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JANUARY 2020 | VOLUME 23 | NUMBER 4

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

state of the industry

report

S HO T TO PIC S, TRE ND S & ISS UE

FO R CO MM UN ITY AS SO CIA TIO

F E A T U R E S..

NEW LAWS AND COURT DECISIONS HAVE BROAD APPEAL What is the #1 Mistake Community Association Board Members Make? LEGISLATIVE AND CASE LAW SUMMARY Lake Point Tower Residents and Board Overwhelmingly Oppose De-Conversion

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HOT TOPICS, TRENDS AND ISSUES FOR COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS


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table of contents COVER STORY

03

State of the Industry Report; Hot Topics, Trends and Issues for Community Associations by Pamela Dittmer McKuen

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

07 Condo Lifestyles State of the Industry S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

11 New Laws and Court Decisions Have Broad Appeal CONDO LIFESTYLES STATE-OF-THE-INDUSTRY LEGAL UPDATE by Pamela Dittmer McKuen PROPERTY PROFILE

15 Lake Point Tower Residents and Board Overwhelmingly Oppose De-Conversion by Christopher Combs 18 Industry Happenings Compiled by Michael C. Davids 20 From the Editor 21 Directory Advertisements L E G A L U P D AT E

28 The 5 Most Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Association Group Property Tax Appeals By Timothy Jacobs L E G A L U P D AT E

30 My 2020 Resolution Was to Pay More Taxes? Parking Tax Increase and Community Associations By Kris Kasten M A N AG E M E N T TA L K S

31 What is the #1 Mistake Community Association Board Members Make? by Salvatore Sciacca L E G A L U P D AT E

34 Case Law and Legislative Update by Gabriella Comstock

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COVER STORY

by Pamela Dittmer McKuen

Hot Topics, Trends and Issues for Community Associations

T

he 2019 Condo Lifestyles State-of-the-Industry brought together association professionals, homeowners and volunteers for an enlightening program of education, networking and camaraderie. Now in its 24th year, the event is the signature production of MCD Media, publisher of Condo Lifestyles and Chicagoland Buildings & Environments magazines and websites.

state of the industry

report*2019 HO T TOP ICS , TRE NDS & ISS UES

The most recent State-of-the-Industry took place at the historic Chicago Cultural Center on Thursday, December 12. Attendees were greeted by information tables that provided expertise on topics such as fire protection and life safety, disaster restoration, exterior building restoration and maintenance, mechanical systems, association law, bulk energy purchasing and more. After a catered lunch buffet, the welcome message and opening remarks were delivered by Michael C. Davids, president and founder of MCD Media. He formally opened the program by thanking attendees, event organizers, media guests and MCD Media Advisory Board members for their support and participation. Special

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FOR COM MUN ITY ASS OCI ATI

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recognition was given to the event sponsors. “Our purpose here today as the name of our event implies is to gain information about the state of our industry,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for all of us to express our views and perspectives, to learn and share, and to grow new relationships. As most of you know, information exchange and relationshipbuilding are two of the pillars that MCD Media was built on and operates.”

LEGAL AND LEGISLATIVE UPDATE Association attorney Gabriella Comstock of Keough & Moody, P.C., presented an update on recent court decisions and legislative changes that are impacting associations.

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Y A welcome message and opening remarks were delivered by Michael C. Davids, president and founder of MCD Media.

“Legislative issues and government regulations are always an important part of what we discuss here at the program each year, and we did see some significant new laws and court rulings pertaining specifically to community associations and some not so specific to community associations that are still impacting us,” Davids said. This year’s most-talked-about issues included the legalization of recreational cannabis, assistance animals, and manager licensing. Not as prevalent this year were rul-

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Y Shown here are members of the panel discussing industry trends and hot topics. (From L to R) Marshall Dickler, Matt Panush, Mike Bonick, Pete Santangelo, David Barnhart, Howard Dakoff, Peter Power, Adam Sanders and moderator Brian Butler.

ings and statutes designed to protect community association owner rights and to guard against actions of some boards from being too heavy-handed, but the trend is expected to continue, he said. (Comstock’s presentation is reported in a separate article in this issue.)

PA N E L DI SCU SSI ON :

HOT TOPICS, TRENDS AND CHALLENGES Another State-of-the-Industry tradition is the panel discussion during which leading

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professionals offer their insights and views on the most pertinent issues facing practitioners, board members and associations. The panel was introduced and moderated by Brian Butler, vice president of property management at FirstService Residential of Illinois. The 2019 panelists were: Michael Bonick, architect and vice president at Kellermeyer Godfryt Hart; Peter Power, president at Klein and Hoffman; Adam Sanders, project engineer and team leader at Elara Engineering; Peter Santangelo, president at Community Advan-

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COVER STORY

tage at Wintrust; David Barnhart, vice president of condominium management at The Habitat Company; Matthew Panush, senior property tax analyst at Worsek and Vihon; Marshall Dickler, association attorney and senior partner at Dickler, Kahn, Slowikowski & Zavell Ltd.; and Howard Dakoff, association attorney and partner at Levenfeld Pearlstein. “Managing Expectations During Capital Projects” was the theme of the discussion. An edited version follows: After introducing the panel and recognizing Dickler for celebrating 50 years as an attorney, Butler asked what types of capital projects they and their client associations are working on. Their collective answers included plumbing (riser) pipe replacements, boilers and chillers, roof replacements, window replacements, facade and masonry repairs and—to a lesser extent—elevator modernization and lobby and hallway updates. Adam Sanders: When people think of plumbing riser projects, they think about the riser and branch pipe that goes to the individual bathrooms and kitchens. But a lot of times there are horizontal distributions at the bottom and tops

of buildings that need to be taken care of. Those projects usually become very costly as well as very inconvenient. There is a lot of invasiveness to it. Those projects require quite a bit of forethought. Peter Power: Roofing replacement has been steady this past year, Y Pictured here (from L to R) is Adam Sanders, Peter Power, Howard Dakoff and David Barnhart. and we have a pretty solid backlog going into communication with boards and residents is vital. next year. We also do a fair amount of window I compare it to voting. Vote early and vote often. replacement projects in occupied buildings. Especially if you’ll be levying a special assessment Those are generally one of the largest capital or getting a loan, or if you’re going to take their expenditures a building can incur and something balcony away for an entire summer, have a town that impacts the residents on a personal basis. hall meeting way before you even get bids and The projects takes a lot of coordination from start do the project to let them know this is coming. to finish. They are very long running projects. Then you can have a town hall again when you’ve got plans in place and a contractor, and Q: Mike, what types of activities do you recomthen have another town hall to tell them how mend for boards and buildings that are planmuch it’s going to cost. Just keep getting in front ning to undertake a capital project to help resiof them will help managers so much because dents understand the process and how it will you’ll have fewer questions. impact them? Michael Bonick: If you’re doing it right, you should be planning these projects like a facade project at least a year in advance. I have found

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CONDO LIFESTYLES Q: Peter, at Klein and Hoffman, how do you manage expectations? Peter Power: I would totally agree that it’s constantly staying in front of the residents. Open mic nights, where anyone can stand up to the microphone and state their opinion, as long as it’s done in a professional manner, I think work well. When I attend one of those I find myself repeating the same answers over and over and over, but I think it’s effective. There are going to be people who are for the project and people who are against it, and you’re never going to change their opinions. It’s the group in the middle that are the ones you are trying to influence as far as making decisions. It’s the naysayers who are the loudest in communities, so you want to get the people who are for the project to speak just as loudly. Q: Adam, what is your advice for structuring a town hall meeting? Sanders: We have found it very important to have the entire project team at those meetings. For riser projects, we’ve done town hall meetings with the engineer, general contractor, plumbing contractor, building management and building engineers. Even though you distribute the literature and you’re very forthright in telling people what is going to happen, not everybody reads it or looks at it, so everybody wants to come and ask questions. Typically, we stay until there are no more

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questions. Like Pete said, you are answering the same question multiple times in one night, but eventually people start picking up on what those answers are. Q: Howard, what are some ways of dealing with difficult people during a capital project?

Y Shown here here is moderator Brian Butler of FirstService Residential

leading the panel discussion. Howard Dakoff: Most difficult residents, once Q: From a legal perspective, how do you approach they are educated will still be angry but they are a project like riser replacement? usually more cooperative. There is always going to be a small subset of difficult and uncooperative residents, and that’s what legal remedies—fines or litigation—are for. In the 20-plus years I’ve been practicing condominium law, we have only had to file a lawsuit once to gain access to a unit. Up until that point, it was always constant badgering letters, threatening letters, saying we have a right to access your unit, and if you don’t let us, we’re going to fine you and hold you liable for consequential damages for contractor delays. If you do have to sue for access, you will get it. It just may take a little time.

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Dakoff: You need to know whether the project is an owner cost or an association cost. The answer depends on your condominium declaration. On a riser project, you are going to have branch lines. Sometimes those branch line repairs or replacements are an owner cost. Most of the time it is a common cost, but you need to know. Q: Dave, from a management perspective, what are some of the considerations on a riser project? David Barnhart: Many owners and board members forget the plumbing part is the small part of the job. It’s just replacing piping. Getting things

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COVER STORY

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CONDO LIFESTYLES moved and organized and disrupting everybody’s day-to-day living is the greater difficulty. Also, I have found on larger buildings having a project manager who can keep everything moving is huge. It is very difficult to ask an onsite management staff to take on a riser rehabilitation and replacement project in addition to their day to day activities. They don’t generally have the bandwidth to do that. Q: Pete, when you’re looking to assist associations finance these projects, what can boards do to help you through that process and vice versa? Santangelo: When communicating with the unit owners, make sure they understand how intrusive the projects going to be. From the banking perspective, it’s working with professionals to make sure we are structuring a sound finance project. Q: How can you structure financing for a project that extends over many years? Santangelo: We’re kind of flexible, and it’s really communicating with us and the board as to what cash flow resources they are going to set up for repayment of the loan. It depends on how they are structuring their repayment, whether they are paying for it out of their operating budget or contribution to reserves or implementing a special assessment.

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Q: What’s happening with interest rates? Santangelo: Rates are still good. I wish I could say the same on the CD side, but on the loan side if you are looking to do a project, your rates are still very low. Q: Matt, what are the current issues in regard to property taxes? Matthew Panush: It has been a very uneven ride lately. We have a new assessor in Cook County for 2019. He just wrapped up his first reassessment—the north end of the county, the northeast and northwest suburban Cook County. We saw values on residential properties that stayed the same, values that were reduced and values that were much higher. In some places, residential condominiums were increased by up to 325 percent. Overall, I think residential properties got a fair shake, but there was a lot of correcting to be done. As they went through some of the issues they were having, more relief was granted on appeal at the assessor’s level than they had in the past and rightly so. How the appeals will turn out, we probably won’t have answers until spring of 2020. Dickler: Every one of you should hire an attorney who does the work of appealing property taxes. The attorneys do this almost universally on a percentage basis of the savings, so there is nothing out of pocket for an association. It’s a no-lose proposition.

