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july 2016 | volume 20 | number 2

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

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L E S S O N S L E A R N E D F R O M T H E F O R E C LO S U R E C R I S I S :

What If It Happens Again? FEATURES...

Windhaven Loan Secures Bright Future for Palatine Property A ROAD MAP TO HANDLING THREE COMMON CONDOMINIUM ISSUES:

Document Requests, Insurance and Reasonable Accommodations, Oh My! CONDOMINIUM DECONVERSIONS:

Examination of a Section 15 Sale Ten Reasons to Serve on Your Community Association Board Top 10 Mistakes a Board Can Make and How To Avoid Them

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The Top 10 Ingredients of a Highly Successful Community Association Board Meeting


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table of contents

MAKE SURE YOUR COMMUNITY

RUNS SMOOTHLY.

COVER STORY

03 lessons learned from the foreclosure crisis… What if it Happens Again? By Pamela Dittmer McKuen

Tom Engblom CMCA, AMS, PCAM VP, Regional Account Executive 312-209-2623 Toll Free 866-800-4656, ext. 7498 tom.engblom@mutualofomahabank.com

PROPERTY PROFILE

06 Windhaven loan secures Bright future for Palatine Property By Michael C. Davids BOARD BASICS

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10 A Road Map to Handling three common condominium issues: document Requests, insurance and Reasonable Accommodations, oh My! By Howard S. Dakoff, Esq. & Nicholas P. Bartzen, Esq. L E G A L U P D AT E

14 condominium deconversions: examination of a section 15 sale By Kelly C. Elmore 16 industry Happenings Compiled by Michael C. Davids & Sherri Iandolo 20 from the editor 21 directory Advertisements BOARD BASICS

28 ten Reasons to serve on your community Association Board By Michael C. Davids BOARD BASICS

30 top 10 Mistakes a Board can Make and How to Avoid them By Gabriella R. Comstock M O N E Y M AT T E R S

32 take notice; Property sold for delinquent taxes By Michael Pfister BOARD BASICS

36 the top 10 ingredients of a Highly successful community Association Board Meeting By Salvatore Sciacca

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coveR stoRy

by Pamela Dittmer McKuen

L ES S ON S L EAR N E D FROM T H E F ORE CLO SU RE CR ISI S

What If It Happens Again? the Great Recession was economically devastating to the real estate marketplace in general and the community association industry in specific. during the decade between 2006 and 2016, more than 6.3 million Americans lost their homes to foreclosure, according to real estate data company Realtytrac.

F

ortunately, foreclosure filings have been steadily declining since their 2009 peak. They were down 18 percent from january 2015 to january 2016, bringing them roughly in line with pre-recession levels. but there are still plenty of cases winding through the pipeline.

Illinois Still Struggling The news is more cautious in Illinois, which remains one of the top 10 states with the highest active foreclosure rates. The number is down 38 percent from january 2015 to january 2016, but it ticked upward 7 percent in may. (new jersey, Florida, nevada and maryland continue to lead the pack.) The foreclosures hit associations swiftly

and hard. managers, attorneys and other professionals kicked into high gear to keep up with the paperwork, accounting and court appearances. For more than a few, foreclosures became a full-time job. meanwhile, associations that had never known so much as a single delinquency suddenly faced a rash of foreclosures. boards, shackled by deep losses of assessment income, struggled to keep up with basic bills. owners flocked them to petition for more time to pay and hardship exceptions to rental restrictions. Associations who followed through with forcible entry and detainer actions found themselves in the new and unfamiliar role of landlord.

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Time to Reflect now that the frenzy is fizzling, the industry can pause for a moment to reflect. There are lessons learned from the experience, lessons that can build stronger, more resilient associations and management teams. Condo lifestyles invited a panel of veterans to recall their days in the foreclosure trenches and give us their best advice on how to better endure the next financial calamity.

Shock and Awe Almost no one saw the mortgage crisis coming. The delinquencies trickled in at first, and then the foreclosure and bankruptcy notices. “It caught everyone by surprise,” said Patricia bialek, vice president of property management at FirstService residential in Chicago. “The first way we found out is when people who stopped paying their mortgages also stopped paying their assessments. because of that, boards went into panic mode.” Depending on the association, up to 15

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percent or more owners lagged on their assessments. “most of our communities had an average of 20 percent delinquencies,” said jack mancione, president at Werk management in Woodridge. “However, some more distressed associations had more than 50 percent.” Smaller associations were especially hurt, said Keith Hales, president at Hales Property management in Chicago. one of his client associations, an 8-unit building, had four foreclosures at the same time. “It had a significantly negative effect on the other four units,” he said. “They also had several large projects going on, so the four units in good standing had to pay double their share of assessment payments in order to subsidize the total project cost.” “large associations were aware of general economic conditions, but it took a little longer for then to be affected,” said association attorney Gabriella Comstock of Keough & moody in naperville. “It was most difficult for those associations who were not abiding by a collection

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policy and who were a bit more relaxed with the management of the association,” she said. bialek noted higher numbers of foreclosures in the suburbs than in the city. “I think a lot of it was first-time home purchasers who bought at the high end of the market and who were really struggling,” she said.

Reality Sets In As the recession dragged on and the foreclosures kept coming, board members reacted with shock and anger. A few put on rose-colored glasses in belief the situation was temporary and normalcy would soon prevail. “everyone was frustrated,” said joel Starks, midwest sales director for Sperlonga Data and Analytics in rochester, minn. He’s also a community association manager and former management company owner. “boards work to lower delinquencies and be pro-active,” he said. “It is tough to do that when owners simply choose not to pay.” “It was crazy,” said bialek. “In all my years and experience, I’ve gone through difficult

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coveR stoRy

times, but nothing like this. I’ve never seen so many units taken back for non-payment of assessments.” Association attorney ryan Sphritz of Kovitz Shifrin nesbit in mundelein recalled a full-time complement of 40 staffers and four paralegals working solely on collections during the busiest time. Today those numbers are down to about 25 or 28 staffers and 1 and a half paralegals.

A Time for Action boards that acted quickly ultimately fared better than those that didn’t. They didn’t always collect all they were owed, but their losses were lower. “Adopting a clear collection policy was the first and most important step,” said Starks. “Communicating that to all of the owners was crucial and made the process and procedures an equal playing field for all owners.” “Associations need to stay consistent and aggressive on collecting assessments,” said Shpritz. “That’s their fuel. Associations that didn’t do that put the burden of the budget

and finances on other owners because they were unable to collect from the delinquent owners. The shortfall had to be collected somewhere.” Hales said boards often had to be educated on the measures available to them. once they knew the legal basics, they usually agreed to turn over their delinquencies to a collection attorney and obtain possession under the Illinois Forcible entry and Detainer Act. “We also assisted with offering to rent out the units in order to collect any past due assessments,” he said. “In many cases, this turned out to be a successful remedy for the situation. other associations instituted a stronger rental policy since many of the foreclosed units were bought up by investors looking to rent out the unit.” “every association had to take an aggressive stand with homeowners when they knew a unit was going into foreclosure,” said bialek. “They had to get just as aggressive with lenders. The banks said, ‘We’ll just wait until we sell it, and then we’ll pay.” About five years ago, Firstresidential

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management took over an association that had accrued a quarter-million dollars in pastdue assessments. The board thought it would be too expensive to collect. That didn’t sit well with bialek and her team. They embarked on an aggressive campaign to contact the delinquent owners and inform them on the repercussions of nonpayment—essentially, losing their homes. Within the first two weeks, they collected $90,000. They also filed forcible actions when necessary and negotiated with banks to pay their share. eventually, they collected 70 percent of the total amount. Comstock noted the most successful boards became more aware of pending foreclosures and sought legal advice earlier than in the past. “In the past, associations would not do much,” she said. “Some did not even let the law firm know there was a pending case. The crisis taught most boards we can be pro-active and still cost-effective.” continued on page 39

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by Michael C. Davids

Windhaven Loan Secures Bright Future for Palatine Property Windhaven Condominiums is comprised of 352 Mid-Rise condominiums and is located along Dundee Quarter Drive in Palatine, Illinois.

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T

he property was developed by four Quarters dundee development corporation and was turned over for governance by the board of directors at Windhaven condominium Association in 1979. the Association features a clubhouse and outdoor swimming pool for use by member residents. Windhaven is very affordable and is close to great shopping and public transportation. one and two bedroom units currently sell from approximately $35,000 - $45,000. the Association is fHA Approved for their mortgage loans, which is an excellent attribute for sellers and buyers alike. Monthly assessments range from approximately $225 for one bedroom units and $315 for two bedroom units. Windhaven has been professionally managed by Rowell inc., AAMc for over 15 years. included in the Assessments are heat, water & sewer, as well as common area utilities, insurance and maintenance.  the current board president is Walter daigle who has served in this capacity since 2009. daigle served a two year term as secretary just prior to being elected president of Windhaven. carole engstrom, cMcA of Rowell, inc. is the

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onsite manager and Kara cermak, cMcA, AMs, PcAM is the offsite senior manager. According to cermak, who is President of Rowell, inc., “Windhaven’s board has done a tremendous job of keeping up with necessary common area improvements and maintenance during the economic downturn of the past five or six years. some associations have made the mistake of putting off property & building maintenance recently and will have some financially challenging years ahead as a result.”  Windhaven and Rowell worked with community Advantage, a Wintrust company to secure a $ 1.1 million dollar loan that was used to pay off the balance of a loan from another bank and make a number of important repairs and improvements to a variety of common elements. 

Favorable Comments From Residents “Residents, guests, and Realtors have all commented on how favorably our recent improvement projects have impacted the Association.” says daigle. “As i normally make rounds throughout the property on my weekly, and sometimes daily walks, i make an attempt to reach out and say hello to my neighbors and find out what’s going on in their building, and where i can be of assistance. Many residents have expressed great appreciation for the investments made by the board. namely, residents have commented favorably on

Improvements & Repairs Completed with Bank Loan one of the improvements that Windhaven used their bank loan for was to upgrade their hot water and space heating boiler system including new zone valves (for water) and electronic programmable thermostats. the 47 year old heating system was inefficient and the replacement cost for commercial water heaters was high. the association was striving to improve infrastructure and prevent assessment increases. dRf trusted Property solutions designed and presented three energy savings options. the association chose to install new modulating condensing boilers with domestic hot water priority controls, which provide the best value and highest savings. According to dRf president scott schnurr, “the design created a system that will maximize savings, reduce failures and maintenance costs. dRf facilitated and negotiated the nicor Gas rebate offers Windhaven benefitted from. Additionally Windhaven benefitted from installation and rebates of in-unit programmable thermostats and pipe insulation on all hot water piping located in the boiler room of each building.” the hot water heater and space heater replacement program has already achieved impressive savings and is being evaluated further as more data is gathered over time. the measured gas reduction savings is 28%. they earned a nicor Gas Rebate Amount of $75,488 and the projected 20 year savings is $988,029. Windhaven also replaced the roofs on 6 of the Association’s buildings to date and also resurfaced their asphalt parking lots. concrete patios, sidewalks, steps and landings were also repaired and/or replaced throughout the property. Roofing work on the other 10 buildings is in the process of being completed and additional asphalt work in the parking areas will be done moving forward. A reserve study was completed in 2011 and will be used to help guide future capital improvements.

