIFESTyLES

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

FIRST COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT (312) 829-8900

SUDLER PROPERTY MANAGEMENT (312) 751-0900

www.condomanagement.com

2014 IREM Management Company of the Year www.sudlerchicago.com

FIRSTSERVICE RESIDENTIAL (312) 335-1950

TAIRRE MANAGEMENT SERVICES (847) 299-5740

Contact Asa Sherwood or Elena Lugo

Elena.Lugo@fsresidential.com www.fsresidential.com

tsutton@tairremgmt.com

RESERVE STUDIES RESERVE ADVISORS, INC. Our Reserve Studies Now Include ForeSite™

(312) 625-4958 Custom, Comprehensive Studies Conducted by Professional Engineers www.reserveadvisors.com Long-term Thinking.  Everyday Commitment.

SUPERIOR RESERVE ENGINEERING AND CONSULTANTS

(888) 688-4560 G&D PROPERTY MANAGEMENT (630) 812-6400 www.gd-pm.com

HILLCREST MANAGEMENT (630) 627-3303 / (312) 379-0692

WERK MANAGEMENT (630) 241-0001

www.superiorreserve.com

For All your Property Needs www.werkmanagement.com

ROOFING

REAL ESTATE TAX ATTORNEY

ACTIVE ROOFING CO., INC. (773) 238-0338/(708) 430-8080

ELLIOTT & ASSOCIATES (847) 298-8300

Established 1965 Maintenance & Repairs Roofing/Sheet Metal/Tuckpointing www.activeroofing.com

www.hillcrestmgmt.com

LIEBERMAN MANAGEMENT SERVICES (847) 459-0000 www.liebermanmanagement.com

www.elliottlaw.com

KSN TAX (847) 537-0500 www.KSNLaw.com

NIMROD REALTY GROUP, INC. (847) 724-7850 www.nimrodrealty.com

WORSEK & VIHON LLP (312) 368-0091 www.wvproptax.com

PROPERTY SPECIALISTS INC. (847) 806-6121 ROLLING MEADOWS OFFICE

REMODELING/REPAIRS

(630) 633-5450 WOODRIDGE OFFICE

www.psimanagement.net

REALTY & MORTGAGE CO. COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT

773-989-8000 1509 W Berwyn Chicago IL 60640 contact: Lou Lutz   LLutz@RealtyMortgageCo.Com

MI CONSTRUCTION AND ROOFING (630) 241-0001 www.mancioneinc.com

ADAMS ROOFING PROFESSIONALS INC. (847) 364-7663 Roofing / Siding / Gutters / Insulation www.adamsroofing.com

AMERICAN BUILDING CONTRACTORS, INC. (847) 670-1887 Roofing • Siding • Windows • Gutters Maintenance • Capital Budget Projects A+ BBB Rating www.abc-usa.com

ATJ'S HOME IMPROVEMENTS (630) 432-3238 www.atjshomeimprovement.com

B.T. LAKESIDE ROOFING (630) 628-0093 www.lakeroof.com

24                               C O N D O   L I F E S T y L E S         04.15

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2015©.


SERvICE DIRECTORy

ROOFING

SNOW REMOVAL

SIDING / RENOVATIONS

CSR ROOFING CONTRACTORS (708) 848-9119

ATJ'S HOME IMPROVEMENTS (630) 432-3238

B.T. LAKESIDE ROOFING (630) 628-0093

www.csr-roofing.com See our ad on page 8.

www.atjshomeimprovement.com

www.lakeroof.com

PROHTOP ROOFING (847) 559-9119

HARD SURFACE SOLUTIONS (630) 916-8005 / (847) 838-6610

We’re Here When you Need Us! www.protoproofing.com

WOODLAND WINDOWS & DOORS (630) 529-DOOR (3667)

www.hsshardsurfacesolutions.com

Contact Tom Frye

S&D ROOFING SERVICE (630) 279-6600

THE WINTER WERKS (630) 241-0001

100,000 roofs installed TEAR OFFS • SHINGLES • FLAT ROOFS Our experience & technical know-how gets the job done right the first time! Serving the area since 1963 www.sdroofing.com sales@sdroofing.com