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If you’re the board and you don’t do it, I think you’re facing Boucher claims under the Michael Boucher v. 111 E. Chestnut Condominium Association case. Management, you’d better be putting in writing that your associations should do that. Then if they don’t, you’re off the hook as far as I’m concerned on the management side. Do not assume just because you raised it at a meeting and told them it’s their decision that you are protected that way. Q: Marshall, in regard to the changing environment for service animals, what are some nuggets of advice? Dickler: The changes in the statute are minute, but they are very, very important. I think there will be a lot of litigation on service animals. Both the state and the federal government are going to be dealing with and controlling it more and more because it’s pretty outrageous. Everybody just sends off to and gets a letter from this person who is on the internet and they sign it and you send them $100 or $50 bucks. I’m hoping this is going to go away. The question about whether people have a personal and professional relationship with this person and are treating them? They say they can do it on the internet or Skype. I’m not sure that is completely going to go away. Get a manager and get an attorney, and get their advice and follow it. Management should push

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COVER STORY their associations to address the issue, document it, and do it slowly and carefully and completely. Q: With the legalization of cannabis coming, what can you tell associations about how odors move through a high rise and what can be done about it? Sanders: We have worked in several high rise buildings to try to mitigate odors, and it’s never been 100 percent successful, mostly because odors don’t necessarily go with air flow. They go from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. The air flow kind of helps allow the odor to not go in that direction, but it doesn’t stop it. Once it gets into the corridor, it spreads throughout the floor. You can try to seal up that unit, you can try several things but you also have the human factor. If someone opens a window, that immediately changes the pressurization in the building. You also have things like stack effect this time of year where on the bottom half of the building air wants to come in, and on the top half of the building air wants to go out. If somebody on the bottom half of the building is making an odor and you can’t contain it, it’s going to easily spread up in the building. It’s a very difficult thing to mechanically combat. Q: Dave, how do your buildings hold a unit owner accountable for creating offensive odors? Barnhart: Wherever possible, we like to have a

third party other than the person who is experiencing the odor to verify that odor exists. This tends to be a late-day problem. It tends not to be an early morning problem. Most of the larger high rises tend to have a security detail in effect particularly on the overnight shifts. Most governing documents have a clause about noxious and offensive activities, and associations have a process in place to enforce those rules. Q: Howard, what can a board do to try to get ahead of the problem of cannabis odors? Dakoff: Most clients are on a wait-and-see mentality. If you have a building that has smokers and you can smell it in the hallways, you are probably still going to smell it. They’ll just have no fear they are violating the law. If you have a building that the composition of the owners is such that you’ve never smelled it, I don’t know that you will suddenly have a systemic problem. The cannabis statute allows a condominium board to amend its governing documents to prohibit the smoking of cannabis in the units. I didn’t say ‘vaping.’ There is a legal difference between vaping and smoking in terms of the statute. You cannot prohibit cannabis vaping in the units. You can prohibit vaping in the common elements. Your main legal remedy is to do an amendment to the declaration to prohibit smoking of cannabis in units. That does not mean if you don’t adopt an amendment, you have no remedies. If you do nothing, you’re in the same boat as

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you are with migration of regular cigarette smoking today. If you can identify the unit and you have an owner complaining about a noxious or offensive activity, the fact that smoking cannabis is legal or illegal doesn’t matter, you have the whole enforcement process to follow for noxious and offensive conduct. That said, if you are looking for a very clear way to address it, it’s an amendment to the declaration to prohibit smoking in the unit. Dickler: Cannabis is still illegal federally. You might be able to bring an action because of federal law. If you don’t do anything, we are back to my concern someone can sue the board and management for allowing a federally illegal act on the property. We don’t have a good answer right now other than we are telling people don’t ignore it. We think at the very least, have rules in place before somebody out there becomes a problem. We are seeing the amendments to declarations to eliminate cannabis in any form possible to proactively try to get rid of it. We have to think about someone putting cannabis in cookies and giving them to a neighbor or leaving them out for Trick or Treat. It happens every Halloween. Q: Does any of this apply to people who are smoking marijuana for medical reasons? Dickler: Federal law is the federal law. You can prohibit it in your building at this point. If

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CONDO LIFESTYLES someone tells me you are not providing an accommodation under the FHA, you’re dealing with another Act. The question becomes which Act controls? At this time and the fact that it is still federally illegal and the fact that you’ve amended your declaration to prohibit smoking, I think it’s going to work. There are other ways you can use medical marijuana, so you are not prohibiting the medical treatment. Q: Could you talk about the changes in FHA regulations for residential purchases? Santangelo: There are several changes I found

that affect condominium associations. The first is spot approval. If your building is not FHA-insured, but you have a buyer who wants to use an FHA loan, FHA will do a one-off or spot approval. If an association has 10 or more units, units may be eligible for spot approval if no more than 10 percent of the units are FHA-insured. If the building has fewer than 10 units, no more than two units can have FHA financing. When your building was approved, you had to recertify every two years. Now it’s every three years. For condos with commercial units, the nonresidential space limit was set at 25 percent; that has been increased to 35 percent. Owner-occupancy was reduced to 50 percent.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made a lot of those changes in 2008. FHA is just catching up to that. Q: Dave, you are also a real estate broker. Are you seeing any changes in property valuations based on this change? Barnhart: I think it’s a little too soon. The effective date for these changes was October 15. I don’t think the brokerage community as a whole has had a chance to digest all these changes. If you think about how many associations have commercial space on the entire streetscape and units on just two floors above, almost all that type of housing was ineligible for FHA financing in the past. Now almost all of it is eligible. For credit-worthy first-time buyers, this is a huge plus, but it will take the real estate community to know how to steer buyers in the right direction and use FHA financing. Q: The City of Chicago recently passed an ordinance that increased the percentage of owners who must approve a de-conversion from 75 percent to 85 percent. Howard, what effect will that have on the de-conversion trend? Dakoff: The ordinance won’t stop all de-conversions, but it may require buyers to offer a little more financial incentive to get to the 85 percent vote. The opinion of our firm is the number you should be concerned about is far less than that. You should be concerned with the number of units in your building owned by a single entity. If an investor buys as few as 10 percent of your building, that can disrupt your condominium association. It could affect the association’s insurability and whether lenders will make loans for potential buyers. We have seen buildings have a complete stall of resale units because no one wants to buy into a building that is perceived to be under a hostile takeover. If no one can sell their units, prices start to drop (if they can sell at all) or the only buyer in town is this developer. There have been a couple of high profile newsworthy hostile takeovers in Chicago. If you think your building is vulnerable, you can take defensive postures. You can adopt leasing restrictions and unit owner restrictions. For example, no more than X-percent of the units can be leased. That might not fit into the business plan for a developer who wants to buy up the building slowly but has to leave his units vacant and can’t earn money by leasing them out. You can also adopt an amendment that says no owner can own more than a certain percent of the units in an association. Q: How are drones being utilized in capital projects? Bonick: Drones are great for looking at roofs and getting property overviews of large properties in the suburbs and in places where you don’t have high winds and all kinds of other highrises surrounding it. Another thing is you can’t actually touch anything with a drone yet. You can’t get up there and remove a spall from your concrete facade, and you can’t caulk a window. YET. Y

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S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

2019 state of the industry

by Pamela Dittmer McKuen

LEGAL UPDATE

FOCUS ON LEGISLATIVE UPDATES, NO CASE LAW SURPRISES

New Laws and Court Decisions Have Broad Appeal Association attorney Gabriella Comstock at Keough & Moody, P.C., delivered the Legal and Case Law Update at the 2019 Condo Lifestyles State-of-the-Industry luncheon seminar on December 13.

E

very year’s summation is a bit different, depending on the numbers and types of court decisions that came down and laws that went into effect or will soon be going into effect. For 2019, the most significant updates came in the area of legislative changes, particularly those regarding assistance animals and recreational cannabis. Other changes addressed licenses for community association

managers, workplace protections for employees, and post-judgment collections.

FEW IMPACTFUL COURT DECISIONS “Usually, when I’m up here, we talk so much about the cases that came down,” Comstock began. “This year it looks like a lot of cases, but there’s nothing really exciting.” On one hand, the courts have not ren-

dered much-needed clarifications to the Illinois Condominium Property Act Section 9(g), which deals with assessment delinquencies and foreclosure sales. On the other hand, they also did not decree startling decisions regarding board member and association actions like the Michael Boucher v. 111 E. Chestnut Condominium Association case in 2018. However, Comstock does expect to see more in the future. “We’re still going to see the courts watching everything boards are doing and making sure we are truly running out associa-

The full text of Comstock’s handout, “2019 Case Law and Legislative Update,” is reprinted elsewhere in this issue.

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tions as a business,� she said.

MORE RULES FOR ASSISTANCE ANIMALS The Illinois Assistance Animal Integrity Act, effective Jan. 1, 2020, applies to all housing providers, not only community associations. Among its provisions: It allows housing providers to require a person petitioning for an assistance animal to provide reliable documentation of the disability and the disability-related need for the animal. The housing provider may require the person to submit the request on a standardized form and to submit specific documentation. Such documentation shall include a written request and certification of approval from a physician or other medical provider, a mental health service provider or a non-medical service agency or other reliable third party who has a “therapeutic relationship� with the requesting person and knowledge of the individual’s disability that describes the disability-related need for the assistance animal. The Act eliminates generic certifications, and it allows spe-

cific conditions under which the housing provider may deny a request for an assistance animal. “The beauty of it is what will be gone are those generic certificates that says somebody needs an assistance animal,� Comstock said. “‘Therapeutic relationship’ is defined in this statute as somebody who is a medical provider or a health service provider, somebody who has first-hand knowledge as to what your condition is.� She recommends associations proactively

adopt a standardized form to certify the need for the assistance animal. The form can ask such questions as the need for the assistance animal, what the assistance animal will do, the credentials of the person giving approval and how long their relationship has been. “It forces someone to sign their name to a document,� she said. “I’d like to believe if somebody truly does not have a legitimate therapeutic relationship with an owner, they are going to think twice before they just sign their name.� The new guidelines are a start, and they offer some clarifications. Even so, boards and managers must handle each request for an assistance animal with care. People who request assistance animals are still a protected class, and associations still must make reasonable accommodations. “For associations that say, ‘We don’t have to worry about it. We’re a no-animal building,’ you do,� she said. “You’re going to have to allow an assistance animal. For those who say, ‘We haven’t been asked yet,’ I say, ‘Be proactive.’ Encourage your boards to talk to legal

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S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

counsel sooner rather than later to get that standardized form. Then, when you deny a request, it at least shows you were trying not to discriminate, you were not trying to selectively enforce against someone. We’re always trying to get our boards to do things in the best interest of the association. Treating everyone the same way and having procedures and policies in place is the best way to do it.”

courts do.” Because some people use marijuana for medical reasons, the attorney expects to see more requests for disability accommodations as well as greater interpretations and clarifications of the statute. She advises managers and boards to tread carefully because they can easily find themselves with discrimination claims. Try to work out a reasonable accommodation before being too quick to say smoking of medical marijuana is not allowed.