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the asphalt replacements, roof replacements, new staircases and sidewalks, and most importantly on their new water heaters and boiler heat systems. As a community with common gas, water and heat elements that are included in our monthly assessments, this investment is one of the most crucial for a community to make.” Windhaven has continued their efforts to make improvements at the property. this season they are undertaking projects including work on stucco window panels, patio replacements, second floor balcony staining and landscaping upgrades.

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the savings from the energy efficiency projects completed by dRf has helped fund these additional improvements.

Unit Owner Insurance Another initiative that management and the board at Windhaven have undertaken is to help make sure that all unit owners understand the importance of having proper insurance including a “condominium Unit owners Policy”, commonly referred to as an Ho6 Policy. condominium owners

sometimes assume that the association’s master insurance policy is all the coverage they need. the master policy actually only covers the building, not their personal belongings, or any upgrades made to a unit. for example upgraded flooring, new cabinets or appliances, or renovations are generally not covered by the master policy. it also does not cover parts of the building that are used only by you—like the balcony or the pipes that feed into your unit from the main pipes. All residents need their own insurance for the inside of their unit, their belongings, and any damage that might be caused by something within your unit (such as a leaking toilet). in a few rare cases where coverage is provided under the master policy, you will still be responsible for the deductible. According to cermak, “to have your personal belongings and

any deductibles covered, you need to invest in a condominium owner’s insurance policy, available from most carriers. these policies generally cost only a few dollars each month and are well worth it!” she adds that residents should, “be sure to consider water or sewer backup coverage. sewer backups are not unheard of, and a standard policy won’t cover the damage to the inside of a unit without a sewer backup rider.”

Think Outside of the Box Windhaven may be a property of modest means but with good leadership and teamwork by their board of directors and professional management, they have achieved more than many other associations have. cermak continued, “i can tell you that the Windhaven Board is open to hearing about new ideas and they’re willing to think outside of the box, which makes our job more fun. “ she concluded, “As managers, we are excited about presenting information to them, because they are so often thinking ‘yes, that sounds great, but tell us what the downsides are;’ rather than ‘no, prove why this makes sense.’ it’s a different place to start, and it makes a big difference in achieving good results. Y

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by Howard S. Dakoff, Esq. – Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC Nicholas P. Bartzen, Esq. – Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC A Road Map to Handling Three Common Condominium Issues:

Document requests, Insurance and reasonable Accommodations, oh my! According to the oxford dictionary of Proverbs, the saying “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” was originally written in the year 1576 by an english novelist. With no disrespect or offense to classic english literature, when it comes to administration of condominium associations, the very opposite is true – what you don’t know actually can hurt you.

T

owards that end, below are three common issues of which property managers and board members must have knowledge. lack of knowledge in these three areas could result in unit owner unrest or, worse, vulnerability to lawsuit.

1. Document Requests A situation that every property manager and board member has seen, or will eventually

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see, is a unit owner demanding to inspect association documents. It happens frequently and is understandable - after all, unit owners are association members and have a right to inspect association documents. The right to inspect documents is codified in Section 19 of the Illinois Condominium Property Act (“Act”) for condominiums in Illinois. For those condominiums located in the City of Chicago, Section 13-72

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of the Chicago municipal Code (commonly referred to as the Chicago Condominium ordinance) also governs that right. Pursuant to Section 19 of the Act, the declaration, by-laws, rules and regulations, meeting minutes for the previous seven years and insurance policies must be made available to association members within 30 days upon written request; certain other documents, including contracts, leases, list of names, addresses, weighted vote of unit owners, ballots and proxies for the previous 12 months and books and records of account for the current and previous 10 years must be made available to association members within 30 business days after submitting a written request stating a proper purpose. Section 19(f) of the Act entitles associa-

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condo lifestyles

tions to charge the requesting unit owner for the actual costs to the association of retrieving and making the records available, as well as the actual cost of any copies to the extent the owner requests them. For those associations located in the City of Chicago, Section 13-72 entitles unit owners to inspect (but not copy) books and records of account for the current and previous 10 years within 30 business days upon a statement of a proper purpose. In oviedo et. al. v. 1270 S. blue Island Condominium Assn. et. al, the court held that a unit owner making a request under the Chicago Condominium ordinance must state a proper purpose for document requests under the Chicago Condominium ordinance even though the ordinance does not expressly require a written statement of a proper purpose. both statutes contain a remedy for the unit owner who is wrongfully denied inspection of such records, which is the right to file a lawsuit for inspection and recover reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs for such a lawsuit. While a unit owner cannot make unreasonable demands for excessive documents without stating a proper purpose (i.e. asking the board to provide every receipt or proof of expenditure for the previous 10 years), property managers and boards must be cognizant of the applicable statutes’ requirements to provide inspection and copying of documents when required. Association members have a right to know how their money is being spent and what obligations have been made on their behalf.

In sum, knowing what the unit owners may request, how the requests must be made, and the process by which a condominium board considers the request is important to ensure the association is not exposed to liability.

2. Insurance Coverage for Damages to Unit Another situation with which property managers and boards must be familiar is the water leak that emanates from a common element causing water damage to property within a unit– often damaging the drywall, floors, built-in cabinetry, and/ or personal property within a unit. Thereafter, unit owners often demand that the association pay for the cost of all repairs and replacements regardless of what the association governing documents or law requires. While boards or property managers may desire to show sympathy and pay for all damages, each must follow the provisions of their governing document and applicable law to avoid misspending funds. Section 12 of the Act states that the Association is responsible for property insurance on the common elements and units, including limited common elements and, except as otherwise determined by the board of directors, the bare walls, floors, and ceiling of the unit. This means that associations are generally responsible to repair up to and including the drywall and primer coat in a unit caused by a leaking common element. Section 12 expressly excludes walls and floor coverings from coverage, such as paint, wallpaper, carpeting and hardwood floors, but does include

fixtures installed by the developer of the condominium (such as kitchen cabinets). most condominium declarations provide that a unit owner is responsible for the insurance of personal property in their units including improvements and betterments installed by the unit owner (i.e. remodeled unit improvements), and the maintenance and decorating within the unit. This is a standard provision which limits the scope of responsibility of an association for water damage to a unit even where such damage emanated from a common element. Thus, difficult as it may be to relay the message to the unit owner whose remodeled kitchen cabinets must be replaced or whose carpeting is now ruined, it is generally the sole responsibility of the unit owner to maintain, repair, replace and insure personal property, provided the board and management acted responsibly in addressing the root cause of the water infiltration. The board’s fiduciary duty to the association often precludes it from spending association funds to replace items damaged that are rightfully the unit owner’s individual responsibility. Due to the board’s fiduciary duties to all the unit owners, the board cannot spend association common expense funds in a manner that is not specified in the association governing documents or as provided by law. Fiduciary duties require board members to act in a manner reasonably related to the exercise of such duties and the failure to do so could result in liability for individual members.

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BoARd BAsics

3. Reasonable Accommodation Requests Must be Considered Promptly Federal law applies to situations where a person with a disability requests a reasonable accommodation to modify the association premises or the rules and regulations. This includes any occupant of an association (unit owners and/or occupants). The Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act (“FFHA”) requires an accommodation for persons with handicaps if the accommodation (1) is reasonable, (2) is necessary, and (3) affords the handicapped individual an equal opportunity to use and enjoy housing. The FFHA prohibits housing discrimination against people with disabilities due to a refusal to (i) make reasonable accommodation in rules, policies, practices, or services or (ii) allow a disabled person to modify common element property when such accommodations

are necessary to afford disabled persons equal opportunity to use and enjoy their housing. The FFHA does not require that all requests be accommodated; the FFHA does require “reasonable” requests be accommodated when made by a qualified individual. Thus, an association is not obligated to do everything humanly possible to accommodate a disabled person. The cost (to the association) and benefit (to the requesting individual) merit consideration as well. moreover, the association is not required to “reasonably accommodate” handicapped guests or visitors of unit owners who do not reside in the association. Section 100.203 of the Code of Federal regulations provides that when a disabled person is entitled to a reasonable accommodation to modify existing premises, the cost of such modification must be paid for by the requesting occupant or unit owner, not the

1

765 ILCS 605/18.4 (West 1992); Wolinsky v. Kadison, 449 N.E.2d 151(1983).

2

42 U.S.C.§3601 et seq.

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association. Therefore, for example, if a resident who uses a wheelchair requests a lift be installed to a common element swimming pool, the board may grant the request and require the cost for the modification be paid by the requesting occupant or unit owner. lastly, the request for reasonable accommodation must be reviewed and decided upon by the association in a timely manner. Should the association ignore or wrongfully deny a proper reasonable accommodation request, the association opens itself to liability from an occupant or unit owner bringing a failure-to-accommodate claim. Accordingly, boards are best served by consulting with their legal counsel to ensure a reasonable accommodation request is proper and if so, reviewing and deciding upon the request within thirty (30) days of receipt of all the requisite information. Y

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by Kelly C. Elmore, Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit

CONDOMINIUM DECONVERSIONS:

Examination of a Section 15 Sale Until recently, the word “conversion” was generally thought to mean the process through which an apartment building was converted into a condominium association. However, in the wake of the 2007 market crash and real estate downturn, few condominium conversions have been occurring in the chicagoland area.

I

n the past year, as the demand for rental units has skyrocketed, a new phenomenon has emerged- the sale of all of the units in a condominium building to a third party who then “deconverts” the condominiums to apartments. Almost overnight, developers looking to convert condominium association into rental properties have descended upon the condominium association market, flooding many associations with offers to purchase all of the units from the owners. the deconversion process is initiated when a buyer makes an offer to the owners to purchase all

of the units in the association, is governed by section 15 of the condominium Property Act and with few exceptions, requires the approval of not less than 75% of the ownership of the common elements. in addition, there is generally a provision in the association’s individual declaration that addresses this type of sale, providing some additional requirements.