SITE MAINTENANCE, INC. (847) 697-1077 www.sitemaintinc.com

TV-BULK CABLE & SATELLITE

www.mancioneinc.com

RCN (312) 955-2322

SWIMMING POOLS

rcnchicagoapts@rcn.net www.rcn.com

SPMS (630) 692-1500 Heaters Pumps • Repairs • Chemicals Pool Maintenance • Complete Water Analysis    Pool Guards, Inc. ross@spmspools.com

TREE CARE

SECURITY SERVICES ADMIRAL SECURITY DOOR STAFF SOLUTIONS (847) 588-0888

Window and Related Masonry Interior & Exterior Doors | Siding & Gutters www.woodlandwindows.com

XFINITY COMMUNITIES 1 (800) XFINITY For more information E-mail: xfinity_communities@cable.comcast.com www.comcast.com/xfinitycommunities

ACRES GROUP (888) 231-1300 / (847) 526-4554

WASTE SERVICES

Certified Arborists & Certified Tree Care Safety Professionals www.acresgroup.com

LAKESHORE RECYCLING SYSTEMS (773) 685-8811

www.admiralsecuritychicago.com

www.LakeshoreRecyclingSystems.com

SAVATREE SAVALAWN

GUARDIAN SECURITY SERVICES (708) 385-3300 Providing Chicagoland’s Finest  Door Staff and Security Officers since 1975 www.guardiansecurityinc.com

PREMIER SECURITY (773) 867-8813 www.premiersecuritycorp.com

SECURATEX (630) 317-8980 ”keeping Tenants Happy” www.securatex.com

Northbrook: 847.729.1963 Barrington: 847.726.1991 Warrenville: 630.725.1963 www.savatree.com

WINDOWS/REPLACEMENTS

SIDING / RENOVATIONS

Window and Related Masonry Interior & Exterior Doors | Siding & Gutters www.woodlandwindows.com

ACCURATE EXTERIORS (630) 830-9191

WINDOW RESTORATION

WOODLAND WINDOWS & DOORS (630) 529-DOOR (3667)

ATJ'S HOME IMPROVEMENTS (630) 432-3238 www.atjshomeimprovement.com

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2015©.

04.15

WOODLAND WINDOWS & DOORS (630) 529-DOOR (3667) Window and Related Masonry Interior & Exterior Doors | Siding & Gutters www.woodlandwindows.com

CONDO LIFESTyLES

25


CONDO LIFESTyLES

By Salvatore Sciacca –Chicago Property Services

10 Ways to GuArAnTee leaks, Water infiltration, plumbing Backups and Floods A Guide for Association Board Member Dummies

W

hat are the best ways to guarantee headaches, stress, and a whole lot of plumbing and repair bills for you and all the homeowners of your association? This guide will give you step by step instructions to make that easily happen. And as an added benefit, the association is certain to spend more money than was budgeted. This will allow you to report at the yearend meeting how you were able to blow the budget “out of the water” so to speak. If you follow these step by step scientifically proven strategies, you WILL succeed in your endeavors to create havoc within the association through a combination of angry homeowners, frustrated residents, alarmed visitors, ticked off insurance agents and brimming restoration companies. That is your mission as a board member, isn’t it? To maximize the number of problems, headaches and emergencies throughout the association. So put on your raincoat, galoshes and nose plugs and let’s get started.

1. DON’T proactively replace hot water tanks Hot water tank systems typically last around 10 to 15 years. The best way to create a flood condition is to wait until the tank actually breaks from underneath and unleashes 250 gallons of hot water. Even better, place the hot water tank in the top floor of a 10 story mid-rise and then wait for it to corrode and unleash scalding 125 degree hot water so that it can destroy all 10 units in that tier. you will surely create a memorable experience.

Dickler, Kahn, Slowikowski & Zavell, Ltd. ~ concentrating in ~

Condo & HOA Representation Corporate • Real Estate • Litigation • Wills Personal Injury 85 W. Algonquin Rd., Ste #420, Arlington Heights, IL 60005

847-593-5595 26                               C O N D O   L I F E S T y L E S         04.15

2. Wait until tree roots CLOG your main plumbing drain lines you know, the ones that are near trees. In fact, don’t wait until they are sort of clogged, wait until they are completely clogged and blocked with tree roots so that the homeowners and residents experience backed-up sewage into their homes. It will be quite a FUN stinky experience for the affected homeowners but then again maybe they have it coming to them!  you know, the ones that always complain at board meetings but never volunteer to serve on the board.