RECREATIONAL CANNABIS IS LEGAL The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act creates a new Section 33 to the Illinois Condominium Property Act, effective Jan. 1, 2020. It allows associations to adopt an amendment to their declarations restricting the smoking of cannabis in the units. “You can put in your rules no smoking in the common areas, but it you want to prohibit the smoking of cannabis in the unit, it has to be by declaration amendment,” Comstock said. “One thing to keep in mind is the Act is related only to smoking. You can’t prohibit cannabis entirely.” Although the new Act applies only to

condominiums, not to common interest communities, over the years courts have been very willing to look to the Illinois Condominium Property Act for guidance. “It might not be binding, but I think a common interest community would have a very hard time saying they restricted smoking cannabis just in their rules when a condominium association needs to amend their declaration,” she said. “It’s always good for noncondo associations to keep an eye on what is happening in the condo world because the

FHA OK’S SOME SPOT APPROVALS New FHA regulations, effective Oct. 15, 2019, allow for a single-unit approval process, providing certain conditions are met. Other changes increase the maximum number of units allowed to have FHA-insured loans and streamline the process for obtaining approval. “It’s good to see the FHA wants to take a little step back,” she said. “They are also looking more at the totality of the facts and circumstances when they are considering FHA loans. That helps new buyers get the

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financing they need.” She cautions associations against mimicking FHA requirements in their governing documents. “As quickly as we get used to them, they change,” she said.

to be the trend. The focus is on treating everyone fairly and treating everyone equally. It’s not too surprising associations are grouped into this.”

CMA LICENSING ACT EXTENDED

Because condominium and community association assessments are considered to be consumer debt, changes to Illinois law for post-judgment collections will apply to judgments obtained against unit owners. The interest rate on judgments of $25,000 or less was decreased from 9 percent to 5 percent. “The good thing is, the new law doesn’t apply to judgments that were obtained prior to Jan. 1, 2020,” she said. “Not all associations were collecting that interest, but keep in mind it is something you can collect.” As for new legislation in 2020, Constock is hoping for rules on continuing education for community association managers and clarification on Section 9(g). Y

LOWER INTEREST RATE FOR JUDGMENTS

The Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Act was extended two more years to Jan. 1, 2022. “At least we know licensing is still in effect,” she said. “Maybe next year we’ll get rules about continuing education, but who knows?”

SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING REQUIRED FOR ALL The Workplace Transparency Act, effective Jan. 1, 2020, offer several protections to Illinois employees designed to prevent unlawful discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Contract workers also are covered.

Although the Act applies to employers of over 15 employees, certain provisions like sexual harassment training apply to employers of even one employee. “This is something that as of January 1, you want to make sure you are providing this kind of training,” she said. “A lot of payroll companies and other services out there are providing webinars. I think this will continue

COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT

Al Schroeder

aschroeder@hhsg.net

Heil Heil Smart and Golee, Inc. has served Chicago and its suburbs Residential Management since 1885, by combining our lasting integrity with a cutting-edge approach.

Experienced Leadership, Todays Technology 5215 Old Orchard Road, Suite 300, Skokie, Illinois 60077

847-866-7400 / www.hhsg.net 14

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PROPERTY PROFILE

by Christopher Comes

CHICAGO’S ICONIC LAKE POINT TOWER TO PERMANENTLY REMAIN OWNER OCCUPIED

Lake Point Tower Residents and Board Overwhelmingly Oppose Deconversion Chicago’s historic Lake Point Tower, the only building situated east of Lake Shore Drive and surrounded by Lake Michigan, will remain permanently owner occupied and will not be de-converted to apartments.

U

nanimously, the Lake Point Tower Condominium Association (LPTCA) Board, as well as a supermajority of unit owners, recently adopted two amendments to prevent the building from being changed back into apartments.   The first measure, adopted on August 22, 2019, caps the number of units that may be leased at any time at 25 percent.  On September 26, 2019, a second amendment relating to condominium ownership was

adopted that prohibits any Unit owner from owning or controlling any interest in more than two percent (2%) of the Association.  The LPTCA Board took these strong actions to reassure owners their properties would be protected after owners received multiple solicitations from outside investors. “The LPTCA Board is vehemently opposed to engaging in a sale of the building to a large investor or any hostile takeover

efforts of the association. Votes in favor of the amendments show property owners overwhelmingly support the action,” said JoAnn O’Brien president of Lake Point Tower Condominium Association. “By taking these steps, the unit owners of Lake Point Tower are sending a strong message to the public, and developers, that they will not be bullied into a deconversion or allow a real estate investor and its affiliates to own and/or control of a large block of units, which would not only adversely affect unit values, but change the atmosphere of the building and potentially change the quality of life for those unit owners on a fixed income,”

Simplifying Vertical Transportation

SUBURBAN ELEVATOR »Modernization

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847-783-6200 Serving Metropolitan Chicago, Las Vegas, Milwaukee & Tampa

www.suburbanelevator.com No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2020©.

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PROPERTY PROFILE

said Howard Dakoff of Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC, the attorney for LPTCA. “Chicago’s Lake Point Tower is one of the world’s most famous skyscrapers,” said O’Brien. "The additional steps taken by the Board and unit owners further solidifies that the building will remain condominiums. “ Lake Point Tower is an iconic 70-story high rise sitting on Chicago’s lakefront. The design of the building has fascinated architects and historians alike since it was built as the tallest apartment building in the world in 1969.  Converted to 875 condominiums in 1988, the building also is host to 20 businesses and has played a prominent role in several Hollywood films such as Straight Talk, While You Were Sleeping and The Lake House.

Property Values at Lake Point Tower Remain Strong: “Over the last 12 months, the building has seen robust growth in its sales this year showing continued appreciation in value, said Jim Kinney, Vice President of Luxury

Home Sales at Baird & Warner in Chicago.  “Lake Point Tower is an attractive asset and a crown jewel on Lake Michigan which continues to stand as a very sought after building in the marketplace.”

About Lake Point Tower Lake Point Tower was designed by architects George Schipporeit and John Heinrich, both of whom were influenced by modern master Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Its dark curvilinear silhouette and prominent setting east of Lake Shore Drive at the base of Navy Pier have made it a Chicago icon. One of the first projects to create a total urban environment, the complex includes amenities such as a grocery, dry cleaner, health club and penthouse restaurant. It also boasts one of the earliest green roof features: a private 2.5-acre park with lagoon, waterfall and swimming pool designed by renowned landscape architect Alfred Caldwell. Y

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2020©.

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I N D U S T RY H A P P E N I N G S Heil Heil Insurance Agency Alex Romano joined Heil & Heil Insurance Agency as a commercial insurance specialist over two years ago and has focused his efforts and studies on becoming the area’s specialist in association and construction insurance. Alex has some background in contracting and is a Certified Construction Risk Insurance Specialist (CRIS). Along with his designation, he is also an Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI). Alex’s goal is to build longstanding relationships with his clients and support them in all their insurance needs. When asked “What can a client expect when working with you?� his response was; “An

agent who is dedicated to his craft and one who is always looking out for their best interest.�

đ&#x;Ž¤

Alex is a native of Northbrook, Illinois and lives there with his wife Brittany. He enjoys strength training, outdoor activities and spending quality time with his family.  

Y Alex Romano

Reserve Advisors, LLC Reserve Advisors, Inc. will now operate as Reserve Advisors, LLC. The change comes as the founders, Theodore Salgado and John Poehlmann, transition ownership of the company to the existing management team, new CEO Peter Hellman, and Bel Air Growth Partners. A key goal of the transition is to partner with the existing management team while continuing to provide technical advice with exceptional customer service that has been the signature of the organization since 1991. When asked why they chose the new ownership team, the founders said, “The new ownership structure provides greater opportunities to invest more resources in the company. These resources will be used to strategically scale the business in ways that provide additional value to our clients. We felt it was a win for our clients and our employees.� Salgado and Poehlmann will stay on for a period of time to help provide a seamless transition of CEO duties to Mr. Hellman. Todd Walter, VP of Engineering, celebrating his 20th anniversary with Reserve Advisors this year, had this to say about the change, “Through the years our clients have come to expect an exceptional reserve study experience. We are dedicated to delivering on this expectation by retaining the unique culture that we have developed at Reserve Advisors over the past 28 years.� Reserve Advisors creates custom-comprehensive reserve studies for condominiums, townhomes, homeowner associations, country clubs, governmental properties, commercial buildings and retirement communities.

Keough & Moody, P. C. We are excited to announce that Kenneth J. Donkel has joined Keough & Moody, P.C. effective December 1, 2019. Collaborating with Kenneth Donkel enhances our ability to deliver superb legal advice to our community association clients from our offices in Chicago and Naperville, in addition to our new location in Tinley Park. The newly expanded Keough & Moody, P.C. includes 10 attorneys and 15 support staff members, providing our clients with over 100 years of legal experience in community association law, real estate law, corporate/transactional law and litigation. Our clients should see a seamless transition and continued focus on the matters important to them. Ken will be located at our Naperville and Tinley Park offices. Kenneth J. Donkel has represented condominium and community associations for 37 years. Ken acts as general counsel for associations and has represented associations in their collection of delinquent assessments, contract negotiations, litigation, declaration amendments and opinion letters on association procedures and practices. He has extensive experience representing commercial and residential property owners in contractual matters, corporate work, and leasing. Ken received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business, Cum Laude, from Northern Illinois University. Ken received his Juris Doctorate Degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law and has concentrated his practice in representing condominium and community associations since 1982. Ken is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association.