Why the sudden shift? As some developers have commented, the transformation of condominium associations into

apartment buildings that can be rented at current market rental rates is an incredibly profitable venture. it is no secret that rental prices in the chicagoland area have steadily increased and may continue to rise in the near future. Given this sudden surge in the rates that landlords may charge for monthly rentals, developers and investors are jumping on opportunities to pick up small, medium and large-sized residential properties to convert them into profit-generating rental properties. our attorneys have handled deconversion projects for buildings as small as 6 units, up to a building as large as 449 units- the largest deconversion project attempted to date in downtown chicago. the following comments are intended to outline the general process and may not be applicable in each and every section 15 sale transaction.

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708.926.2304 gsemmer@semmerlandscape.com

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l e G A l U P d At e

How does the process work? there are typically two ways that a section 15 sale transaction may arise: either an unsolicited offer made by a developer/purchaser; or the Association voluntarily seeks out an offer of purchase for all of the units. in situations where the association receives an unsolicited offer, this offer is typically contained in a letter of intent. the letter of intent will normally contain general terms of a possible purchase, which are essentially a promise to enter into a future contract at a future date. note that unless it specifically states otherwise, the letter of intent, itself, is not a contract or a binding offer. it is simply a proposal in the early stages. Accordingly, we advise clients not to vote on a letter of intent, which is not a “contract”, but to conduct a vote on an actual purchase agreement.

Can owners object to the sale, or opt out of a Section 15 sale? the Act is clear that where at least 75% of the ownership has approved the sale of the units, such action is binding upon all unit owners. the Act mandates that once the sale has been approved at a meeting of the owners, it becomes “the duty of

every unit owner to execute and deliver such instruments and to perform all acts as in manner and form may be necessary to effect such sale.” in other words, all owners are required to execute and sign the sales documents, or face being in violation of the Act. However, section 15(a) of the Act states that if an owner who does not vote in favor of the sale of the building files a written objection with the Board within 20 days after the date of the meeting at which the sale was approved, then that owner shall be entitled to receive from the proceeds of the sale “an amount equivalent to the value of his interest (determined by a fair appraisal), less any unpaid assessments or charges owed by the owner.” section 15(b) of the Act further sets forth a process in the event of a disagreement as to the value of the interest of an owner who did not vote in favor of the sale, which involves the appointment of a panel of appraisers to make the determination.

When does the vote occur?

sible sale. Because the letter of intent or initial offer generally creates a number of questions among the owners, the Board may wish to refrain from circulating documentation which would confuse or create alarm amongst the owners. the Board may wish to schedule additional informational meetings with the owners during the process to obtain feedback from the owners for the contract negotiation. once an association receives a purchase contract for the sale of the units, the contract should be distributed to the unit owners for a vote on the purchase contract. during the entire process, the Board should ensure that it consults with legal counsel to ensure that the provisions of the Act and provisions of the declaration are closely followed. due to the nature of the way in which the purchase contract is prepared, there may be a number of provisions that require close attention by counsel familiar with not only the Act, but also, the Association’s particular condominium declaration. Y

Associations vary in how they approach these transactions. Generally we advise the Board to schedule informational meetings with the owners as soon as possible to discuss the process of a pos-

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2016©.

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condo lifestyles

industry happenings

Alliance Association Bank

Alliance Association Bank (AAB) is pleased to announce that Craig Finck will be assuming responsibility for a new territory for AAB, the South Gulf Coast market in Florida. Mr. Finck and his family will be moving to Placida, Florida, where he will be working with clients in the Sarasota, Ft. Myers, and Naples market areas. “While I will definitely miss the relationships I have developed over the years in my current markets, I can’t wait to start meeting new people in Florida” said Mr. Finck. Assuming Mr. Finck’s relationships in Chicago, Minnesota, and St. Louis, will be Rachel Rowley, PCAM. Ms. Rowley has many years of experience in the association industry, working for two of the largest property management companies in the Chicago area. Rachel brings over 12 years of experience in property/community association management. “I am excited for this new opportunity and continuing to maintain and build on relationships that are already in place. I look forward to these new ventures

and building a long term relationship with Alliance Association Bank and their clients.” Alliance Association Bank (AAB) works exclusively with association and management company clients in more than 35 states across the country. Focusing on industry-leading Y Rachel Rowley technology and an outstanding customer experience, AAB is the premier provider of banking services to the community association industry. Alliance Association Bank is a division of Western Alliance Bank, a subsidiary of Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL). Western Alliance Bancorporation was recently ranked #10 on Forbes 2016 Best Banks in America.

Please visit us at www.condolifestyles.net ... and view mcd event photos at Facebook/mcdmedia

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Reserve Advisors

William (Bill) Maggio has joined Reserve Advisors, Inc. as the company’s Great Lakes Region Account Manager. Maggio will be based out of the Chicagoland office at 1103 Westgate Street, Oak Park, Illinois. Maggio graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice/Pre-Law. He brings more than 20 years of consultative sales experience that allows him to listen to clients’ needs and recommend solutions. For most of his career, Maggio was in the real estate business, primarily title insurance, where he was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Law Title Insurance Agency and responsible for the sales staff and their production in 23 offices in five states. Reserve Advisors is celebrating its 25th year serving community associations. The company works with clients throughout Chicagoland, the United States and abroad through its regional offices. Its engineers inspect and evaluate condominiums, townhomes, country clubs, governmental properties, commercial buildings and retirement communities to create comprehensive 30-year capital reserve funding plans for individual properties.

industry happenings

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2016©.


indUstRy HAPPeninGs

ACTHA

Y Shown here is Mark Sweet with the ACTHA Board of Directors at the recent ACTHA Conference and Trade Show held at Drury Lane, Oak Brook, IL. The group will hold expos again this fall in Tinley Park on September 24 and in Northbrook on October 15. The ACTHA board of directors recently selected Mark Swets, CAE, to serve as its executive director. Swets succeeds Gael Mennecke, who previously served as ACTHA’s executive director since 1989. Swets has over 10 years’ experience in non-profit management with several groups managed by SmithBucklin, a company that provides full-service management to trade associations, professional societies and other entities. He achieved the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation by the American Society of Association Executives in 2014 and is also a member of the Association Forum of Chicagoland. Swets is a condominium owner in Oak Park and previously served as its association Board President.

Sudler

The fourth annual "Manager of the Year" (MOTY) Contest winners were presented at a ceremony held on May 4th, 2016 at the CAI National Conference in Orlando, Florida. The 2016 Portfolio "Manager of the Year" award was presented Y Dean Lerner to Dean Lerner of Sudler Property Management in Chicago, IL. The contest is sponsored by group of leading industry companies including Association Reserves, Kevin Davis Insurance Services, Mutual of Omaha Bank, ADT Community Association Program and Alliance Association Bank.

dk condo

Hank Goldman, President of the Residences at Sherman Plaza Condominium Association, is the recipient of top national recognition in a competition sponsored by Community Association Institute (CAI). Goldman was selected as the most deserving leader among its 34,000 members in an initiative sponsored by CAI’s Community Association Board. Among his recent achievements on behalf of the 251unit association, Goldman fostered a genuine sense of community within the association; implemented an energy-efficiency initiative that will ultimately save the association hundreds of thousands of dollars; initiated a

MOTY is a contest for On-Site and Portfolio Managers of Association-governed communities including condos, coops, HOAs and PUDs across the country. The purpose of the contest is to inspire excellence and professionalism by recognizing & rewarding the best community association managers in the nation. Applicants provide their professional qualifications (i.e., experience, credentials, leadership, and commitment to continuing education), scope of responsibilities, and whether or not their efforts have improved or turned around their Associations. They also submit a wordphoto essay and three letters of recommendation. Onethird of the votes are contributed by friends, family members, and business acquaintances. One third of the votes are contributed by the contest sponsors. The final third of the votes are contributed by an independent Council of Community Association Professionals (CCAP). Each voting entity is weighed equally.

multi-year façade project to address existing deficiencies and prevent future issues; and coordinated a common-area redecorating project. Goldman was nominated for the award by dk condo property manager, Susan Rhyne and dk condo account supervisor, Ian Novak. Goldman is one of six association board members selected as regional winners. "These volunteers exemplify the hundreds of thousands of homeowners who serve on their community association boards," said CAI CEO Thomas Skiba, CAE. "The vast majority of these selfless volunteers work with distinction and dedication to build and sustain their communities. They deserve the recognition this initiative represents."

In his role as executive director, Swets will work with the ACTHA board of directors to develop a strong strategic vision for the organization and will lead all aspects of the association’s operations including education programs, annual conferences and events, marketing and communications, financial management and advocacy initiatives. “It’s a privilege to be part of ACTHA, the only organization representing and advocating for condo and townhouse owners,” Swets said. “With the leadership of the board, we will advance the mission and develop strategies to deliver unparalleled education and networking opportunities for our members.” Founded in 1982, ACTHA is the Association of Condominium, Townhouse and Homeowners Associations and focuses on providing education and networking to community associations – condominiums, townhomes, HOAs and co-ops throughout the Chicago region. For more information, please visit www.actha.org

Y Shown here making some farewell comments is Gael Mennecke who recently retired as Executive Director of ACTHA.

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ABOMA

condo lifestyles

industry happenings

The Habitat Company

The Habitat Company continues its growth pattern with a new management assignment in Prospect Heights, Il. Habitat was selected to manage River Trails Condominium, a 360-unit building effective June 1, 2016. River Trails is a garden style community that was built in the mid 1970’s. The amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and an indoor basketball court which serves as a recreation center also. The clubhouse has a pool table, ping pong, and a full kitchen so residents can entertain friends and family. The association features a number of amenities including an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, saunas, basketball court, and a recreation center/clubhouse that has pool table, ping pong, and free weights. http://www.rivertrailscondo.com/

The Habitat company has also been named managing agent for Park Place Condominiums effective July 1, 2016. Park Place is a contemporary residential building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. It was designed by Solomon, Cordwell & Buenz (completed in 2002). Located at 600 N. Kingsbury, this 20-story condo tower has 163 units and sits right on the riverfront greenscape of Erie Park. Park Place is a distinctive red façade building with contrasting green-tinted windows. Its signature round corner structure provides dramatic interior backdrops with sweeping glass-pane expanses. Some of the tower’s prime properties boast amazing two-story vistas through these grand floor-to-ceiling curvatures that overlook the Chicago River, Erie Park and city skyline beyond. The building is comprised of River Homes, High Rise Units, On-site Parking and approximately 3,000 square feet of retail space owned by the association and rented by two different tenants.