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GUEST EDITORIAL

3. Don’t proactively maintain your roof and certainly DO NOT replace your roof until there are 7 layers And even then, make sure to patch the problem areas. This way, you can rest assured knowing that the top floor units WILL experience ceiling leaks at the most inconvenient time like right in the middle of a Super Bowl Sunday party. Then again, they didn’t invite you, so they had it coming to them! It’s really the best way to deal with issues like these. Ignore them until someone is screaming at you at the top of their lungs over the phone or even better IN yOUR FACE. Whatever the case may be, make sure to bring an umbrella with you when you go visit the inside of their property during a raining day.

4. Make sure to IMPROPERLY fix water infiltration issues Or then again, just ignore water infiltration issues. Besides, it doesn’t affect your unit and the budget is really tight this year especially since snow removal cost the association more than what was budgeted AGAIN for the 2nd year in a row. Let water infiltration issue fester until the dreaded M word appears on the walls of the homeowners in the community. The best way to ensure this happens is to make poor quality improper repairs that don’t actually fix the water infiltration issues but actually worsen the problems. Hire the cheapest contractor who doesn’t know what they are doing and you will most assuredly get the desired result. Sometimes you really do want to get what you pay for!

5. Don’t winterize your association and make sure vacant units are left UNHEATED Tell the homeowners and residents to turn the heat OFF if they are going away to Cancun for the winter and make sure to turn the gas off so that they save some money on utilities over the winter. This is the best possible course of

action to ensure at least a dozen or so pipe breaks! Believe me, it’s a lot of fun getting calls in the middle of the night about a broken pipe that is flooding someone’s unit or better yet raining on top of someone’s $20,000 designer French sofa. In fact, the other added benefit is that you can create an indoor ice skating rink and you can start charging admission and increase the association income from the admission fees. you then just might be able to lower the assessment levels. LOL

6. Don’t BOTHER installing deicing cables and make sure when a new roof is installed, it isn’t done right Make sure to hire the cheapest roofer that has the least amount of experience without any type of insurance. Ensure the downspouts are undersized and that the scupper boxes are improperly flashed. And while you are at it, make sure that the vendor works out of the back of a pickup truck and don’t bother checking references before hiring them. And certainly DO NOT check their workmanship. This will guarantee ice damming and a whole host of other water infiltration problems. And believe me, this is a wonderful experience for the top floor units. They will certainly enjoy having water pouring in their units during warmer winter days. It will surely keep the board members and property managers on their toes by ensuring as many homeowners as possible can experience Chicago ICE DAMMING!

7. Don’t rod out your main drain lines until they are OVERFLOWING with sewage This will ensure the most smelly, slimy and stinky experience for as many ground floor units as possible. In fact, revise the rules and regulations to require all the homeowners to cook a pound of bacon every week and have them pour all the bacon fat down the drain. This will ensure success in your approach to cause plumbing backup havoc on a regular basis throughout the association especially for the lower level units.

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CONDO LIFESTyLES

Well then again, the board members all live in the middle floor units so what do they care! Besides, preventive maintenance actually costs more money up front. And it’s cheaper to wait until plumbing repairs are ABSOLUTELy necessary. This approach is the BEST way to save money, RIGHT?

8. Wait until each 100 year old riser BURSTS before replacing them

9. ENCOURAGE all the homeowners to make sure they FALL ASLEEP while filling the bath tub This is a great way to get to know your neighbor. It’s the best way to improve community spirit and causes all the homeowners to get to know each other. It’s also a scientifically proven strategy and great way to create headaches, stress and high repair bills.

yES. Wait until they break one by one. So what if 5 units got totally flooded out by the last broken riser. That’s what insurance is for! Besides, the association doesn’t have any money so all we can do is wait for something to break even if it is something very big and MESSy. And while you are at it, don’t replace risers when people are remodeling their places, just wait until they burst. It’s much more interesting.

Besides, we have some left over funds due to a slow snow season this winter. We need to find ways to spend that extra money and FAST!