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INDUSTRY HAPPENINGS

ABOMA The Apartment Building Owners and Managers Association of Illinois held their 82nd annual meeting and holiday party on December 7, 2019 and elected as Officers: President - Sheila Byrne, The Habitat Company, 1st Vice President - Dean Lerner, Sudler Property Management, 2nd Vice President – Jaime Sartin, Community Specialists, Treasurer, John Bieg and Secretary, Robert Wiggs, ABOMA. ABOMA also announced their schedule of events for 2020:

I N D U S T RY H A P P E N I N G S Mutual of Omaha Bank Mutual of Omaha Bank has awarded Tom Engblom with the company’s prestigious Pillar Award recipient at its annual leadership conference in San Diego on August 23rd, 2019. – an honor given annually to the bank’s top 10 performers nationwide. This is the third time Engblom has received the award.

Y Shown here are many of the members of the ABOMA Board of Directors.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to present the Pillar Award to Tom for a third time in recognition for his work as a regional account executive,” said Alan Detata, President of Homeowner Association Banking and Services of Mutual of Omaha Bank. “This is a prestigious and competitive award that recognizes top talent across our organization. Recipients like Tom have demonstrated exceptional leadership and performance on a consistent basis and we are fortunate to have them at Mutual of Omaha Bank.”

• Managers Night Out, early evening function at Athena Restaurant, Greek Town, Thursday, March 12 • Educational Seminar, afternoon function with networking, East Bank Club, Thursday, June 18 • 83rd Annual Meeting and Holiday Party, University Club of Chicago, Friday, December 4th All ABOMA events are for ABOMA members only. For more information visit www.aboma.com

Based in Chicago, Engblom is a regional account executive for Mutual of Omaha Bank’s Community Association Banking group. He was one of 10 individuals honored out of nearly 1,000 bank employees nationwide. Pillar Award recipients undergo a vigorous nomination process that evaluates performance, leadership and a demonstrated commitment to Mutual of Omaha Bank’s purpose and core values. Performance is measured by production goals, demonstrated exceptional service and contribution to a positive work environment, among other criteria.

Y Shown above are (LtoR) Bob Wiggs - ABOMA, Mr. & Mrs. Steve Adelman and Sheila Byrne - The Habitat Company & ABOMA President and Christy Wiggs - ABOMA. Mr. Adleman was recognized for his many years of service upon his retirement as ABOMA Legal Counsel.

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2020©.

In addition to the Pillar Award, Engblom has also earned the Certified Property Manager designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management and the Professional Community Association Manager designation from CAI. He also recently completed his Doctorate degree in Business Administration from Northcentral University. Mutual of Omaha Bank is a full-service bank providing financial solutions to individuals and businesses across the United States. With more than $8.5 billion in assets, Mutual of Omaha Bank is a subsidiary of Mutual of Omaha, a Fortune 500 insurance and financial services company founded in 1909.

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From the Editor CondoLifestyles

W

®

JANUARY 2020 | VOLUME 23 | NUMBER 4 Editor & Publisher Michael C. Davids Vice President Sherri Iandolo Art Director Rick Dykhuis Special Events Coordinator Mary Knoll Contributing Writers Pamela Dittmer McKuen, Jim Fizzell, David Mack, and Cathy Walker Circulation Arlene Wold Administration Cindy Jacob and Carol Iandolo Condo Lifestyles Magazine is published quarterly by MCD Media, a wholly owned subsidiary MCD Marketing Associates, Inc. For editorial, advertising and subscription information contact: 935 Curtiss Street, Suite 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. All material herein is copyrighted 2020. 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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e had cold temperatures and snow in late October and early November last year and a few cold snaps since then but no major snowfalls or extended periods of bitter cold yet. Of course, we still have plenty of winter left so we’ll undoubtedly Y Mike Davids see some more snow and plenty of cold periods. Hopefully you enjoyed the holidays and are refreshed and refocused on getting your association(s) off to a good start in 2020. Our national and local economy have continued to do well despite some hiccups and concerns over the past year. Many forecasters are optimistic about 2020 and predict that housing prices should continue to rise and unemployment, gasoline prices and mortgage rates will stay relatively low; all of which are good for almost everyone. We all know things can change quickly, but hopefully 2020 turns out to be as great as predicted. Our cover story is a report on our annual “Condo Lifestyles State of the Industry” (SOI) program held in December at The Chicago Cultural Center. Attorney Gabriella Comstock gave a presentation on recent legislation and a legal update for attendees. An expert panel consisting of two attorneys, two architect/engineers, two property managers, a banker and a property tax specialist shared their perspectives on current hot topics such as managing expectations during capital projects (risers, window replacements, etc), funding & financing, property tax appeals, Chicago Ordinance updates, dealing with difficult people, FHA mortgage eligibility and environmental issues at the SOI event as well. Our cover story features the highlights of the information shared by our expert panel at the SOI program. Our second story provides an overview and summary presented by Ms. Comstock of new laws and several court cases that directly impact community associations with an emphasis on laws and court rulings regarding service animals, the legalization of Cannibas Act, de-conversions, disclosing anticipated expenses, manager licensing & more. We have included her summary of all the recent legislation and court cases that you should be aware of as a separate article in this issue (some of which were not discussed at the SOI program). Additional coverage of our annual SOI event is also featured in this edition including photo highlights. You can also view all the event photos from this event at Facebook.com/mcd media. An article in our board basics column in this issue answers the question “What is the #1 Mistake Community Association Board Members Make?” Another article provides further information on the topic of dealing with condo de-conversions and outlines the measures that Lake Point Tower Condominiums have taken to guard against de-conversion. Our regular Industry Happenings column also appears in this edition as is customary. MCD Pool Party to feature Condolympics Games Our annual MCD Pool Party will be held on March 13, 2020 at The Pyramid Club in Addison. Tournaments will be held for 8-ball (billiards) and darts. Other events for Condolympics competition will also be held at the MCD Pool Party. The Condo Lifestyles Condolympics donations will benefit Special Olympics. Other upcoming MCD special events include our annual golf & bocce outing, which will be held on July 17 at Eaglewood Resort in Itasca, and a luncheon at Arlington International Racecourse on August 20th. We will provide more information on these events as you request and as more details are available at www.condolifestyles.net. 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 obtain subscription information on our website www.condolifestyles.net or by contacting our office. As we welcome in another new year, we encourage you to make your association and your community all it can be. If you have an idea that would benefit other Community Associations, a story to share, or some advice on how to avoid a problem or failure, please call our office at 630-932-5551 or send us an e-mail (mdavids@condolifestyles.net) Y Michael C. Davids Editor and Publisher 

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SERVICE DIRECTORY

ACCOUNTANTS

ARCHITECTS/ENGINEERS

ATTORNEYS

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

RICHARD M. FINK, JR. (847) 802-9197

ANNUAL ACCOUNTING SERVICES: Audits Reviews Compilations / Income Taxes

“We Specialize in Emergency Repairs” Architects • Research • Engineering Specifications • Reserve Studies Dick@RichardMFink.com

CERVANTES, CHATT & PRINCE, P.C. (630) 326-4930 ext 202

MONTHLY SERVICES: Collection of Assessments Paying of Bills Monthly Financial Statements www.canteycpa.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

CUKIERSKI & COCHRANE, LLC CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS

(847) 496-7180

A full-service accounting firm specializing in the unique needs of homeowners’ associations. www.ckwcpa.com

PBG FINANCIAL SERVICES LTD (847) 291-1400 EXT 353 Contact: Steve Silberman, CPA E-Mail: SSilberman@pbgltd.com www.pbgltd.com

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

BUILDING TECHNOLOGY CONSULTANTS, INC. (847) 454-8800 Experts in Evaluating and Solving Building Problems ROOFING I WATERPROOFING | FACADES I PARKING GARAGES WINDOWS I RESERVE STUDIES I TRANSITION STUDIES info@btc.expert

KLEIN AND HOFFMAN (312) 251-1900 Architectural & Structural Engineering Solutions www.kleinandhoffman.com

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2020©.

"Matching Legal Solutions to Real World Problems" Contact: Bob Prince www.ccpchicago.com

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

ENGINEERING SUPPORT SERVICES 630-904-9100 Construction Specifications Roof Evaluations Forensic Engineering Project Management Contact Greg Lason, P.E. www.engineeringsupportservice.com

FULL CIRCLE ARCHITECTS, LLC (847) 432-7114

Attorneys & Counselors www.dicklerlaw.com

FULLETT SWANSON, P.C. (847) 259-5100 www.frapc.com

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

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

Legal Representation for Community Associations www.kmlegal.com

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

KELLERMEYER GODFRYT & HART, P.C. (847) 318-0033 Investigations and Repair Documents for: Exterior Walls, Windows, Roofs, and Parking Garages Condition Surveys and Reserve Studies www.kghpc.com

MUELLER AND ASSOCIATES STRUCTURAL CONSULTING ENGINEERS (312) 253-7322 Assessment Evaluation & Planning New Structure Design / Existing Structure Modification Building Envelope / Condition & Reserve Studies www.muellerandassociates.org

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

WALDMAN ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS (630) 922-3000

THE RESTORATION GROUP (630) 231-5700 24 HOURS

www.waldmaneng.com

FOR DISPLAY OR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES DIRECTORY ADVERTISING INFO, CALL (630) 202-3006

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

CONDO LIFESTYLES

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BANKING

BUILDING RESTORATIONS

ALLIANCE ASSOCIATION BANK (888) 734-4567

BRUNO CONSTRUCTION MASONRY, INC. 773-796-4355

Full service banking and lending solutions for management companies and associations. Contact: Diane White dwhite1@allianceassociationbank.com www.AllianceAssociationBank.com

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

Masonry Restoration and Repairs Tuckpointing - Lintel Replacement Parapet Wall Repairs - Waterproofing Caulking - Sandblasting - Modac www.tuckpointingcontractor.com

HOLTON BROTHERS, INC. (847) 253-3886 TEL / (847) 253-3255 FAX Masonry Repair Services, Tuckpointing, Caulking and Concrete Restoration John@holtonbrothers.com www.holtonbrothers.com

INLAND BANK & TRUST (630) 908-6708

DAKOTA EVANS RESTORATION, INC. (847) 439-5367

Commercial Lending and Community Association Loan Program Contact: Timothy J. Haviland, CMCA www.inlandbank.com

ITASCA BANK & TRUST (630) 773-0350

Tuckpointing ~ Masonry Repairs Waterproofing ~ Terra Cotta Repairs Caulking & Sealants ~ Structual Repairs Cleaning ~ Balcony Restoration Concrete Restoration www.dakotaevans.com

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

LMC CONSTRUCTION 708-714-4175

MUTUAL OF OMAHA BANK (866) 800-4656 HOA Banking • Internet Cash Management HOA Loans • Online Payment Services www.mutualofomahabank.com