Y Shown here are (LtoR) Bob Graf-Sudler Property Management and Co-Chair of ABOMA Negotiating Committee, Cassie Lively, Rae Kyristsi & Richard Aaronson - Center for Conflict Resolution, Tom Dobry -SEIU Local 1 Training Fund, Christine Friend -ABOMA President and Jim Watts -ABOMA Negotiating Committee Co-Chair. ABOMA recently held its 2016 continuing education seminar on June 22 at the East Bank Club, Chicago. ABOMA President Christine Friend served as moderator. The program included an update on collective bargaining with SEIU Local 1 by Bob Graf and Jim Watts who are ABOMA Negotiating Committee Co-Chairs, an overview of the new Chief Engineers Certification program by Tom Dobry of SEIU Local 1 Training Fund, registration details on the new certification (and renewal) process for Fire Safety Directors by Walter Schroeder of the Chicago Fire Department as well as a presentation on conflict resolution by Cassie Lively & Rae Kyristsi of the Center for Conflict Resolution. ABOMA will hold it's Annual Meeting & Holiday Luncheon on Friday December 2, 2016 at the University Club of Chicago. For more information visit wwwaboma.com

Smart Elevators Taking Care of Chicagoland the Smart Way!

Try the Smart Way, Choose Smart Elevators Smart Elevators is a full service elevator maintenance and repair firm that operates with honesty, integrity and pride. Our business is built on referrals, with safety and reliability our foremost concern. Services Include: » Systematic and comprehensive maintenance service. » Modernization and ADA upgrades » Pressure Testing and Annual State Safety Testing.

P. 630.544.6800 661 Executive Drive Willowbrook, IL 60527

www.smartelevators.com

» We repair all brands and types of escalators, freight, Lifts, dumbwaiter and private residence elevators. Mention this ad and receive 10% of your first year maintenance service

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indUstRy HAPPeninGs

Associa Chicagoland recently held an appreciation night for its clients who packed the firm’s Schaumburg office on June 17 to celebrate casino-style. The Las Vegas themed evening was attended by more than 200 board members and dozens of vendors representing communities managed by Associa Chicagoland. “The casino night was a big hit. Associa Chicagoland did a great job of organizing the event and took a personal interest in making it successful,” said Groves of Palatine Board Member Jim Kinkade. “I got to meet several contractors, one was interested in some work we have.”

Y Shown here (LtoR) are Daneen Reinke – Executive Vice President and Don Kekstadt – President of Associa Chicagoland with Lisa Summerour – Board Member, 21 Kristin.

“Associa’s casino night was absolutely terrific,” exclaimed Inverness of the Ponds Townhome Association Board Member Medora Deason. “We appreciated the opportunity to meet, in person, several of the vendors and especially the hard workers at Associa that are there for us on a continuous basis.” “Everyone loved the live music, charitable gambling and getting the chance to mix and mingle with the community association managers and board members,” said President of Lincoln Hancock Restoration Chuck Schneider, one of the many vendors in attendance. Associa Chicagoland President Don Kekstadt concluded, “The dedication this team has to each other is amazing. Once again, I watched you all pitch in and help each other.” The silent auction brought in $2,793 for Associa Cares, the firm’s non-profit agency set up to aid families who have experienced a catastrophe at home such as a flood, fire or tornado.

Photography courtesy of RRGPhotography.com

Community Specialists

Associa Chicagoland

Y Shown here are several attendees enjoying charitable gaming. Over $2700 was raised for Associa Cares at the event. Based in Dallas, Texas, Associa has been building and managing successful communities for more than 37 years. Associa is the industry’s largest community association management firm with over 10,000 employees operating more than 180 branch offices in the United States, Mexico, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa.,

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07.16

Community Specialists has been named managing agent for “The Brownstone” located at 1440 North State Parkway in Chicago. Built in 1975, the historic 20 story building has full conveniences. Some highlights of the amenities at The Brownstone include, climate controlled indoor parking, 24/7 door staff, 24/7 receiving room, high speed internet access, landscaped rooftop with pool that boast magnificent lake and city views, a state of the art fitness room, entertainment/meeting room/library, new security system, modernized upgraded elevators, newly upgraded heat and air conditioning systems, full time Engineer and maintenance staff as well as having a recent capital repair and replacement study performed. The on-site Building Manager will be Barbara Van Vlymen.

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condo lifestyles

From the Editor

W

hile we had a cool, wet spring, summer has been warm

and dry so far. the managers and contractors we spoke

with report that they have had few work interruptions

from the weather on exterior projects at their properties this year.

CondoLifestyles

®

Y Mike Davids

this is exactly what many associations needed, especially those who are trying to get caught up on deferred maintenance and restoration projects. our cover story offers some perspectives from several leading managers, bankers and attorneys on the lessons that have been learned from the mortgage crisis and economic recession that occurred in recent

july 2016 | volume 20 | number 2 editor & Publisher Michael C. Davids

years. financial conditions continue to improve in most of the chicago metropolitan area. there is much more sales activity in the real estate market and most realty experts predict foreclosures will continue to decrease. Home values have improved for some, not so much for others. of course, location dictates exactly how much your conditions have improved. in any case, much can be learned from our past problems with

vice President Sherri Iandolo

delinquent assessments, evictions and mortgage foreclosures.

Art Director Rick Dykhuis

have taken a proactive approach and kept up with capital improvement projects to improve their property.

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 1A, 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.

our second story is a Property Profile on Windhaven condominiums in Palatine. As you will read, they one of the most notable projects they successfully completed was to upgrade their hot water and space heating boiler system which greatly improved their energy efficiency and resulted in significant cost savings. one of our Board Basics articles covers the handling of three common condominium issues: document requests, unit owner insurance requirements and reasonable accommodations. Another Board Basics article provides advice on 10 mistakes a board can make and how to avoid those mistakes. Managing a meeting is important to every association so we have an article in this issue on 10 ingredients of a highly successful community association board meeting that we hope you find useful. We’ve also included a story on ten reasons why anyone should want to serve on their community association board. the market for rental apartments is experiencing record demand and this has caused some associations to consider deconversion of their property ownership. yes indeed, there are several properties that already have and others that are considering selling all the individual units to one owner (or ownership group) who plans to operate the building as rental apartments. if this is something you are interested in, you’ll enjoy our article on condominium deconversions: examination of a section 15 sale. this edition also includes an article that addresses the legal and financial issues that Associations are faced with when they receive notice that a unit in their association is being sold for delinquent taxes. inside this issue we again offer our regular industry Happenings column and highlights from a variety of special events.

Upcoming Special Events Upcoming Mcd special events include a luncheon in the Million Room at Arlington international Racecourse on August 25 and our state of the industry program on december 8th. 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

All material herein is copyrighted 2016. 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.

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condo lifestyles

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

07.16

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2016©.


seRvice diRectoRy

ACCOUNTANTS

ARCHITECTS/ENGINEERS

CANTEY ASSOCIATES, CPA’S (630) 681-9400

LAW OFFICES OF KEAY & COSTELLO (630) 690-6446

FULL CIRCLE ARCHITECTS, LLC (847) 432-7114

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

Daniel Baigelman, AIA dan@fullcirclearchitects.com capital improvements • Reserve studies engineering Reports www.fullcirclearchitects.com

www.canteycpa.com

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

MICHAEL J. COCHRANE, CPA (847) 301-0377 specializing in Accounting services for Homeowner Associations.

investigations and Repair documents for: exterior Walls, Windows, Roofs, and Parking Garages condition surveys and Reserve studies www.kghpc.com

CONDO CPA (630) 832-2222 EXT 113 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 & CONSULTING (888) 688-4560 www.superiorreserve.com

CUKIERSKI & KOWAL, LLC

WALDMAN ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS (630) 922-3000

CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS

www.waldmaneng.com

(847) 496-7180 A full-service accounting firm specializing in the unique needs of homeowners’ associations.

www.ckwcpa.com

ARCHITECTS/ENGINEERS

ATTORNEYS

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

pcostello@keaycostello.com www.keaycostello.com

KOVITZ SHIFRIN NESBIT (855) 537-0500 Advising and consulting with Business owners, community Association law & collection services, construction defects, Real estate Assessed valuation Reduction, litigation, commercial Restructuring, Bankruptcy & creditors' Rights, Real estate, Business ,estate Planning www.ksnlaw.com

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

BALCONY REPAIR THE RESTORATION GROUP (630) 231-5700 24 HOURS

structural Repair services Balcony Repair/Replacement stair tower Repair/Replacement fire and Water Response/Restoration dwells@trgrestore.com www.trgrestore.com

BANKING

www.dicklerlaw.com

BTL ARCHITECTS, INC. (312) 342-1858 Bringing Buildings Back to like Contact Delph Gustitius www.btlarchitects.com

CODER TAYLOR ASSOCIATES (847) 382-4100 “We specialize in emergency Repairs” Architects • Research • engineering specifications • Reserve studies coder@codertaylor.com

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2016©.