Financially speaking, we’ll just find the money as a last resort each and every time a riser breaks. We like to wait until something breaks. Our association board of directors don’t believe in planning ahead since they’re planning on moving out of the association in the next 20 years and they don’t want to leave behind any of their money in the reserves. you can’t blame them, can you?

Besides, it’s way better to spend $350,000 for tuckpointing repairs instead of $50,000. I understand. When the management company suggested making exterior repairs, the association didn’t have $50,000. But now 3 years later, the repair bill is $350,000 and the association somehow has the money since the association board president is planning on selling her unit next year.

SUMMARY

10. DO NOT TUCKPOINT the building until 100% of the homes or condos in the association has some type of water infiltration issue

It’s like there is a money tree in the back of the association. you know, it’s called a special assessment tree. A tree where there is infinite supply of money

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for poorly planned overly expensive projects. It really is the best way to run association. Overpay for EvERy expense. It’s a sure way to make lots of best friends with the contractors who are milking the overspending association for every last dime. And all the while, the homeowners are getting assessment increase notices from the management company. It’s no wonder that the management company gets fired every 3 years.

So, if you want to create stressful situations for you and all the homeowners of your association, make sure to follow these steps carefully. They are proven strategies to work each and every time. It’s especially effective at ensuring that lots of angry people show up at your next board meeting. In fact, it really is better to avoid making good decisions and proactively spending money to properly maintenance the community association in accordance with your obligations as a board member. Alternatively, perhaps you wanted to watch Gene kelly in “Singin’ In The Rain” under a few raindrops? Whatever the case may be, that is what you always wanted, wasn’t it? MORE STRESS, MORE HEADACHES and MORE PROBLEMS. Y

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EvENT HIGHLIGHTS

IREM Premier Awards

T

he irem Chicago Chapter held its annual premier Awards dinner at the Drake Hotel in Chicago on Friday march 6th, 2015. The five men and women listed below earned individual premier Awards in their respective categories: • David Hopwood, Cpm®, of Jones lang laSalle (Jll), earned the Certified property manager® of the Year award. • Timothy Kramer, Arm®, of dkliving, a Draper and Kramer Co., earned the Accredited residential manager® of the Year award. • Angela Aeschliman, Cpm®, of Watermark property management, llC, earned the leadership award. • David maus of dk living, a Draper and Kramer Co., earned the leasing Agent of the Year award. • erin Weber of landstar realty Group earned the rising Star award. The two companies listed below, which provide products and services to the metropolitan Chicago property management industry, earned awards in their respective categories.

• rmK management Corporation was given the property management Company of the Year award. • rose paving was given the industry partner of the Year award.

2015 Executive Council IREM Chicago Y Pictured: l to r: David Maus, DK Living, Angela Aeschliman, CPM – Watermark Property Chapter No. 23 Management, LLC, Diana Pittro, Exec Vice President, RMK Management, Tim Kramer, DK livJune McCrory, CPM®, ing, David Hopwood, CPM - JLL president            executive Council members The missner Group Kris Haskins, CPM® Brian Lozell, CPM®, president-elect irem executive Council Seneca real estate Advisors Sara Kennedy, CPM® Josh Rosenberg, ACoM, CPM®, Treasurer marian realty, inc. mcCaffery interests, inc.  irem Chicago will hold its 29th annual Jim Vocos, CPM®, Secretary Golf outing on August 3, 2015 at Kemper Wesley realty Group lakes Golf Course, Kildeer. For more inforSam Groppi, ARM®, Arm representative mation on upcoming irem events visit dkliving, A Draper and Kramer Company www.iremchicago.org Elaine Finley, ARM®, Arm representative urban innovations

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04.15

CONDO LIFESTyLES

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CONDO LIFESTyLES

MARCH 13, 2015

MCD Pool Party Featuring Condolympics Over  250  guests  joined  MCD  Media  at  the  17th  annual  MCD  Pool  Party  featuring  Condolympics on March 13th at the Pyramid Club in Addison, IL. Over $3000 was raised for Special Olympics at the event. Major Sponsors of this year’s event were Worsek & vihon, Hard Surface Solutions and Balanced Environments.