SEACOAST COMMERCE BANK 331-305-0869

Masonry Concrete General Contracting Roofing www.LMCTeam.com

LS CONTRACTING GROUP, INC. T (773) 774-1122 F (773) 774-5660 Contact: Tom Laird tlaird@lscontracting.com www.lscontracting.com

Full Service Banking and Lending Services Specializing in Homeowner Association & Property Management Solutions

QUALITY RESTORATIONS (630) 595-0990

rrowley@sccombank.com www.sccombank.com

W. J. MCGUIRE COMPANY (847) 272-3330

BASEMENT WATERPROOFING

Tuckpointing, Caulking, Masonry and Concrete Restoration

THE REAL SEAL, LLC (847) 756-7987 austinwerner@therealsealllc.com

CONCRETE RAISING CRC CONCRETE RAISING & REPAIR (847) 336-3400 We Save Concrete, You Save Money! www.SaveConcrete.com

CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT G3 CONSTRUCTION SERVICES 630-654-6282 Common Area Restoration Services www.G3Constructs.com

CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS HOME DEPOT PRO (331) 315-5467 Ask me how you can qualify for our white glove concierge service & volume pricing Kathy Sulem Katheryn_Sulem@homedepot.com

DOORS DOOR SYSTEMS ASSA ABLOY ENTRANCE SYSTEMS 1-800-THE-DOOR PEDESTRIAN DOORS / REVOLVING DOORS SECTIONAL DOORS / STEEL ROLLUP DOORS / FIRE DOORS HIGH SPEED DOORS / DOCK LEVELERS www.doorsystems.com

DYNACO ENTREMATIC (847) 562-4910 High Speed Doors

www.dynacodoor.us

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

www.woodlandwindows.com

WEATHERSHIELD, LLC. (630) 376-6565

DUCT CLEANING

Masonry - Tuck Pointing - Caulking Balcony Restoration - Painting Contact: Peggy Glenn www.weathershield.us

AIRROOT 847-895-9550 NADCA Certified Duct Cleaning Company www.airroot.com

FOR DISPLAY OR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES DIRECTORY ADVERTISING INFO, CALL (630) 202-3006 22

CONDO LIFESTYLES

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SERVICE DIRECTORY

DUCT CLEANING

FIRE/FLOOD RESTORATION

FIRE SAFETY & PROTECTION

ECO AIRDUCTS 708-530-1986

EMERGENCY CONSTRUCTION GROUP 855-4ECGNOW

THE FIRE ALARM COMPANY

Full Service Cleaning AirDucts, Trash Chutes & Dryer Vents www.ecoairducts.com

CONTECH

(847) 483-3803

Contact: Jenny Ruth jenny@emergencyconstructiongroup.com www.emergencyconstructiongroup.com

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

AIRWAYS SYSTEMS, INC. 630-595-4242

GENESIS CONSTRUCTION, INC. (847) 895-4422

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

www.genesisconstruction.com

USA FIRE PROTECTION (224) 433-5724

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

Fire alarm / Sprinkler systems Fire pumps / Fire extinguishers Backflow prevention Fire panel / Monitoring

ELEVATORS/CONSULTANTS

INSTALLATION | INSPECTION | TESTING | MAINTEnance

SUBURBAN ELEVATOR CO. (847) 743-6200 Simplifying Vertical Transportation Contact: Max Molinaro www.suburbanelevator.com

www.usafireprotectioninc.com

courtneyschmidt@callperfection.com www.callperfection.com

ENERGY SOLUTIONS

RAINBOW INTERNATIONAL RESTORATION (708) 460-0911

CENTERPOINT ENERGY (630) 795-2594

Contact: Niki Ramirez www.rainbowrestore.net

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

THE RESTORATION GROUP, LLC (630) 870-0658 www.trgrestore.com

SERVPRO RESTORATION COMPANY (773) 337-3900 / SOUTH CHICAGO (847) 498-8889 / NORTHBROOK

NANIA ENERGY ADVISORS (630) 225-4554 Energy Usage, Efficiency & Purchasing www.naniaenergy.com

FACILITY MAINTENANCE

24/7 EMERGENCY SERVICE: (847) 816-0050

PERFECTION PROPERTY RESTORATION (877) 962-9644

Fire/Flood Restoration, Mold Remediation & BioHazard Removal Services www.servpronorthbrookwheelingglencoe.com www.servproevergreenparksouthchicagocity.com

SP+ FACILITY MAINTENANCE (773) 847-6942 Daily Cleaning Services / Power Sweeping and Washing Painting and General Repairs / Seasonal Services (Snow/Ice Removal) Parking Facility, Surface Lot or PedestrianPlaza,

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

FIRE/FLOOD RESTORATION BROUWER BROS. STEAMATIC (708) 396-1444 All types of environmental cleaning. www.BrouwerBrothers.com

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2020©.

SKYLINE DKI (708) 629-0563

GARBAGE CHUTE CLEANING BROUWER BROS. STEAMATIC (708) 396-1444 All types of environmental cleaning. www.BrouwerBrothers.com

HANDYMAN/MAINTENANCE MIDWEST PROPERTY SERVICES, INC. (630) 656-1000 Construction / Maintenance / Painting Electrical / Snow Removal "No Job Too Big or Too Small" service@midproservice.com / www.midproservice.com

HVAC/HVAC CLEANING BROUWER BROS. STEAMATIC (708) 396-1444 All types of environmental cleaning. www.BrouwerBrothers.com

HILL MECHANICAL GROUP 847-451-4200

"Restoring Happiness" www.skylinedki.com

HVAC & Plumbing Services www.hillgrp.com

FIRE SAFETY & PROTECTION NORTHERN ILLINOIS FIRE SPRINKLER ADVISORY BOARD (NIFSAB)

708-403-4468

www.firesprinklerassoc.org

INSURANCE ALLIANT/MESIROW INSURANCE SERVICES (312) 595-8135 Nancy Ayers www.condorisk.com

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CONDO LIFESTYLES

INSURANCE

LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS

MOLD REMEDIATION

HOLLINGER SERVICES INSURANCES, INC. (847) 437-2184

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

Property Casualty • Employee Benefits Workers Compensation www.HollingerInsurance.com

PERFECTION PROPERTY RESTORATION (877) 962-9644

www.landscapeconcepts.com

courtneyschmidt@callperfection.com www.callperfection.com

HEIL HEIL INSURANCE AGENCY (847) 530-3888

SEBERT LANDSCAPING, INC. (630) 497-1000

Contact: Alex Romano or Teri Mlotek tmlotek@heilandheil.com www.heilandheil.com

INTERNET TECHNOLOGY RCN (312) 955-2400 www.rcn.com/bulkbetter

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

PAINTERS

SEMMER LANDSCAPE (708) 926-2304

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

gsemmer@semmerlandscape.com

www.aaapaintco.com

LAWN CARE

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

SPRING-GREEN LAWN CARE (800) 830-5914

LOCKSMITH

ABC DECO (773) 701-1143

ABBOTT PROTECTION GROUP 312-636-8400

info@abcdecoonline.com www.abcdecoonline.com

Security Camera & Access Control Systems Intercom & Video Intercom Systems IT/Networking Burglar Alarm/Fire Alarm Systems Emergency Lighting/Fire Extinguishers Bobby@AbbottProtection.com

CERTAPRO PAINTERS OF AURORA (866) 715-0882

ALAN HORTICULTURE, LLC (630) 739-0205

NONSTOP LOCKSMITH (312) 929-2230

info@alanhorticultural.com www.alanhorticultural.com

Locksmith Services, Intercom & Access Control Systems, CCTV, Overhead Garage Doors www.nonstoplocksmith.com

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

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

MOLD REMEDIATION

CONDO LIFESTYLES

Fire/Flood Restoration, Mold Remediation & BioHazard Removal Services www.servpronorthbrookwheelingglencoe.com www.servproevergreenparksouthchicagocity.com

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Interior & Exterior Painting Drywall Repair • Metal & Iron Painting Light Carpentry • Power Washing Commercial Roofing Repair cdidech@certapro.com oswego.certapro.com

CERTAPRO PAINTERS OF THE NORTH SHORE (847) 989-4791 Interior & Exterior Painting Wallcoverings • Decorating • Remodeling Drywall Repair • Decks & Staining Tile Installation • Metal & Iron Painting www.certacommercial.com rmuldoon@certapro.com

SERVPRO RESTORATION COMPANY (773) 337-3900 / SOUTH CHICAGO (847) 498-8889 / NORTHBROOK

FOR DISPLAY OR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES DIRECTORY ADVERTISING INFO, CALL (630) 202-3006

24

Quality Painting & Decorating since 1973 Our Mission: Guaranteed Committment to Quality Now offering Parking Lot Painting www.Abbottpainting.com

www.spring-green.com

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

www.sebert.com

MIDWEST PROPERTY SERVICES, INC. 630-656-1000 Construction / Maintenance / Painting Electrical / Snow Removal "No Job Too Big or Too Small" service@midproservice.com / www.midproservice.com

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SERVICE DIRECTORY

PARKING GARAGE CLEANING

PLUMBING

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

SP+ (773) 847-6942

LIFELINE PLUMBING (847) 468-0069

FIRSTSERVICE RESIDENTIAL (312) 335-1950

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

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

www.fsresidential.com

POWER WASHING

FIRST COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT (312) 829-8900

PAVING DUBOIS PAVING CO. (847) 634-6089

Guiding board members since 1988 www.condomanagement.com

POWER CLEAN, INC. (630) 545-9551

info@duboispaving.com www.duboispaving.com

G&D PROPERTY MANAGEMENT (630) 812-6400

Mobility Efficiency Safety Professional Power Washing

SP+ (773) 847-6942

powercleaninc@netzero.net www.powercleaninc.com

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

www.gd-pm.com

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

TWIN BROS. PAVING & CONCRETE (630) 372-9817

ACM COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT (630) 620-1133

Asphalt Paving & Sealcoating / Concrete www.TwinBrosPaving.com

Contact Tom Skweres www.acmweb.com

PEST CONTROL

Contact Asa Sherwood

THE HABITAT COMPANY (312) 527-5400 www.habitat.com

HEIL, HEIL, SMART & GOLEE LLC 847 866 7400 Quality, Service, Performance and Integrity

ALL-OVER PEST SOLUTIONS (773) 697-1100

ADVOCATE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT (630) 748-8310

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

Managing in the Chicago Suburbs since 1988 www.advocatepm.com

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

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

Contact: Al Schroeder at aschroeder@hhsg.net www.hhsg.net

www.hillcrestmgmt.com

www.associachicagoland.com

www.smithereen.com

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

GREAT LAKES PLUMBING & HEATING COMPANY (773) 489-0400

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

CHICAGOLAND COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT (312) 729-1300

KANE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CORP. (773) 472-2300 Professional Property Management. Affordable Rate. Contact: Dennis R. Kane; DKane@KanePM.com KaneManagement.com

www.chicagoland-inc.com

COMMUNITY SPECIALISTS (312) 337-8691

MCGILL MANAGEMENT, INC. (847) 259-1331

www.communityspecialists.net

www.mcgillmanagement.com

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

NIMROD REALTY GROUP, INC. (847) 724-7850 Servicing the North and Northwest suburbs

www.chicagopropertyservices.com

www.nimrodrealty.com

MORE LIVING. LESS WORRYING.