ALLIANCE ASSOCIATION BANK (888) 734-4567

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

full service banking and lending solutions for management companies and associations. www.AllianceAssociationBank.com

www.frapc.com

COMMUNITY ADVANTAGE, A WINTRUST COMPANY (847) 304-5940

KEOUGH & MOODY, P.C. (630) 369-2700 legal Representation for community Associations www.kmlegal.com

loans, Reserve investments & lock Box services www.communityadvantage.com

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condo lifestyles

BANKING

BUILDING RESTORATIONS

CREDIT BUREAU REPORTING

ITASCA BANK & TRUST (630) 773-0350

LS CONTRACTING GROUP, INC. T (773) 279-1122 f (773) 279-1133

SPERLONGA DATA & ANALYTICS (952) 500-1068

“together We’ll shape the future” www.itascabank.com

contact: tom laird tlaird@lscontrtacting.com www.lscontracting.com

MUTUAL OF OMAHA BANK (866) 800-4656 HoA Banking • internet cash Management HoA loans • online Payment services www.mutualofomahabank.com

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

QUALITY RESTORATIONS (630) 595-0990

Window and Related Masonry interior & exterior doors | siding & Gutters www.woodlandwindows.com

BASEMENT WATERPROOFING THE REAL SEAL, LLC (847) 756-7987

RIGGIO/BORON LTD. (847) 531-5700

austinwerner@therealsealllc.com

A total exterior facade Restoration company www.RiggioBoron.net

BUILDING RESTORATIONS

W. J. MCGUIRE COMPANY (847) 272-3330 tuckpointing, caulking, Masonry and concrete Restoration

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

CONCRETE SUNDEK OF ILLINOIS (847) 392-3939

FORUM GROUP, INC. (773) 732-3051

We resurface concrete We remove & pour concrete Waterproof Membranes Pool decks • Balconies • Rooftops shower & locker Rooms “The Only 1 Stop Service since 1967” jake@sundekofillinois.com www.Sundek.com

www.ForumGroupInc.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

GOLF CONSTRUCTION (219) 933-3420

CRC CONCRETE RAISING & REPAIR (847) 336-3400 We save concrete, you save Money! www.SaveConcrete.com

HOLTON BROTHERS, INC. Masonry Repair services, tuckpointing, caulking and concrete Restoration

AIRWAYS SYSTEMS, INC. (630) 595-4242 cleaning: Air/laundry/toilet exhaust ducts, coils, trash chutes, Parking Garages. Also Air filters, Belts www.airwayssytems.com

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

ELEVATORS/CONSULTANTS SMART ELEVATORS CO. (630) 544-6829 www.smartelevatorsco.com smartin@smartelevatorsco.com

SUBURBAN ELEVATOR CO. (847) 743-6200 simplifying vertical transportation Contact: Max Molinaro www.suburbanelevator.com

CARPET CLEANING

ENERGY USE/BENCHMARKING

DONE JUST RIGHT INC. (630) 893-0757

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

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

(847) 253-3886 TEL / (847) 253-3255 FAX

serving the tri-state Area since 1970 Contact: Jackie Loftis * jloftis@wsmech.com www.wsmech.com

John@holtonbrothers.com www.holtonbrothers.com condo lifestyles

DUCT CLEANING

CONCRETE RAISING

www.golfconstruction.net

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j.starks@sperlongadata.com www.sperlongadata.com

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seRvice diRectoRy

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

FIRE/FLOOD RESTORATION

DRF TRUSTED PROPERTY SOLUTIONS (630) 615-7000

J. C. RESTORATION, INC. (800) 956-8844

HEATING, LIGHTING & WATER EFFICIENCY ASSESSMENTS

• Boiler tune-up and maintenance • All-inclusive design-Build service • Maximum rebate capture • Guaranteed savings www.DRFtps.com/rcs

ENERGY SOLUTIONS

OCEANS ENERGY (312) 870-0580

fire Alarm / sprinkler systems fire Pumps / extinguishers fire Panel Monitoring installation / testing / Maintenance 24/7 Service: (630) 948-1200 www.simplexgrinnell.com

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

www.trgrestore.com

FIRE SAFETY & PROTECTION CONTECH MSI CO. (847) 483-3803

SP+ FACILITY MAINTENANCE (773) 847-6942

fire detection & signaling systems fire Alarm systems chicago life safety evaluation solutions security systems/cctv card Access systems www.contechco.com

daily cleaning services / Power sweeping and Washing Painting and General Repairs / seasonal services (snow/ice Removal) Parking facility, surface lot, PedestrianPlaza, large venue or commercial Retail Building.

Contact: Daniel W.nicholson dnicholson@spplus.com www.spplus.com/FacilityMaintenance

EMCOR SERVICES TEAM MECHANICAL fiRe PRotection division (847) 229-7600

FIRE/FLOOD RESTORATION

All types of environmental cleaning. www.BrouwerBrothers.com

HVAC

THE RESTORATION GROUP, LLC (630) 870-0658

FACILITY MAINTENANCE

BROUWER BROS. STEAMATIC (708) 396-1444

contact Karen corral kcorral@homewisedocs.com www.homewisedocs.com

SIMPLEX GRINNELL (630) 948-1235

info@oceanscc.com www.oceanscc.com

www.emcortmi.com

NORTHERN ILLINOIS FIRE SPRINKLER ADVISORY BOARD (NIFSAB) (866) 2NIFSAB (866-264-3722)

GENESIS CONSTRUCTION, INC. (847) 895-4422

All types of environmental cleaning. www.BrouwerBrothers.com

HOMEWISE DOCS (773) 936-3270

www.responseteam1.com

natural Gas & electric energy Reliable service. People you trust. Contact: Vickie Farina Vickie.Farina@centerpointenergy.com www.CenterPointEnergy.com/CES

BROUWER BROS. STEAMATIC (708) 396-1444

GOVERNING DOCUMENTS

RESPONSE TEAM1 (847) 891-2929

CENTERPOINT ENERGY SOLUTIONS (630) 795-2594

GARBAGE CHUTE CLEANING

24 Hour Service HvAc • industrial Refrigeration service/Maintenance • systems integration energy Management • electrical Process Piping • Plumbing www.amsmechanicalsystems.com

EDWARDS ENGINEERING, INC. (847) 364-8100 HvAc Refrigeration Boiler services sheet Metal Piping Building Automation energy Management

www.edwardsengineering.com

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

708-403-4468 www.firesprinklerassoc.org

www.genesisconstruction.com

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2016©.

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condo lifestyles

HVAC

LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS

MAILBOXES

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

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

MAILBOX WORKS (630) 355-9989/(773) 528-3111

serving the tri-state Area since 1970 Contact: Jackie Loftis * jloftis@wsmech.com www.wsmech.com

Professional landscaping and snow Removal www.acresgroup.com

since 1989

ALAN HORTICULTURAL ENTERPRISES, INC. (630) 739-0205

H V A C CLEANING BROUWER BROS. STEAMATIC (708) 396-1444 All types of environmental cleaning. www.BrouwerBrothers.com

large variety of commercial and Residential Mailboxes intercoms and tele-entry Address signage & engraved nameplates installation services

www.MailboxWorks.com

NON PROFIT/EDUCATION

www.alanhorticultural.com

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

ABOMA (312) 902-2266 ABoMA1@aol.com www.aboma.com

www.BalancedEnvironmentsInc.com

INSURANCE ILT VIGNOCCHI (847) 487-5200

HOLLINGER SERVICES, INC. (847) 437-2184

actha@actha.org | www.actha.org

COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION INSTITUTE OF ILLINOIS (847) 301-7505

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

MESIROW FINANCIAL (312) 595-8135

INSURANCE

Association of Condominium, Townhouse and Homeowners Associations

www.iltvignocchi.com

Property casualty • employee Benefits Workers compensation www.hollingerInsurance.com

nancy Ayers www.condorisk.com

ACTHA (312) 987-1906

info@cai-illinois.org | www.cai-illinois.org

www.landscapeconcepts.com

PAINTERS SEBERT LANDSCAPING, INC. (630) 497-1000

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

www.sebert.com

www.aaapaintco.com

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

SEMMER LANDSCAPE (708) 926-2304

ABC DECO (773) 701-1143

gsemmer@semmerlandscape.com

info@abcdecoonline.com www.abcdecoonline.com

INTERNET TECHNOLOGY LAWN CARE

WEBPASS (800) WEBPASS

ABBOTT PAINTING, INC. (312) 636-8400 (773) 725-9800

SPRING-GREEN LAWN CARE (800) 830-5914

simple Urban internet www.webpass.net

Quality Painting & decorating since 1973 Our Mission: Guaranteed Committment to Quality now offering Parking lot Painting www.Abbottpainting.com

www.spring-green.com

JANITORIAL SERVICES LOCKSMITH

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

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NONSTOP LOCKSMITH (312) 929-2230 locksmith services, intercom & Access control systems, cctv, overhead Garage doors www.nonstoplocksmith.com 07.16

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seRvice diRectoRy

PAINTERS

PEST CONTROL

CERTAPRO PAINTERS OF THE NORTH SHORE (847) 989-4791

ALL-OVER PEST SOLUTIONS (773) 697-1100

interior & exterior Painting Wallcoverings • decorating • Remodeling drywall Repair • decks & staining tile installation • Metal & iron Painting www.certacommercial.com rmuldoon@certapro.com

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

www.smithereen.com

www.BaumProp.com

PLUMBING

CHICAGOLAND COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT (312) 729-1300

AMS MECHANICAL SYSTEMS, INC. (800) 794-5033 Plumbing • HvAc service/Maintenance • systems integration energy Management • electrical Process Piping •industrial Refrigeration www.amsmechanicalsystems.com chgo #Bc 16138 / il #055043442

LIFELINE PLUMBING (847) 468-0069 Plumbing - Heating & Air conditioning Water Heaters - sewer cleaning & Repair Hot Water drain Jetting www.InEEDLIFELInE.com

PARKING GARAGE CLEANING EXTREME POWER CLEANING INC. (630) 532-0345

PAVING

www.chicagoland-inc.com

24 Hour Service

www.ppdpainting.com

www.ExtremePowerCleaning.com info@extremepowercleaning.com

www.associachicagoland.com

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

www.hometownpainters.com

PRECISION PAINTING AND DECORATING CORP. (630) 688-9423

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

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

HOMETOWN PAINTERS, INC. (847) 870-1600

INSIDE OUT PAINTING ROOFING & CONSTRUCTION (630) 406-3000

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

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 Margaret Shamberger

ACM COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT (630) 620-1133

www.dkcondo.com

Contact tom Skweres

THE HABITAT COMPANY (312) 527-5400

DUBOIS PAVING CO. (847) 634-6089 (800) 884-4728 www.duboispaving.com

SP+ (773) 847-6942 dnicholson@spplus.com www.spplus.com/facilityMaintenance

www.acmweb.com

www.habitat.com

ADVOCATE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT (630) 748-8310

FIRST COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT (312) 829-8900

www.advocatepm.com

ALMA PROPERTY MANAGEMENT (847) 517-4400

Guiding board members since 1988 www.condomanagement.com

www.almapropertymanagement.com

FIRSTSERVICE RESIDENTIAL (312) 335-1950 Contact Asa Sherwood

For Display or Professional Services Directory Advertising Info, Call (630) 202-3006

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PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

ROOFING

G&D PROPERTY MANAGEMENT (630) 812-6400

WERK MANAGEMENT (630) 241-0001

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

for All your Property needs www.werkmanagement.com

established 1965 Maintenance & Repairs Roofing/sheet Metal/tuckpointing www.activeroofing.com

www.gd-pm.com

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

REAL ESTATE TAX ATTORNEY

ADAMS ROOFING PROFESSIONALS INC. (847) 364-7663

ELLIOTT & ASSOCIATES (847) 298-8300

www.hillcrestmgmt.com

www.elliottlaw.com

KANE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CORP. (773) 472-2300

Roofing / siding / Gutters / insulation www.adamsroofing.com

Professional Property Management. Affordable Rate. Contact: Dennis R. Kane; DKane@KanePM.com

KSN TAX (847) 537-0500

KaneManagement.com

www.KSnLaw.com

LIEBERMAN MANAGEMENT SERVICES (847) 459-0000

MCCRACKEN MCCRACKEN BEHRENS (312) 263-4308

www.liebermanmanagement.com

www.mmbtaxlaw.com

WORSEK & VIHON LLP (312) 368-0091

www.mcgillmanagement.com

www.wvproptax.com

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

RESERVE STUDIES

www.nimrodrealty.com

RESERVE ADVISORS, INC.