Safari Buck Hunt Gold: Rich Music & Becca Brier Silver: Bill Heiman & Brittany Wykle Bronze: Amauris Ortiz & Donna Ciota

Best Dressed (in Green)

Winners of the 2015 Condolympics events are listed below: Special Olympics Donations

Dart Tournament

Beads Game

Gold: Property Specialists, Inc. Silver: DuBois Paving Co. Bronze: Tony Dister

Gold:vito Pena & Melinda Jara Silver: Josh Tulley & Lisa Briatta Bronze: Mitzi Buttner & Mike Whiteyes

Gold: Mike Dillalo Silver: Mike Whiteyes Bronze: Joe Pizzo

Pool Tournament

Ping Pong

Bean Bag Challenge

Gold: Tim Haviland & Pam Mullen Silver Ralph Liquori & Natalie Smith Bronze: Larry Belcher & Mindy Maggio

Gold: Russ Fleagle Silver: Charlie Perry Bronze: Phil Fitch

Gold: Amber Hough & Ed Wittenstein Silver: Nick McIntyre & Jackie Coyle Bronze: kristin Considine & Fran O’Malley

For more information on mcd media events special events visit www.condolifestyles.net view more event photos at Facebook.com/mcd media

Gold: Property Specialists, Inc. Silver: DuBois Paving Co. Bronze: Genesis Construction Committee Members Cathy Ryan Chairperson, kevin Block – Head Scorekeeper, Tairre Dever-Sutton, Sheila Malchiodi & Toni Ivanov -Lead Judges,  Dennis Baier, Tony Dister, Tracy Davis, Lindsey Daehnke, Michele DuBois, Mydraine Janvier, Suzanne kupp, Jackie Loftis, Erica Horndasch, Suzy Martin, Tom Skweres, Tom & Brittany Wykle and Ed Zamarippa.

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EvENT HIGHLIGHTS

Y Shown here is the group from DuBois Paving Co.

Y Shown here are the winners of the Pool Tournament

Y Shown here is the group from Worsek & Vihon

Y Shown here is the group from Property Specialists, Inc.

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04.15

CONDO LIFESTyLES

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CONDO LIFESTyLES

Dawn L. Moody, Keough and Moody, P.C.

Take a Closer Look at Delinquent Assessments Thankfully, it seems that the real estate market is finally rebounding. That is, it appears that we are seeing less new foreclosure actions filed and those actions, which are being filed, are moving forward to resolution with fairly reasonable speed. 

D

espite the real estate market rebounding, boards are still looking at abysmal delinquency reports and wondering when those reports will start rebounding as well. in theory, those reports may start looking better today, after a review of that report by the association’s professionals.

Shaping the future!

Cross Check Collection & Delinquent Account Lists

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Delinquency reports should be cross referenced with the attorney’s collection report at least every couple of months. First, by doing so, the association/management ensures that an account does not slip through the cracks. Since all parties involved are human, it is all too common for an account not to be removed from attorney status after an account has been closed by the attorney for payment or other reason. Cross-checking the reports helps make sure that those human errors are caught sooner rather than later. in addition to reviewing the delinquency report to confirm all accounts that should be in collection are in collection, the delinquency report should further be reviewed for write-off purposes. many times, uncollectible balances are remaining on the delinquency report for years. Settled accounts should be reviewed at least annually for write-off purposes. if there is no avenue for the association to collect due to an owner’s bankruptcy and foreclosure, those amounts should be removed from the books (after, of course, the association has collected all amounts due and owing to it from a third party purchaser under Sections 9(g)(4)&(5) and 18.5(g-1) of the illinois Condominium property Act). While some accounts may be determined to be uncollectible due to bankruptcy and foreclosure, some foreclosed accounts may still be collectible by the association with a little further effort.

MEMBER

Collection of assessments in the State of illinois is generally a routine proceeding. Associations proceed with its remedies in forcible entry and detainer under the illinois Code of Civil procedure. A forcible entry and

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M O N E y   M AT T E R S

detainer action, or an eviction action, is normally the quickest way for an association to collect its unpaid assessments. normally, the first person knocking on the door with an eviction order is the person to be paid. most times, that person is the association and it is made whole by payment. in some instances, however, an owner is not able to pay the association to avoid eviction and/or the association is not able to (or willing to) lease out the unit for a sufficient amount of time to be made whole (often because of a foreclosure). What options does the association have then?