Plumbing / HVAC / Fire Protection Riser Replacements / Site Utilities www.glph.com

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CONDO LIFESTYLES

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CONDO LIFESTYLES

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

REAL ESTATE TAX ATTORNEY

ROOFING

NORTHWEST PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 815-459-9187

KSN TAX (847) 537-0500

ALL AMERICAN EXTERIOR SOLUTIONS (847) 438-4131

Residential & Commercial Association Management CRYSTAL LAKE & GENEVA IL www.nwpropertymanagement.net Established 1979

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SPECIALISTS 847-845-6067

www.KSNLaw.com

Roofing, Siding & Windows www.aaexs.com

MCCRACKEN MCCRACKEN BEHRENS (312) 263-4308 Concentrating in Property Tax Appeals since 1976

www.mmbtaxlaw.com

WORSEK & VIHON LLP (312) 368-0091

www.Pmgrs.com

www.wvproptax.com

PROPERTY SPECIALISTS INC. (847) 806-6121

RESERVE STUDIES

ROLLING MEADOWS OFFICE

(630) 633-5450

WOODRIDGE OFFICE

www.psimanagement.net

BUILDING RESERVES INC. 1 (877) 514-8256

REALMANAGE 1(866) 473-2573

Easy-to-Read, Customized Reserve Studies created by Reserve Specialists & Engineers www.BuildingReserves.com

www.realmanage.com

REALTY & MORTGAGE CO.

COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT

773-989-8000

SUPERIOR RESERVE ENGINEERING & CONSULTING (888) 688-4560

RESERVE ADVISORS, INC. (312) 625-4958

SUDLER PROPERTY MANAGEMENT (312) 751-0900

A remarkably simple reserve study system Custom, Comprehensive Studies Conducted by Professional Engineers

www.sudlerchicago.com

Contact Corinne Billingsley corinne@reserveadvisors.com www.reserveadvisors.com Long-term Thinking. Everyday Commitment.

ROOFING

tsutton@tairremgmt.com

VILLA MANAGEMENT 847-367-4808

ACTIVE ROOFING CO., INC. (773) 238-0338/(708) 430-8080 Established 1965 Maintenance & Repairs Roofing/Sheet Metal/Tuckpointing www.activeroofing.com

We manage so you don't have to! ® Since 1976. 7370 N Lincoln Ave., Suit A, Lincolnwood, IL 60712

www.villamgt.com

REAL ESTATE TAX ATTORNEY

ADAMS ROOFING PROFESSIONALS INC. (847) 364-7663

ELLIOTT & ASSOCIATES (847) 298-8300

Roofing / Siding / Gutters / Insulation www.adamsroofing.com

www.elliottlaw.com

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CONDO LIFESTYLES

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

CSR ROOFING CONTRACTORS (708) 848-9119 All Types of Roofing Installation, Repairs & Maintenance www.csr-roofing.com

D-WING CONSTRUCTION (630) 397-8889 Your Home, Our Reputation A+ BBB Rating www.DWingConstruction.com

www.superiorreserve.com

1509 W Berwyn Chicago IL 60640 Contact: Hugh Rider www.RealtyMortgageCo.com

TAIRRE MANAGEMENT SERVICES (847) 299-5740

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

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HAMMERBRUSH PAINTING & CONSTRUCTION (630) 320-9676 Concrete & Masonry / Roofing & Siding www.Hammerbrush.com

M&T EXTERIORS INC. (331) 248-0447 Roofing Siding Windows and Service. www.mt-exteriors.com

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

PROHOME1 630-517-5797 Roofing / Siding Windows / Doors Decks / Gutters & Downspouts Kitchen & Bath Remodeling Specializing in Multi-Family www.prohome1.com

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2020©.


SERVICE DIRECTORY

ROOFING

SIDING / RENOVATIONS

TV-BULK CABLE & SATELLITE

PROHTOP ROOFING (847) 559-9119

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

UPSTREAM NETWORK 844-55-STREAM

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

Window and Related Masonry Interior & Exterior Doors | Siding & Gutters

www.upstream.network

www.woodlandwindows.com

XFINITY COMMUNITIES 1 (800) XFINITY

MIDWEST PROPERTY SERVICES, INC. 630-656-1000

For more information E-mail: xfinity_communities@cable.comcast.com www.comcast.com/xfinitycommunities

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

S&D ROOFING SERVICE (630) 279-6600

Siding & Gutters / Wood Replacement Welding & Railings / Snow Removal "No Job Too Big or Too Small" service@midproservice.com / www.midproservice.com

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

SECURITY SERVICES

www.LakeshoreRecyclingSystems.com

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

WINDOWS/REPLACEMENTS

SP+ (773) 847-6942

www.admiralsecuritychicago.com

ALL AMERICAN EXTERIOR SOLUTIONS (847) 438-4131 Roofing, Siding & Windows www.aaexs.com

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

SECURATEX (312) 207-1462

D-WING CONSTRUCTION (630) 397-8889

THE WINTER WERKS (630) 241-0001

”Keeping Tenants Happy” www.securatex.com

Your Home, Our Reputation, A+ BBB Rating www.DWingConstruction.com

www.mancioneinc.com

TITAN SECURITY GROUP (312) 902-3400

FORDE WINDOWS AND REMODELING, INC. (847) 562-1188

SWIMMING POOLS

www.titan-security.com

SPMS (630) 692-1500

SIDING / RENOVATIONS

Heaters Pumps • Repairs • Chemicals Pool Maintenance • Complete Water Analysis Pool Guards, Inc. ross@spmspools.com

ALL AMERICAN EXTERIOR SOLUTIONS (847) 438-4131

TOWING

Roofing, Siding & Windows www.aaexs.com

Trusted Window Replacement Services Since 1987 www.fordewindowsandremodeling.com

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

CONTRACT TOWING (779) 707-6935

D-WING CONSTRUCTION (630) 397-8889

24/7 HOTLINE (877) 613-5040 Outsource your parking to the EXPERTS in towing. Denis Phelan / www.contracttow.com

Your Home, Our Reputation, A+ BBB Rating www.DWingConstruction.com

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

LAKESHORE RECYCLING SYSTEMS (773) 685-8811

SNOW & ICE MANAGEMENT Professional Landscaping / Snow and Ice Management www.acresgroup.com

ADMIRAL SECURITY DOOR STAFF SOLUTIONS (847) 588-0888

WASTE SERVICES

For Display or Professional Services Directory Advertising Info,

Call 630-202-3006

www.insideoutcompany.com No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2020©.

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CONDO LIFESTYLES

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CONDO LIFESTYLES

by Timothy Jacobs – Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit

5

THE MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING ASSOCIATION GROUP PROPERTY TAX APPEALS In 2020, property owners all over Chicagoland will receive notices from the County Assessor indicating their property’s new assessment. While all property owners should consider appealing their new assessment to lower their future property taxes, you should consider filing your tax appeal as a group if you live in a condominium, homeowner, or townhome association.

H

ere are the five most commonly asked questions regarding group appeals and the property tax appeal process in general.

1. What is a Group Appeal? A group appeal is where all (or many) of an association’s units file a single property tax appeal. Illinois law allows a condominium association’s board to file a single appeal on behalf of all the association’s unit owners. To file as a group in a townhome or homeowners association, individual owners must formally opt in, granting the board the authority to include their units in one association group appeal.

2. Why Appeal as a Group? Associations should appeal as a group for several reasons. First and foremost, County Assessors prefer one appeal, over dozens, or even hundreds, of owners filing separately. It’s administratively easier to process and the favored method. Second, the County Assessors place a single value on the entire building or development and reviewing that value is facilitated by an appeal including all units. Third, the County Assessor has a duty to uniformly assess all units within an association. The group appeal enables the County Assessor to meet this obligation.

3. Will an Appeal Actually Reduce Tax Bills? Let’s look at some math: The property tax assessment represents what the County Assessor thinks your property is worth, based on a designated assessment level. In Cook County, residences are assessed at 10% of fair market value. This means that a condominium unit or any residence within an association worth $300,000 should have a property tax assessment at $30,000. In Lake County, DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, and McHenry County (also known as the Collar Counties), all property regardless of type (i.e. residential or commercial) are assessed at 33.33% of fair market value. Therefore, a $300,000 condominium unit (residential or commercial) in the Collar Counties would carry an assessment of $100,000. To calculate the tax bill, the County Treasurer multiplies the assessment, the equalizer(s) and the local tax rate by each other (Taxes = Assessment x Equalizers x Local Tax Rate).

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L E G A L U P D AT E

So, if you believe that the County Assessor’s value opinion is wrong, as reflected in the property tax assessment, you should absolutely challenge it by means of an appeal.

5. Does the Association Have to Hire an Attorney?

4. How Do Appeals Work? In Cook County, property tax assessment appeals start at the Assessor’s Office. Cook County affords taxpayers the ability to file formal complaint within 30 days of the township publishing the new assessment. In Lake County and the other Chicagoland Collar Counties, the process is more informal at the Assessor level. The local township assessors will discuss lowering the assessment at the taxpayer’s request when the assessments are published, but no actual appeal is filed. If the Assessor’s decision on the appeal is not satisfactory, taxpayers can subsequently appeal their property tax assessment to the County Board of Review. The Board of Review appeal process is more formal, with the offices

enforcing stricter appeal rules and holding scheduled hearings on assessment appeals. Once the Board of Review issues a decision, the taxpayer has the option to pursue an even further appeal to either the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB) or the Circuit Court of the County. Note: these highest-level appeals can take years to adjudicate, and associations very rarely choose to go down this path.