ROLLING MEADOWS OFFICE

(630) 633-5450 WOODRIDGE OFFICE

www.psimanagement.net

TAIRRE MANAGEMENT SERVICES (847) 299-5740

condo lifestyles

Roofing • siding • Windows • Gutters Maintenance • capital Budget Projects A+ BBB Rating www.abc-usa.com

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

(312) 625-4958

www.lakeroof.com

custom, comprehensive studies conducted by Professional engineers www.reserveadvisors.com long-term thinking. everyday commitment.

CSR ROOFING CONTRACTORS (708) 848-9119 www.csr-roofing.com see our ad on page xx.

SUPERIOR RESERVE ENGINEERING & CONSULTING (888) 688-4560

D-WING CONSTRUCTION (630) 397-8889

www.superiorreserve.com

your Home, our Reputation A+ BBB Rating www.DWingConstruction.com

For Display or Professional Services Directory Advertising Info, Call (630) 202-3006

MI CONSTRUCTION AND ROOFING (630) 241-0001

www.sudlerchicago.com

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AMERICAN BUILDING CONTRACTORS, INC. (847) 670-1887

our Reserve studies now include foresite™

tsutton@tairremgmt.com

SUDLER PROPERTY MANAGEMENT (312) 751-0900

Roofing, siding & Windows www.aaexs.com

concentrating in Property tax Appeals since 1976

MCGILL MANAGEMENT, INC. (847) 259-1331

PROPERTY SPECIALISTS INC. (847) 806-6121

ALL AMERICAN EXTERIOR SOLUTIONS (847) 438-4131

www.mancioneinc.com 07.16

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ROOFING

SECURITY SERVICES

SIDING / RENOVATIONS

PRO HTOP ROOFING (847) 559-9119

U S SECURITY SERVICES (877) 340-1835

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

safe - secure - friendly ssiegel@ussecurityassociates.com www.ussecurityassociates.com

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

Window and Related Masonry interior & exterior doors | siding & Gutters www.woodlandwindows.com

SNOW REMOVAL M&T EXTERIORS INC. (331) 248-0447 Roofing siding Windows and service. www.mt-exteriors.com

RCN (312) 955-2322

TRICON SNOW CONTROL, INC. (847) 410-2846

rcnchicagoapts@rcn.net www.rcn.com

www.triconsnow.com

XFINITY COMMUNITIES 1 (800) XFINITY

SWIMMING POOLS

for more information e-mail: xfinity_communities@cable.comcast.com www.comcast.com/xfinitycommunities

SPMS (630) 692-1500 Heaters Pumps • Repairs • chemicals Pool Maintenance • complete Water Analysis Pool Guards, inc. ross@spmspools.com

WASTE SERVICES LAKESHORE RECYCLING SYSTEMS (773) 685-8811

TREE CARE

www.LakeshoreRecyclingSystems.com

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

WINDOWS/REPLACEMENTS

certified Arborists & certified tree care safety Professionals www.acresgroup.com

D-WING CONSTRUCTION (630) 397-8889

www.admiralsecuritychicago.com

PREMIER SECURITY (773) 867-8813

ACCESS MEDIA3 630-230-0555

www.mancioneinc.com

www.sitemaintinc.com

ADMIRAL SECURITY DOOR STAFF SOLUTIONS (847) 588-0888

dnicholson@spplus.com www.spplus.com/facilityMaintenance

THE WINTER WERKS (630) 241-0001

SITE MAINTENANCE, INC. (847) 697-1077

SECURITY SERVICES

TV-BULK CABLE & SATELLITE

www.accessmedia3.com

S&D ROOFING SERVICE (630) 279-6600 250,000 roofs installed since 1963 TEAR OFFS • SHINGLES • FLAT Multi-family ROOFING specialist our experience & technical know-how gets the job done right the first time! www.sdroofing.com sales@sdroofing.com

SP+ (773) 847-6942

www.premiersecuritycorp.com

GUARDIAN SECURITY SERVICES (708) 385-3300 Providing chicagoland’s finest door staff and security officers since 1975 www.guardiansecurityinc.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 2016©.

SIDING / RENOVATIONS

your Home, our Reputation A+ BBB Rating www.DWingConstruction.com

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

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

www.lakeroof.com

D-WING CONSTRUCTION (630) 397-8889

Window and Related Masonry interior & exterior doors | siding & Gutters www.woodlandwindows.com

your Home, our Reputation A+ BBB Rating www.DWingConstruction.com 07.16

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condo lifestyles

Chicago Property Services inc.

by Michael C. Davids

Chicago’s #1 Property Management Company

More Living. Less Worrying.

Ten Reasons to Serve on serving on your community association board can be challenging, but is one of the best things you can do to have a positive impact on the financial investment that you have made in your property and can also enhance the quality of life for your community.

I

condominiums | townhomes | hoas | 100 units & under 3634 W. Wrightwood

Chicago 60647

www.chicagopropertyservices.com 312.455.0107

Baum PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

f you own a home or condominium that’s part of a community association which shares common amenities, such as a clubhouse/hospitality room, pool, health club, utilities or other elements, you will want to ensure that these aspects of your property will be properly maintained and cared for. the best way to do this is to get involved and volunteer to serve your community association. community association committee and board positions are unpaid, however, the satisfaction of knowing your community is being well taken care of often outweighs any monetary compensation. We’ve come up with a list of 10 reasons to serve on your association board or a committee.  Hopefully this list will compel you to get involved with your association.

1. Protect Your Investment one of the top priorities of every homeowner is to protect the value of his or her home. serving on the board provides you with knowledge and input on the the financial condition on your association. Whether you realize it or not, the overall financial condition of your association has a direct impact on the resale value of the unit or unit(s) that you own. Real estate sales agents as well as prospective buyers are becoming much more aware of the importance of looking past the individual unit or home and to consider the overall financial condition of a community or building they are considering purchasing a unit in.

2. Enhance Quality of Life serving on the board provides an opportunity for you to directly impact the type of improvements that are made at your property. improvements (parking lot/garage, siding, flowers, etc) can make a big difference in how people perceive your community and have an impact on the quality of life for everyone involved. did you have certain expectations when you bought your home in the community? do you feel that your expectations are being met? By serving on your cA board, you can achieve your expectations of your community much sooner by working with other stakeholders, your management and others.

Professional Community Management C O N TA C T

Michael D. Baum, CPM, PCAM

630-897-0500 www.BaumProp.com

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BoARd BAsics

Your Community Association Board 3. Ensure Rules & Regulations are Fair

8. Learn Teamwork

Being involved with an HoA will put you in a better position to help make and implement rules for your community. Most regulations have some impact on the quality of life in a community so it makes good sense to do your part to ensure that rules and regulations are fair and benefit the entire association. some of these regulations will directly affect your property value, especially if they require decisions about the association’s budget or routine maintenance.

As a community association board member, you learn valuable life lessons about working as a team. you learn to share your interests and responsibilities with others, and at the same time, you understand the importance of valuing others’ opinions before making decisions.

4. Understand Laws That Pertain To You and Your Association serving as a board member or on certain committees will make you wellversed in laws and regulations related to community associations and maintenance. After all, since you have chosen this type of living that has specific laws and governance issues, you might as well become knowledgeable on what’s involved and what’s at stake.

5. Correct Problems and Address Challenges every community association has problems and challenges. common problems include renters, pets, parking, noise, odor, hidden agendas, and personal disputes of many types. it pays to stay in tune with any problems and issues that are facing your association. if you are informed and aware of issues before they become bigger, more expensive or disruptive, you’ll be far better off if you can help address and solve problems or challenges by helping to correct them as part of your board or committee service.

6. Gain Leadership Skills & Financial Management As part of your board service, you will learn many useful things and can gain various skills if you apply yourself. serving on a board can be especially helpful in building leadership skills. it gives you a chance to take charge of issues and work with others to remedy them. your organizational skills are sure to improve too when you regularly attend meetings and help plan activities for your association. you’ll learn about being a responsible fiduciary and many other aspects of money management (budgeting, purchasing, etc). Who can’t benefit from knowing more about money management!

7. Socialize and Network with Neighbors taking on some of your association’s tasks does not have to be boring. it’s all a matter of perspective. Although association meetings are for business, an HoA meeting (before and after) is a good time and place to meet your neighbors and to know more about them. this gives you a chance to socialize and make friends with others living in your neighborhood. you may even meet others in your association who can be helpful to you in your job, career, or running your household. some residents share contacts and knowledge of local product or service providers. it’s really up to you to come up with creative ideas on how to make your experience as a community association board member positive. did you know volunteering with a homeowner’s association could also help build your resume and perhaps help advance your career? Any kind of community volunteer service is favorable in the eyes of future employers. And since running an association is like running a business, your efforts on the board will show your experience in business as well.

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2016©.

Minimize Risk and 9. Feel Secure if you serve on your association board, you’ll know first-hand how things are going in the community. you can feel secure about the direction of the association and help make sure things stay on track.

10. Pay It Forward serving on a board is a great way to “give back” or “pay it forward” to your neighbors and to your community, which allows the opportunity to donate your time and expertise to help ensure good decision making for your property that will have a positive impact on everyone involved.