Alternative Remedies The association’s right to collect assessments not only exists against the property (through a lien or possession), but also the person who was the owner at the time the assessments became due and owing. Therefore, the association may have remedies other than against the property to collect its unpaid assessments. often times, the Board is not aware of or does not understand those other remedies. Further, it may believe, erroneously

in many circumstances, that since the property was foreclosed, the owner has no funds to pay the association. However, when the owner can be located within the State of illinois and has not discharged the judgment in a bankruptcy proceeding, enforcement of a personal judgment is a route that an association may want to consider in the event that the property has been foreclosed or is not in rental condition. This is especially a consideration when the owner was foreclosed upon, not because he/she lacked the funds to pay the mortgage, but because the property did not maintain its value. Assuming that the association is able to obtain a personal judgment (as opposed to an in rem judgment) against the unit owner by locating and serving that owner with process, the association may be able to collect on that judgment through other proceedings, such as a wage garnishment. While it is helpful if the association has employment or bank account information on the owner, the association can still proceed with collection if that information is not known. This can be done through

a citation to discover assets, wherein an owner is called before the court to testify, under oath, as to what, if any assets he/she may have to utilize to pay the association. The decision to proceed with personal judgment collection should be made in consultation with the Association’s legal counsel.

Determine True Financial Picture A full review of an association’s delinquency can help the association determine the true financial picture of the community. By periodically reviewing the delinquency report, the association and legal counsel can review the accounts in order to determine whether personal judgment collection may be a viable remedy for any current or settled (foreclosed) accounts. Further, by writing off uncollectible debt and ensuring that the Board is pursuing collections at its desired level of aggression, the association should soon see a rebound of its delinquencies. Y

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CONDO LIFESTyLES

33


CONDO LIFESTyLES

from page 7

Financial Health nance and improvements, while others have not done as well.” She points out that to the individual circumstances of a given property vary quite a bit depending on the location and value of the units or homes. “We manage properties in the north, northwest, west and southwest suburban areas of Chicagoland with home values ranging from low end pricing to very high end pricing. each association has their own unique composition with different priorities and different challenges.” For the most part though, she acknowledges that “the higher the home values, the better off the association tends to be financially.” rutkowski concurs that the overall financial health of properties managed by First Community management has improved moderately. “most properties are in a better financial position today than they were five or even two years ago, he says. Community association banking specialist mark Stelter of itasca Bank & Trust agrees that there have been moderate gains in

the overall financial health of associations. perry offers his experience at lieberman’s managed properties, “our managers and Associations have done well in adjusting their budgets to account for lost income and bad debt as a result of foreclosures. The sharp decrease in foreclosures over the past couple of years has definitely helped our Associations to stay on budget and complete major projects. There are still some communities with significant foreclosure issues, but even those communities have seen a decline. Appropriate budgeting, coupled with the decrease in foreclosures has led to Associations achieving higher financial strength. Also, as banks foreclose on some units that have been vacant for years, new purchasers move-in and start paying assessments faithfully every month. “ michael roche of Waldman engineering says that while associations are generally doing better financially in recent times, most are not making any major changes in their capital reserve accounts. “of the association we deal with on reserve studies, we have not noticed a trend of

improvement in reserve funding or reserve fund balance. reserves vary largely from association to association and the biggest factor on the balance in a given property’s reserve account balance is not in their willingness to raise assessments if needed, maintenance practices and contributions to the reserve fund based on a reserve study or planning method rather than on economic conditions.”

Increase in Major Maintenance, Restoration & Improvement Projects one good barometer of the financial health of community association is if they are undertaking significant maintenance, restoration and improvement projects at their property. rutkowski has seen that in terms of major projects, the activity at his properties has greatly increased, he added “this year even more so than last year.” When asked if he noticed associations undertaking any certain type of projects more than others he responded, “not particularly. it really depends on what type of work each building needs most and what their priorities are in terms of