To file a group appeal, yes. Associations are not considered “persons” under Illinois law and thus need a licensed attorney to represent them in any legal proceeding. This includes property tax assessment appeals. Further, the Board of Review, PTAB and Court require associations to be represented by licensed attorneys in an assessment appeal before their offices. Unfortunately, hiring a “tax consultant” or having one of the board members file an appeal on behalf of the entire association would result in the appeal being voided and might cost the association the ability to re-file with legal counsel if the appeal deadline has expired. Associations need skilled legal counsel to steer them through the property tax appeal process. Not only do association assessment appeals require careful analysis and preparation, but there are several agencies and levels in which to appeal. Each one comes with its own caveats and pitfalls. Y

Property • Casualty • Employee Benefits • Workers Compensation

220 S. Lively Blvd., Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 Ph: 847-439-2184 • 800-780-2922 • Fax: 847-437-2189 www.hollingerinsurance.com No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2020©.

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CONDO LIFESTYLES

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CONDO LIFESTYLES

by Kris Kasten, Esq. – Altus Legal

My 2020 Resolution Was to Pay More Taxes?

Parking Tax Increase and Community Associations It’s now 2020, and the start of new laws passed by our

State legislators. Apparently, the General Assembly believed that we Illinoisans would all resolve to pay more taxes in 2020. To help us meet that perceived “resolution”, the Parking Excise Tax Act (effective 1/1/2020) imposes a new statewide parking tax requiring operators of parking areas, spaces, and garages throughout Illinois to collect and pay an additional tax for the privilege of parking a vehicle in such parking areas, spaces, or garages.

ing spaces.” This means that condominium associations that charge fees (assessment or user charge) to unit owners for use of parking areas or garages are not required to collect the tax on that fee. However, if the condominium association permits the general public to pay for and use its parking area or garage on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis, the association is required to pay the new parking tax.

The new tax is based on the purchase price paid for the use of the parking area, space, or garage. For those interested in specific details, the tax rate for a parking space paid for on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis is 6% of the purchase price. The tax rate for a parking space paid for on a monthly or annual basis is 9% of the purchase price.

For condominium associations located in Chicago and Cook County, this type of parking tax is nothing new. For example, Cook County already has a similar parking tax, which also exempts condominium associations. However, the new Parking Excise Tax Act is statewide and applies to all Illinois associations to which such a type of parking tax may have never applied before.

Fortunately, the new tax provides an exemption for residential off-street parking for home or apartment tenants or condominium occupants and specifically applies to “a condominium agreement between the condominium association and the owner, occupant, or guest of a unit, whether the parking charge is payable to the landlord, condominium association, or to the operator of the park-

Interestingly, the new parking tax statute does not expressly exempt common interest community associations (“CICAs”) or master associations – only condominium associations. So what does this mean for such a CICA or master association that charges a fee for use of its parking area or garage? Given the legally distinct definitions of “condominiums” and “CICAs” and

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“master associations”, it is our opinion that the law does not expressly exempt CICAs or master associations from the new State parking tax. However, we note that if a CICA or master association provides parking to owners similar to how a condominium association does so (in such a manner that exempts the condominium association), then it stands to reason that such CICA or master associations should also be exempt from the parking tax. Given this oversight, the new parking tax statute may require some adjustments during the next legislative session. In summary, condominium associations throughout the state should, if they have not already done so, review their parking arrangements with legal counsel to ensure they fall within the provided exemption and that there is no tax liability on the association under the new Illinois parking tax statute. Non-condominium associations (i.e. CICAs and master associations) should also review their parking arrangements with legal counsel to determine whether the new Illinois parking statute is applicable. Y

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2020©.


M A N A G E M E N T TA L K S

by Salvatore Sciacca – Chicago Property Services

What is the #1 Mistake Community Association Board Members Make? It is by far the biggest mistake that board members make. It is such a big mistake that it usually results in having to repeat the process within 12 to 16 months. Make no mistake about it. This is an easy mistake to make. And yes. Mistakes do happen. But I am here to help you avoid this mistake and not have to learn from this mistake.

T

he #1 mistake board members make is making a buying decision mostly based on the base management fee when vetting a new management company. I get it. You have a budget and the budget has a fixed amount of money set aside for management services. Furthermore, you are a volunteer and you are not getting paid for the job and you have a million other things to do which you would rather be doing. So naturally you want to make the quickest decision possible when seeking a new management company. Unfortunately, that is the worst approach possible. That is like getting married with someone that you just met for coffee. Or simply put, it's like tying the knot for better or for worse with someone that you just met and you really have no idea who they really are and what they are really like. But upon first

impression, you liked them and they seem like a good person. Besides, you are so busy and everyone else on the board is so busy, making a quick decision based on the base management fee seems like the best approach given the time constraints of the situation. Regardless of the time constraints of today's board member, the facts speak for themselves. A typical community association that is 50 units and under goes through three management companies over a course of five years. This is based on my research over almost twenty years. Yes there are exceptions to the rule. However, if you plot out the data, the resulting graph should show a typical bell curve with most associations changing management companies every 5 years and the outliers either rarely change management companies or

?

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they change every year. The significantly better vetting methodology is to take a holistic approach and understanding the overall value and management philosophy of the organization. The base management fee that a community management company charges is in no way reflective of the overall quality and value that a company provides. It is such a small piece of the overall puzzle. There are so many other factors that board members should take into account. The better approach is to understand the overall cost and the overall value that the company can provide and then compare and contrast these elements in order to make a more educated decision.

Manager Change For example, if you hire a management company that offers you a low base management fee and assigns you a really good property manager, it appears you have made a great decision. However, on average, the typical property manager stays with an association account for six to nine months. So you can bet that on average, you will get a new

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M A N A G E M E N T TA L K S

manager every six to nine months. And what if you are now very unhappy with the new manager? This is the unknown factor that was not originally taken into account.

Ala Carte’ or Not? The other example is the management company that offers a low, low price and the association signs up with the understanding that everything is included and virtually nothing is ala carte. Yet, over time, there are bills that the management company is submitting and invoicing the association for services rendered. In this scenario, the agreement the association signed is probably very vague and did not specify exactly what was included and what was not included.

management company says that large scale project support is included, the board should dig deeper and understand exactly what that means. And ask how that could be possible to include all that extra effort without charging an ala carte fee for project support. Remember, you are looking to hire a company that you can trust and is transparent in how it makes money as the management company of your association. In summary, it is extremely important for board members to take the time to properly vet management companies when looking to switch to a new firm. In order to do this successfully, it

takes time and effort. It is best to have a time line of about 3-6 months to make this transition depending on the size of the association. The bigger the association, the more time should be set aside. It is also important to determine the most important features and qualities of the new management company when conducting the search. If you make a good decision, the business relationship between the association and the management company should be mutually beneficial for all involved parties and create a better community living experience for all the homeowners. Y

Develop a Spreadsheet The best approach to vetting a new management company is to develop a spreadsheet that specifies the items that the board wants to specifically learn about how the management company deals with those items. For example, here are some items that might be on the spreadsheet: 1. Base management fee (what does this include, what are the ala carte services) 2. How many hours does the management company base fee include? (then determine the hourly rate that the firm is charging you and decide if this makes sense from a business stand point) 3. Google the management company. What are their google ratings? What about the owner of the company? Are they on LinkedIn? Are they focused on community management or are they involved in a wide variety of real estate services that don't show a focus on community management? 4. Board meeting process (what is the process from start to finish including post mortem) 5. Large scale project management process (what are the exact steps involved when handling a large scale project) 6. Management philosophy (is the company just focused on responsiveness or is the company dedicated to creating enhanced community living) 7. Analysis of the agreement (what is included and what is excluded, how detailed is the agreement) 8. Communication protocol and online portal review (how does the management company communicate with the board members and homeowners) 9.Management company income (how does the management company make money, what are all the revenue streams?)

Trust & Transparency These are items that include the base management fee and include other items that are equally important to understand when vetting a new management company. For example, if the

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

LEGISLATIVE & CASE LAW SUMMARY It is that time of the year when we look back at what happened in the legal world of community associations and we look forward to new changes in the law. The following is a brief summary of those changes and how they affect community association living.

Legislative Changes:

The Illinois Assistance Animal Integrity Act – Effective January 1, 2020. The Fair Housing Act and Illinois Human Rights Act provides that a housing provider, which includes community associations, may require a person who requires the use of an assistance animal to provide reliable documentation of the disability and the disability related need for the animal, if the disability is not readily apparent or known to the housing provider. The housing provider may require the person to submit the request on a standardized form and to submit

specific documentation. Such documentation shall include a written request, a certification from an individual who has a “therapeutic relationship” with the requesting person, and which describes the individual’s disability related need for the assistance animal. “Therapeutic relationship” is defined in the Act as one who in good faith and with actual knowledge of the individual’s disability and who is a physician or other medical provider, a mental health service provider or a non-medical service agency or other reliable third party who is in a position to know about the individual’s disability. The Act

eliminates generic certifications. The Act also includes language that allows the housing provider to deny a request if the accommodation imposes an undue financial and administrative burden or if it requires a fundamental alteration to the nature of the operation of the housing provider. The housing provider may also deny a request if there is reliable objective evidence that the specific assistance animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety to others, which cannot be eliminated or reduced; causes substantial physical damage to the property that cannot be eliminated or reduced; or has engaged in a pattern of uncontrolled behavior. The housing provider may balance the disability related needs of all residents.

Natural Gas and Electric Energy Services and Solutions CenterPoint Energy Services (CES) provides a wide range of competitive natural gas and electric services with energy solutions that meet our customers’ unique needs. • Competitive pricing • Personal, local service • Operational and market expertise Contact Vickie Farina at 630-795-2594 Vickie.Farina@centerpointenergy.com Visit us at CenterPointEnergy.com/CES

Reliable service. People you trust.

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L E G A L U P D AT E

No part of the publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher. All material herein is copyrighted 2020©.

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Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act –

FHA Approval – Effective October 15, 2019.

Effective January 1, 2020.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development revised its regulations for obtaining a loan that is insured through the Federal Housing Administration. Most notably, the new regulations allow for a single-unit approval process, whereas previously, an entire association was required to receive FHA approval before FHA insured loans would be approved. Several other changes, such as increasing the maximum number of units allowed to have FHA insured loans and streamlining the process for obtaining approval will encourage the use of FHA loans, and should facilitate the purchase of units within associations.

The new Cannabis Act, which will permit recreational use of marijuana, creates a new Section 33 of the Illinois Condominium Property Act. Section 33 allows a condominium association to amend its declaration to prohibit and limit the smoking of cannabis within an owner’s unit. A condominium association’s Rules and Regulations cannot otherwise restrict consumption of cannabis by any other method within a unit or the limited common elements. Rules and Regulations can only restrict any form of consumption on the common elements. While this Section allows a condominium association to restrict smoking of cannabis in a unit or limited common elements, the association cannot prohibit other forms of consumption in those areas. Please note that this is only an amendment to the Illinois Condominium Property Act and not to the Common Interest Community Association Act. While not applicable, it still is a good guide for common interest community associations on what process they too should follow to prohibit smoking of cannabis within an owner’s unit or home.

The Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Act – Effective immediately; pending approval.

House Bill 1268 has been passed in both chambers of the Illinois Legislature. This Bill amended the Regulatory Sunset Act, which is a law that simply states upon what date current regulations will be repealed. The Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Act will no longer be repealed on January 1, 2020. Instead, it will be

repealed on January 1, 2022, meaning all current state regulations for community association managers will stay in effect. The bill was passed by the House and Senate and was sent to the governor for his signature. (Will 2020 be the year we see rules and learn what are the educational requirements for community association managers?)

Workplace Transparency ActEffective January 1, 2020

Senate Bill 0075 was enacted in order to prevent unlawful discrimination and harassment in the workplace. This Act creates several protections for employees, including: requiring employers to provide sexual harassment trainings at least once per year; prohibiting employers from disclosing the name of victims of harassment and/or discrimination; limiting contractual provisions that require the victim to use arbitration; and allowing victims of gender-related violence to take unpaid leave to seek treatment. The Act applies to employers of over 15 employees, but certain provisions apply to employers of any number of employees. For example, the provision managing sexual harassment training applies so

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long as an employer has at least one employee, and protections against harassment are extended to all employees as well as “nonemployees” (any person performing services for the employer pursuant to a contract with the employer).

revived no later than 10 years after entry. This in effect decreases the maximum time allowed to collect on a consumer judgment from 27 to 17 years. Judgments obtained prior to January 1, 2020 will not be governed by this amended law.

it is critical that the association produce documents within the ten-day window provided in Section 19 of the ICPA.

Chicago Condominium Deconversions –

Summary of Cases Decided in 2019

After an association filed suit against an owner for violation of the association’s Rules and Regulations, the owner filed suit against the individual members of his association’s Board of Directors, alleging slander and libel as well as the infliction of emotional distress. The Court dismissed the owner’s suit, holding that the owner failed to adequately allege wrongdoing by the Board. In his concurring opinion Justice Delort writes, “This case proves the rule that many condominium disagreements are so acrimonious that they generate financial and emotional costs far disproportionate to the original dispute.”

Effective October 16, 2019.

This Section of the Municipal Code of Chicago, 13-72-085, increased the minimum percentage of a vote of Unit Owners required to elect to sell the property to 85%, and a greater minimum percentage can be provided for in an association’s Declaration or By-Laws.

Post-Judgment Collections – Effective January 1, 2020

Because condominium and community association assessments are considered to be consumer debts, changes to Illinois law for post-judgment collections of consumer debt will apply to judgments obtained against Unit Owners for unpaid assessments. Statutory interest on judgments of $25,000.00 or less has been decreased from 9% to 5% per annum. Consumer judgments can be

Ruiz v. Cal-Ful Condominium Association, 2019 IL App (1st) 181734. Developer/Owner filed suit against the condominium’s Board for failure to produce records in accordance with Section 19 of the ICPA and sought attorney’s fees based upon this failure to produce certain books and records. Because the facts of this case occurred prior to the 2018 update to the Illinois Condominium Property Act (ICPA), the older version of the statute applies, and a finding of bad faith by the Board is required in order for attorney’s fees to be awarded to the owner. Ultimately, here, the Plaintiff failed to allege facts sufficient to demonstrate bad faith. Now, that the 2018 ICPA revisions have occurred, this case serves as a reminder that there is no longer a requirement of bad faith, and

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Porada v. Lavelle, 2018 IL App (1st) 171818.

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Sienna Court Condominium Association v. Champion Aluminum Corp., 2018 IL 122022. The purchaser of a newly constructed condominium pursued a claim for breach of an implied warranty of habitability against subcontractors who helped to construct the building. The Court held that where there is no contractual relationship between the parties, and the purchaser is only seeking monetary damages, the

owner cannot pursue a claim for damages against the subcontractors.

Siena at Old Orchard Condominium Association v. Siena at Old Orchard, LLC, 2018 IL App (1st) 182133. In an earlier case between the parties in 2017, the Appellate Court held that a declaration amendment was valid, where the amendment removed a requirement that parties first engage

in mediation and arbitration before filing suit. The 2018 case considers whether the amendment applies retroactively, as the events that form the basis of the lawsuit occurred before the amendment was effective. The Court held that the amendment does not apply retroactively to the lawsuit, and the mediation and arbitration requirements apply.

Kasper v. McGill Management Inc. & Woodstone Townhome Homeowner’s Association, 2019 IL App (1st) 181204. After a light dusting of snow, the evening prior, a unit owner sued both the management company and association after he slipped and fell walking from his unit to the mailboxes. The snow removal contract between management and the association called for removal of snow after an accumulation of two inches or upon the association’s request. Because the dusting of snow was less than a half inch, the Court affirmed the rule that landowners owe no duty to remove natural accumulations of snow and ice from their property. Additionally, because snowfall was under the minimum accumulation in the snow removal contract, the management company did not breach any duty of care.

The Oak Run Property Owners Association, Inc. v. Basta, et al., 2019 IL App (3d) 180687. Unit owners applied for an architectural and landscaping permit from the association’s Architectural and Environmental Control Committees (AEC) for the construction of a detached garage and accompanying landscaping, which was approved by the AEC. Subsequently, the contractor sought approval of a modification from the AEC’s inspector for the installation of a retaining wall. It was the common practice of the association to allow the AEC inspector to approve “minor” alterations in previouslyapproved permits, and installation of the retaining wall – even though the wall crossed into a utility easement and the plans for the wall failed to include any dimensions – was granted. When the residents of the neighboring home returned home after a trip, they immediately filed a complaint, as the completed retaining wall measured ten to eleven feet in height and was approximately two feet from their home. The Court evaluated whether the unit owners violated the Association’s Rules and misled the AEC when submitting their plan. The Court ruled that

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the wall violated the association’s governing documents, which prohibits the construction within utility easements. However, the unit owners were not ordered to remove the completed wall. The Court held that after evidentiary hearings, the neighbor’s property value declined by $10,000.00 because of the wall, and the neighbor was only entitled to monetary relief.

Case Law, Unpublished – Cannot be Cited as Precedent

Countrylane Condominium Association v. Barghouthi, 2018 IL App (3d) 170630-U. The association brought an Eviction Action against a third-party purchaser to recover preforeclosure common expenses. The Court held that because the sheriff ’s notice of sale failed to give notice of the association’s lien as required by section 9(g) of the ICAP, the lien was unenforceable against the Unit Owner.

Deerpath Consolidated Neighborhood Association v. Lake County Board of Review, 2018 Il App (2d) 180244-U. The association authorized its attorney to file an appeal with the Lake County Board of Review, challenging the assessments of properties within the association. The Board of Review filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the association lacked standing to appeal the property assessments, because the appeal related to the members’ privately-owned properties – single family homes on individual lots – as opposed to appealing an assessment of the Common Elements. The Court refused to rule on whether the Association had standing; instead, ruling that the Board of Review failed to adequately plead a lack of standing.

Fritz v. Lake Carroll Property Association, 2019 IL App (2d) 180329-U. Unit owner sued the association, challenging a provision in the Rules that required all septic systems on private property within the association be professionally pumped at four-year intervals. The owner made two arguments; first, the owner

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argued that the association cannot enact any Rules which limit the use of his land. The Court clarified that the Rule was not a limitation or restriction, but merely a regulation to ensure that the lake, which is surrounded by the association, remains clean and healthy. The Court explained, because the association’s Declaration and Covenants outline the Board’s powers in the By-Laws, and because the By-Laws provide the authority for enacting Rules and Regulations, the requirement to regularly clean septic systems is within the association’s power. Members in a voluntary association agree to abide by the Rules and Regulations adopted by the organization. Second, the owner argued that because the Rules were not recorded, they were unenforceable. The Court rejected this contention outright, because unlike an association’s declaration, there is no statutory requirement to record rules and regulations.

Silo Ridge Homeowners Association v. Abercrombie, 2019 IL App (1st) 182262-U. Unit owner appealed a judgment for possession and unpaid assessments entered in favor of the association, arguing that either the Court erred

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in granting the association attorney’s fees and court costs or that the amount of fees and costs awarded was unreasonable. The Court held that an unsuccessful party is responsible for the other party’s attorney’s fees, when authorized by statute or contract. Here, because the Declaration provided that owners are responsible for the payment of assessments and attorney fees related to a collection action, there was a contractual basis between the parties to award attorney’s fees to the association. The Court then considered the argument that the attorney’s fees awarded were

unreasonable because the amount of attorney fees was greater than the judgment amount, but this reason alone does not justify rejection of the amount sought. Ultimately, the trial court’s award of attorney fees was upheld in full.

Connolly v. Milazzo, 2019 IL App (1st) 171906-U. Unit owner filed suit against the President and other Members of the Board of Directors of his association, alleging that the Board retaliated

against the owner for expressing criticism of the association. The defendants attempted to dismiss the case, asserting that the unit owner failed to adequately allege facts supporting his case, but the Court held that issuing violation notices for “offensive” activity when the unit owner was expressing criticism of the Board provided enough facts to proceed to trial for violation of Section 18.4(h) of the ICPA, which prohibits the Board from adopting any rule which impedes a member’s freedom of speech. The Appellate Court also reversed the award of attorney’s fees to the defendants, requiring the trial court to reevaluate if such an award is proper.

Eagle Ridge Townhouse Association v. Snapp, 2019 IL App (2d) 180634-U. The association filed suit against its former Board President and former management company, which was owned by the Board President, alleging misappropriation of association funds. In turn, Defendant filed suit against the association, its current Board Members, and the master association. The Appellate Court considered whether the master association engaged in defamation when it mailed meeting minutes and campaign flyers to association members. The Court held that, because the master association was simply stuffing and addressing envelopes – a service provided to any paying association member – it was not an “information content provider” and was not “publishing” defamatory statements. Therefore, the Court dismissed the claims against the master association.

Board of Managers of Ravinia Lofts Condominium Association v. Reliable Building LLC, 2018 IL App (1st) 172880-U. The association filed suit against the Developer, who in turn filed suit against an engineering firm. During the course of the lawsuit, the association and the Developer settled their lawsuit, and any claim the Developer may have had against the engineering firm was assigned to the association. Eventually, the association requested leave to amend its complaint to include the engineering firm; however, by this point in time, the statute of limitations for breach of contract had run out. The Court held that because the association’s claim against the engineering firm arose from a different set of facts as the Developer’s claim against the firm, the suit was time-barred by the statute of limitations. Y

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