Consider Your Time so these are just some of the reasons why you should serve on your community association board. Understand that it will take time and energy on your part and approach your service with a good attitude. While there will be some challenges, if you make good decisions and work as part of a good team, your service can be extremely rewarding and beneficial. As you decide whether to volunteer for your community association, consider what kind of a commitment you are able to make before getting involved. find out how often your board meets and how long are the meetings? Many boards meet at least once a month, while some communities may meet more or less frequently, depending on committee assignments and structure. find out if you will be expected to serve on, or head, a committee. if so, how much additional time does that take and how many of those meetings are held? if you really can't make that kind of commitment, you may want to reconsider or take on a lesser role. you should also explore if your community takes advantage of technology to accommodate those who cannot be present at meetings but can participate by smartphone or computer technology. of course there can be many other benefits that are attained by serving on the board of your community association. As long as you understand that keeping the best interests of all of your association members is paramount, you’ll always gain more. Y

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by Gabriella R. Comstock by Keough & Moody, P.C.

TOP 10MISTAKES A BOARD CAN MAKE AND HOW TO AVOID THEM Members of Board of Directors for community associations are only human and like all of us, they too will make mistakes. Often mistakes can be avoided. As recently discussed at the Community Association’s Institute’s Legal Forum, the following are common mistakes made and how they can be avoided. MISTAK E # 1

Letting the Ruling in Palm II control you. Palm ii is a reality, not a nightmare. the case simply reminds us to vote in an open meeting, to provide proper notice of the board meeting, to conduct discussions of the board in an open meeting, and to have all decisions by the Board approved by at least a majority of the Board. Palm ii does not necessarily mean more meetings. it means that the Board needs to plan ahead, to be prepared at the meetings, to properly delegate authority, and to have communication policy and procedure put in place.

MISTAK E # 2 :

Failing to adhere to a meeting agenda and losing control of your meeting. A Board needs to be in control of their meetings for many reasons. in order to do this, the Board must prepare and stick to an agenda. you have to ask yourself if there is a road map for your meeting. some states even require an agenda to be provided to members in advance of a meeting taking place. the Board should confine its discussion to matters appearing on the agenda, but homeowners may raise

issues in an open forum which do not appear in the agenda. in order to avoid this, avoid ambitious agendas. A length of 60-90 minutes is a very achievable goal for most board meetings. After 3 hours, it is extremely difficult to maintain good judgment. Make sure and choose a form of parliamentary procedure. Robert’s Rules of order is not required unless your governing documents dictate as such.

M I S TA KE # 3 :

Not knowing when to refrain from commenting in an email. emails help us to communicate more efficiently. they can save time and even money. However, they can also cost an association more money. emails should not be used as a means of discussion. “Reply all” should be forgotten. email is not to be used to make “your” case regarding an owner request or a particular vendor. email cAn be used to give an owner notice of a meeting when the owner consented, to disseminate information among the Board, to prove the Association’s cause or an owner’s defense, to address an emergency, or as evidence and it is discoverable.

M ISTA KE # 4 :

Allowing policy to be dictated by a single person or small group of people. the Board can only act by majority approval. therefore, acting on your own by less than a majority can subject the Board members to liability. Acting without majority approval can also invalidate an act taken by the Association. even people in the minority can control a Board. Ask yourself why does this person want to be in charge. strong personalities can help a Board. find out how to utilize the person’s passion in a positive way. Make sure to keep it from getting personal and stop the dictatorship early on. finally, seek the guidance of the Association’s professional team to stop and prevent the one person team.

M ISTA KE # 5 :

Being reactive rather than proactive and suffering the consequences. owners will violate documents. Boards need to think ahead as to what can be done to ensure the proper rules and regulations are in place before there is a problem. Being reactive rather than proactive can result in the Association being ‘a day late and a dollar short.’ the Board can also be viewed as discriminatory, retaliatory, and this can call for the Association to be on the express train to the court house. When adopting rules don’t think just about today, think about tomorrow. seek the advice of management

847.468.0069 www.ineedlifeline.com RELIABLE & DEPENDABLE REPAIR, INSTALLATION & SERVICES:

Plumbing, Heating & Air Condtioning | Water Heaters Sewer Cleaning & Repair | Hot Water Drain Jetting

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BoARd BAsics

and counsel. learn what is “the current trend” within Associations and think logically.

M I S TA K E # 8 :

MISTAK E # 6 :

selective enforcement is attempting to enforce a restriction against one owner and ignoring it against another. it is understood that enforcing covenants is not pleasant, but it is the job of the Board to enforce every rule or restriction covenant against every violator, every single time. if the Board does not, they risk waiving the right to enforce any of the restrictions at all. the good news is that if you do not like the rules, they can be changed. if you do not like the restrictive covenants found in your declaration, the Board does have the right to amend them.

Not requiring a standard of conduct and involvement from its Board members. the way to fix this issue is by adopting a written code of ethics and requiring each new Board member to follow those standards. these standards would include, attendance at meetings; respect for parliamentary procedure, (not speaking out of turn) maintaining confidentiality regarding board discussions; promoting the goals of the Association rather than creating unnecessary homeowner conflict and disclosing financial conflicts of interest. the Board should adopt a code of conduct because a code of conduct uniformly enforces all covenants. it places the interest of the Association above personal interests or that of anther homeowner or group. it also allows for resignation if a board member can no longer uphold their promise. if the director breaches a code of conduct, there would need to be private intervention by the board president. the director would need to be reprimanded by the majority of the board and there would be a possibility for the removal by the homeowners by petition at the next election.

MISTAK E # 7 :

Cutting corners to save money but jeopardizing the Association in the process. Boards often decide to execute a contract before an attorney reviews it to avoid incurring the cost or because the contractor won’t allow changes to their contracts, and the language of the contract is boilerplate. similarly, associations often do not want to tender a claim to the insurance carrier because it may cause the insurance rates to increase. then there are the board members who select the Association’s management company based solely on cost. When making these decisions, the Board should consider the big picture and potential liability to the Association. for example, if there is a breach of contract claim asserted against the Association which could cost the Association more than if the contract had been reviewed initially by the attorney. Also, when considering a management company, or any vendor, the Board must be sure to look at the potential costs that may be incurred for services which are outside of the scope of the agreed fee. the Board needs to keep in mind that they will get what they pay for pursuant to the terms of the contract.

Lax or selective covenant enforcement.

M I S TA K E # 9 :

Not knowing when to step away from a dispute and letting it become personal. As noted above, Board members are human and there is nothing wrong with this. yet, the members of the Board need to remember that they are running a business. Personal feelings or disputes can result in spending more money just to prove a point, to get your buddy in the door, or simply because the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. Personal opinions can benefit the Association but Board members have to know when to listen to others, (especially professionals or board members) to recuse themselves from a situation, and when to tell another Board member to step away.

M I S TA K E # 10 :

Communicating the wrong information or in the wrong ways. there needs to be discretion with the communications between Board members. if something cannot be said in an open meeting, it should not be said in an email. Board members need to remember that there is a “forward” button on all emails that can be used. A Board should adopt a policy as to how email communications will be saved and by whom; what communications may be in an email; and when will emails be deleted. Board members should also establish an email account that is only to be used when addressing Association issues. lastly, Board members should not replace a formal meeting with emails. if you are a Board member that is currently making one of these mistakes, remember it is not too late to change your ways. seek the advice and guidance of your manager and legal team to break these bad habits and establish new ones.

MCD SHOWCASES THE RACES Arlington Park Racecourse AU G U S T 25, 2016

CO-SPONSORED BY XFINITY COMMUNITIES

630-932-5551 mdavids@condolifestyles.net No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2016©.

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by Michael Pfister, Keough & Moody P.C.

Take notice; Property Sold for Delinquent Taxes you open the mail one day and receive a document titled take notice. it is for one of the properties located within your association. further, the document states that this Property Has Been sold for delinquent taxes. you begin to wonder about the significance of this notice, how it impacts your association and what you should do now. the information outlined below should help answer those questions and give you a basic understanding of the tax sale process. Already Sold First, the Take notice is a document that gives notice to all lien holders on a particular property that the property has been sold because the owner of that property failed to pay his or her property taxes. It is important to note that this is not a notice of an upcoming sale, such as a notice of Foreclosure Sale. rather, the sale of this property will have taken

place approximately 2 years earlier. Pursuant to the Illinois Property Tax Code, when an owner fails to pay his or her property taxes, the property is offered for sale at an annual tax sale. At the annual tax sale, individuals and entities bid on the property by offering to charge a certain interest rate on the outstanding taxes. The person or entity that wins the bid then will pay

the outstanding taxes to the County. However, title in the property does not change hands at that time. The owner, along with any interested party in the property, will have a period of time, known as a period of redemption, to redeem the property by paying the outstanding balance. This period of redemption is usually 2 to 2 ½ years for residential real estate, depending upon extensions. The Take notice is used by the tax buyer to give notice to the property owner, along with interested parties, that the redemption period will expire on the date listed in the Take notice. Thereafter, if the property is not redeemed by the date in the Take notice, the tax buyer can petition the Court for a tax deed to the property.

We Manage Your Property as if it was Our Own.™ You shouldn’t accept anything less than

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| ACCOUNTING | ADMINISTRATION | BOOKKEEPING | CONSULTING | MANAGEMENT | 32

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M o n e y M At t e R s

Under Illinois law, an interested party cannot obtain title to a property through a tax sale. Doing so would harm other lien holders on the property because their liens would be extinguished without regard for the priority of those liens. Therefore,

association will take title to the property and become the new owner. However, that is not the case. under Illinois law, an interested party cannot obtain title to a property through a tax sale. Doing so would harm other lien holders on the property because their liens would be extinguished without regard for the priority of those liens. Therefore, if an association chooses to redeem the property, its lien, along with the lien of any other lien holder, is restored to its respective priority. Thus, a

board must be mindful of this while weighing its options for proceeding.

Estimate of Redemption one key factor for the board to consider is the outstanding balance owed on the account. The outstanding balance owed should be compared with the amount necessary to redeem the property. If the board is considering redeeming the property, an estimate of redemption should be obtained form

if an association chooses to redeem the property, its lien, along with the lien of any other lien holder, is restored to its respective priority.

Associations Interest you may be asking yourself what all of this has to do with your homeowners association. An association is an interested party in the property through its lien for payment of assessments contained in the association’s governing documents. Therefore, the Take notice is sent to the association by the tax buyer pursuant to the Property Tax Code as a party in interest. This is important because the association’s lien for unpaid assessments will be extinguished if the property is not redeemed by the date in the Take notice. At this point, the association has a decision to make. It can either redeem the property by paying the outstanding balance or do nothing and let the property transfer to the tax buyer.