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COvER STORy

maintenance, restoration and improvements.” ryan said the she also noticed a marked increase in major projects. “Compared to 2-3 years ago, many more of our managed associations are undertaking some type of significant work on the building(s) or throughout the property. Some properties are planning to do several types of projects this season,” she added. perry says that major projects at community associations managed by lieberman have also increased significantly as economic conditions have become more favorable. “increased delinquency and the large numbers of foreclosures between 2008 and 2013 forced many associations to increase assessments, or even pass special assessments to cover basic operating expenses. major projects were often delayed due to a lack of funds, and in some cases, the inability to get financing based on delinquency and foreclosure levels. During this time, the physical components of the buildings continued to age. The necessity to complete these delayed projects, along with better availability of funds has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of associations

that are starting major capital improvements and repairs.” perry continues, “At some point, you can’t delay roofing, siding, or concrete projects any further. The availability of funds and low financing interest rates has created the perfect opportunity to get these projects started. The associations that have been properly funding reserves, even during those difficult economic times, are now able to make significant improvements and needed repairs. This has contributed even further to the increase in property values.” perry also points out that even those who are not where they want to be financially are taking some action. “Some Associations are struggling to catch up on their reserve contributions, but are still facing the simple fact that repairs and replacements can only be delayed so long before they start to become safety risks or start to cause the property to look run-down.” While some associations are able to fund their major projects from their capital reserve account entirely, a growing number of properties are obtaining part or most of the money

they need for such projects from a bank loan taken by the association and paid back by its members. Stelter says that itasca Bank & Trust has seen a moderate increase in requests for loans from community associations (or their managing agents) to fund one or more major project(s) that an association wants or needs to move forward on. This typically takes place in the form of a special assessment and a loan that are passed by the association board of directors and approved by the members of the community association with the collateral for the loan being the assignment of associations’ assessments. Stelter adds, “With this approach, the special assessment will provide an option for the unit owner to pay the amount of the special assessment in full or they can elect to make payments over a period of time such as five years (or whatever the terms are arranged for with the bank). roche states that from their perspective as an engineering/consultant that, “We find that capital replacement projects and maintenance projects revolve around the condition and needs of the individual building(s) rather

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04.15

CONDO LIFESTyLES

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CONDO LIFESTyLES

than on the funds available in their reserve account to take care of said issues. We deal with a large number of projects where loans are involved to provide necessary funding and we also deal with many projects that do not involve bank funding.”

Weather Issues Having an Impact? The past two winters have been extremely cold and above average snowfall. Although this past winter was not quite as

severe as the winter of 2013/14. The extreme cold didn’t really take hold until January of 2015 in this past winter and while we still had 15 inches above average, we didn’t have as much snow (approx.. 30 inches less than last year depending on which area of Chicagoland). most of the really heavy snow events this year skirted the Southern suburbs of Chicago and further south. rutkowski contends. “Because last winter was so extreme, most associations were much better prepared

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to deal with the harsh winter that just passed.” So while some properties did experience burst pipes and ice dams, those that planned for the potential extra expenses that can occur from harsh winter conditions are not in budget trouble like they may have been last year. Byrd added, “The extreme winter conditions we experienced in the winter of 20132014 resulted in many Boards taking a more conservative approach to budgeting and funding possible additional expenses such as snow removal, de-icing and repair costs from frozen and burst water pipes.” She continued, “Communities that planned for extra winter weather expenses will have operating budgets that are much more in line with their original forecasts and will not have to cut other projects that they have also included in their original budget.” perry states that lieberman properties also made it through this rugged winter that just passed without too many weather related issues. “lmS has worked with our managers and Boards to prepare for winter proactively, rather than waiting for pipe bursts and ice damming to create the need for repairs and insurance claims. While a significant reduction in vacant units has certainly helped, so has lmS and the Associations’ approach in ensuring that units are winterized, thermostats are set at appropriate levels, inspections are conducted, and the forecast is monitored. Taken together, we have seen a significant decrease in winter weather related emergencies and expenses.” roche related that at Waldman, they have noticed that the impact of the extreme conditions of the past two winters in several ways. He said, “The weather over the last two winters have definitely impacted how and what projects that associations have decided to undertake. The extreme cold and snow has led to building envelope issues, ice damming as well as asphalt and concrete pavement issues that have caused some properties to accelerate certain projects and put other projects on hold.” Additionally roche has seen that the cold (and even snow) weather that extended through march has had further impact. He states, “many weather dependent projects have had start dates pushed back due to the cold and snow of early spring.” Y

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CondoLifestyles April 2015  
CondoLifestyles April 2015  
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