Review Governing Documents Generally, an association has the power to pay the outstanding taxes and redeem the property, unless its governing documents prohibit it. Therefore, a review of the governing documents is necessary before proceeding with redemption. Additionally, the decision whether or not to redeem the property is a business decision of the board. The board must weigh various factors in the same way it would for any other decision that impacts the association.

Weigh Options unfortunately, there is a common misconception that by redeeming the property, an

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No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2016Š.


M o n e y M At t e R s

the County Clerk’s office. Having an accurate amount necessary to redeem will allow the board to make an informed decision on how to proceed.

Consider Other Lien Holders Another factor to consider is whether there are any other lien holders that might also redeem the property. For example, if there is a mortgage on the property, the bank may redeem the taxes because it will not want its mortgage to be extinguished. To determine what other lien holders may have an interest in the property, the board can order a report from a title company. However, the board should not assume that another lien holder will redeem the property. Those lien holders are weighing their options in the same manner as the association.

another interested party redeems the property. If no redemption is made within the time period, the association can follow up after the hearing on the tax buyer’s petition for tax deed to determine whether a tax deed has been issued and recorded. once the tax deed is recorded, the tax buyer becomes the new owner, free and clear of any unpaid assessments of the previous owner. As you can see, once a Take notice is received, the board has a few decisions to

make. It is important for the board to gather all the necessary information to make an informed decision. The factors discussed above are only a few examples of items the board must consider. ultimately, the board must take into consideration the best interests of the association as a whole as it makes its decision. Y

Association’s Plans for the Property A third factor for the board to consider is the association’s plans for the property. Since the association does not obtain title to the property by redeeming, the board must decide how it plans to recuperate the funds it pays to redeem. The association may be able to obtain an order for possession against the property through a forcible entry and detainer action. This would allow the association to rent the property until the association is made whole. However, when weighing whether to proceed with this option, the board should consider the condition of the property to determine if renting the property is feasible. Additionally, depending upon the status of other liens recorded against the property, the association may be able to foreclose on its lien and recuperate the funds through a foreclosure sale. before proceeding with either option, a review of the association’s governing documents is necessary to determine the availability of either option. Further, it is important to note that both of these options may take a long period of time to recuperate the funds.

Monitor the Matter Finally, if there is little or no money owed on the account or the board decides not to proceed with redemption, the association can simply monitor the matter to determine if

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by Salvatore Sciacca, Chicago Property Services

The Top 10 Ingredients of a HIGHLY Successful Community Association Board Meeting so you serve on the board? or perhaps you are a homeowner at a condo association? you probably have a full time job and perhaps are married and have a family. if not, you probably have some hobbies or have season tickets to the cubs games.

Right?

Well then the last thing you are probably thinking about is heading over to the board meeting next monday. I would know.  I used to own a condo AnD I served on the board as the Secretary.  And I will admit that I reluctantly fulfilled my duties.  Well now that I am on the management side, I have come to realize the utmost importance of having a HIGHly effective board

meeting. In fact, the board meeting is the most important event that takes place within the association, second only to the annual meeting since that is where the key decision makers (otherwise known as the board members) are elected by the homeowners.  This is where “the rubber hits the road,” where the tough decisions are made, assessments are increased, special assessments are passed and

even where fists go flying when tempers flare in certain circumstances. So what are the elements of a highly successful board meeting?

Set your monthly meeting 1. schedule well in advance (1 YEAR in advance).

board meetings should be planned well in advance. Ideally, the board Secretary should take the lead and plan the meeting calendar with the President and management for the entire fiscal year, one year in advance. 

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BoARd BAsics

Commence the board 2. meeting process (45 days in advance).

Start the board meeting process about 45 days in advance. Get the wheels in motion.  ensure bids are coming in on time.  Don’t ask for bids the day before a board meeting.  Start checking the action list and the items that need a board vote. Do as much as you can to avoid last minute scrambling. 

Finalize agenda 3. (about 2 weeks in advance).

Announcements/Notices 4. (30 days/2 weeks/1 day). People forget meetings. everyone seems to have so much on their plate.  So the more communication in advance, the better.  Post paper notices and supplement with electronic notices.  Paper notices should be posted at least 1 week in advance preferably.

Get homeowner 5. input/feedback

The manager and the board president should start to finalize the agenda of the board meeting at this time. There should be clarity on what issues will be voted on before the board meeting takes place.

(about 2 weeks in advance).

The more engaged the homeowners are, the better the community will operate and thrive. So if you are struggling with homeowner attendance at board meeting, ask them for their input ahead of the board meetings via a survey.  Then take the information, compile it and add it to the management report. 

Management report 6. (sent out about 7 days in advance). This is a very important element of an effective meeting. The management report contents will vary dramatically depending on the association and management company.  Typically, it might include some financial summaries, a report of items addressed and resolved, a report of open action items that need discussion and approvals, upcoming events, a working 5-year capital plan, and a summary of “in force” contracts.  This report will help prepare the board members for an effective well flowing meeting.

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Reminder about proper 7. board meeting etiquette

(send along with electronic reminder). This is a way to educate new homeowners and a way to remind people that board meetings are first and foremost a forum for board members to conduct business and make decisions. It is not a 1-hour open session and/or bitch session. 

Roberts Rules of Order 8. (during board meeting).

Keep on track 9. (during board meeting).

Experience the Benefits

make sure someone is the agenda captain and make sure they are empowered to keep the meeting on track. It is easy for board meetings to get sidetracked for an hour while reminiscing about the roof deck party that is still the talk of the community 3 years later.

Follow up/action items 10. (within 24 to 48 hours

post board meeting). It is essential for the manager to follow up on the board meeting action items soon after the board meeting or even better have a laptop right at the board meeting and update a system with the decisions in real time. This would be the ideal best case scenario so as much follow up as possible is taking place right during the board meeting.

This is a typical way of how associations conduct business, how to call a meeting to order and how to vote and approve contracts. It is certainly not mandatory but it seems to be prevalent within the community association industry.

Highly effective board meetings help make communities better. better meetings mean more action is taking place, more improvements are happening and people feel like their assessments are actually well spent.  Take some time going forward and make sure your board meetings are highly effective and you will experience the benefits of doing so. And what are the benefits you might ask? Well after attending a board meeting, you can go home, open up a can of cold beer, and comfortably watch a Dvr recorded game of the CubS winning yet another game in 2016 knowing you just knocked the ball out of the park during your associations’ board meeting. Y

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coveR stoRy

Lessons Learned from the Financial Crisis A Painful Process The availability of legal remedies doesn’t mean recourse is easy. The collection process can be arduous and unsatisfying. Court decisions are unpredictable, and evictions are painful. “It was very frustrating for boards to see their liens wiped out in a foreclosure action or to see the amount that they could recover dramatically reduced,” said Comstock. “judgment for possession was tricky— balancing cash flow, readying the unit for renting, soliciting renters, qualifying renters,lease language, and then transferring back to the bank,” said mancione. Associations that hired collection attorneys fared better than those that decided to follow other paths, said Hales. “board members who also happened to be attorneys specializing in other areas often failed to follow up or collect,” he said. “Also, the boards that decided to file a lien in lieu of the order of possession process often learned the hard way that they were second or third in line with regard to collection of past-due debt.”

said Peter Santangelo, Community Advantage president. “If our guidelines are 10 percent and the delinquency is 15 percent, we’ll accept 15 percent, but in a year we want to see delinquencies within 10 percent. For the most part, they have met the stipulations.” In the cases where the delinquencies are too far out of line, the lender will tell the association to come back when they can meet certain guidelines, he said. “Some we just couldn’t help because col-

Twists and Turns many twists and turns appeared along the way. Some owners facing eviction damaged their units, which then had to be remodeled before a tenant could move in. Some associations were swarmed with investorowners who bought up units, sometimes in multiples. And associations with long-held leasing bans met with owners pleading for hardship exceptions. Another wrinkle that has arisen is when associations attempt to borrow money. lenders must be assured they will be paid back. They have come to understand that assessment income is an asset, but high delinquency rates put that asset in jeopardy. Community Advantage, a Wintrust Co. in Palatine, is a lender that will will try to work with associations and work out a repayment program. “Depending on how extreme the collections are, we are still able to lend by issuing a step-down of some sort, knowing the association is trying to bring delinquencies in line,”

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Shaping the future!

from page 7

lections and other issues were too risky for us,” he said.

Is the Worst Over? For the vast number of associations, life has pretty much returned to normal. or has it? our veterans are divided. even those with positive outlooks are cautious. “It’s gotten better, but it depends on what happens to the economy,” said Santangelo. “maybe it’s not over, but it’s definitely

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slowed down,” said bialek. “We are seeing prices starting to go back to normal. Some people definitely bought over their abilities, but at least they can sell them now.” “In my opinion, there will still be foreclosures in the industry,” said Starks. “It is a fact of life that sometimes bad luck strikes people at the most inopportune time. but by the growth of communities and the turnover of homes in the marketplace, a majority of associations have weathered the storm.” “overall, they are getting back to normal with new and tighter procedures and policies in place,” said Comstock.

Hard-Learned Lessons for the Future one thing for sure, the foreclosure crisis was an expensive learning experience throughout the association industry. So how do we prepare for a repeat occurrence? “just be sure that if the board is doing their fiduciary duty and watching

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delinquencies, monitoring cash flow and creating an open forum for communication, it may limit the surprise aspect of another crisis,” said Starks. “I’d say the biggest lesson board members learned is not to delay in processing a delinquency,” said Hale. “The process is quite lengthy even if there are no disputes, so the sooner the collection process starts, the better. Some boards even instituted a ‘no nonsense’type of policy where if any owners are delinquent, they are immediately turned over to a collection attorney.”

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Hales also is investigating various means for motivating or incentivizing owners to pay their assessments on time, he said. “I hope the banking industry learned their lesson— they can’t give a mortgage to anybody at any time,” said bialek. “There is still hope for recovery of some lost assessments,” said Shpritz. “judgements are good for seven years and can be renewed thereafter, and even though the board wrote off the bad debt at the time and was unable to initially recover the money owed, they may now be able to get paid on the judgment as that owner’s financial circumstances may have improved,” he said. “This is a good opportunity to obtain additional revenue that the association thought was once lost.” Y

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CondoLifestyles  

July 2016

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July 2016

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