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Click to browsePropertyU.net is a new web site that will bring board members and property managers together with experienced professionals to get qualified answers to the thousands of questions surrounding the serious business of running homeowner associations—from landscaping, to legal, to accounting, and much more. The great thing about PropertyU.net is that it never stops growing. As new questions are asked, the answers given by our contributors are added to the knowledgebase, increasing what is instantly available to the board member, property manager, or homeowner.

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AAA Painting Contractors, Inc.
Acres Group 
Alliance Association Bank
Associa Legum & Norman Midwest
Associa Vanguard Community Management
Association Capital Bank
BT Lakeside Roofing
Cantey Associates, CPA's
Caruso Management Group
CISA Insurance Community Advantage
CAU (Community Association   Underwriters of America, Inc.)
Dakota Evans Restoration, Inc.
DuBois Paving Company 
Fullett Rosenlund Anderson, PC
Ground Pros
Highgate Cross & Cathey
ILT Vignocchi
Inside-Out Company
Itasca Bank & Trust
J.C Restoration, Inc. 
Keay & Costello, PC
Keough & Moody, PC
Landscape Concepts
Lieberman Management Services
Qci Restoration
Rabine Paving Company
Reserve Advisors
Richter Insurance Group
Rosenthal Bros, Inc.
Rowell Incorporated
S & D Roofing Services
Scott Byron & Company
TOPS Software
Waldman Engineering
Woodland Windows & Doors

 

 

 

Recent Questions

Can the same person be both treasurer and president of an association?

I live in a CICAA ass'n and the documents state the ass'n is responsible for tuckpointing.I have written to the Board advising that I need some tuck pointing work. The Board's reply without any inspection is we have inspected other units and did not find the need for tuck pointing. How can I get the Boards attention to inspect the masonary and tuck pointing needs of my unit without going to court? 

We were going to sell our house and the man said it was not built square.  Can the insurance company correct this?

A leaky roof caused damage to interior walls and ceiling of a condo unit. Is the Association liable for repairs?

One of the condo owners is more than 12 months late in their maintenance fees.  We would like to serve papers on them with move to evict. However, the person occupying the residence is not the owner.  By law, can we serve the papers only to the person occupying the property, and meet the responsibility of due process.  Do we have to prove that the owner received the necessary documentation of being arrears in maintenance fees? Thank you.

Can the association deny delinquent homeowners 2 to 4 years behind in assessments services like grass cutting and lost of parking priviledges of common area, not pay for their roof inspection ? All have refuse all efforts from the association to work with them in a repayment plan for over a year. We have sent 30 day notices which were rescinded, two designed letters of repayment which were refused also. Threatened ... Nothing we do has resulted in a reply from delinquent owners. 

I live in a common interest community and our original declaration was not submitted to the provisions of the ICPA. Also, our Articles of Incorporation states we are not established as a condominium under the ICPA. Since our board has not taken any action to adopt the Illinois CICAA of July 29, 2010, my question is what law are we governed by...the CICAA or the ICPA? Thank you for clarifying this for me.

I reside in a medium sized condo association. From what I have heard from other associations each association has different information about what is required since the ruling in the Palm vs 2800 case. Are Board members required to hold open workshops? My association is not notifying owners of their workshops; the president stated the decision is being appealed. Yet another association stated our management company told them they could not hold a workshop without notifying their owners. What is correct? 

I am a Property Manager of a condo Association. The Board does not understand why they need to carry workers compensation insurance when they do not have employees and only use subcontractors. Can you provide a straightforward explanation that I can provide to my Board?

Can non unit owners serve on the Board of Directors of a Townhome Association (organized in 1973/ non for profit corp/ does not stipulate anything in the Bylaws or Decs)

Does a townhome board have the authority to throw out the Rules and Regulations?

Is it illegal for a property manager to take minutes at a meeting for a community they manage?

Is a property manager or association attorney liable for not correcting board actions which are illegal?

We have a "Guidelines for Investment" that we follow. It was approved by our "legal" experts. We are investing with MB Financial and are doing some bond purchasing. Are we okay considering the "Palm" case?

I live in a self-managed (ha!) six unit condo and our past treasurer will not release the many documents from the past years. All she has given us is the bank statement of the past two years - no bills, receipts, etc Repeated efforts by Board members has resulted in no action on her part. From the bank statements that she did give us, there are several questionable purchases and charges on the statement -that may be why we can't get the documents. How do we go about getting them?

Can we send meeting information packets out to board members via email?  The information is not for discussion - it is only the information the board needs to be prepared for the next meeting.  Such as an agenda, proposals related to the decisions being made and/or suggestions from residents or other board members.  We would mark the email as information only not for discussion.

Does the order issued on 3/21 in the Illinois Appellate Court concerning open meetings also pertain to town homes?

Does sending an article from a newspaper for other board members to read constitute a meeting? What if a comment on the article is sent to the other members of the board?  

Does Palm II apply to CICA HOA's?

Managing a condo building, how long do I have to keep records? Minutes, invoices, contracts, newsletters, copies of checks, resident files, employee records, etc.  Thank you.

To object to a decision made by the board, 20% of "residents" or 20% of votes?

Can an absent vote be considered a yes vote?

Very soon we plan to repair/replace the membrane on our floating garage floor with either Sonoguard or Conipur II, and have been given conflicting advice. That is whether to strip the floor down to the concrete or patch the bare spaces, then re-coat the entire floor. Three vendors say to repair and re-coat, one says that stripping down the whole floor is the way to go. Your recommendation, please.

We are a 20-unit townhouse (not condo) assn. Our declaration does not specify responsibility for foundation damage to a unit. Who is responsible?

Violent Neighbor in building, big risk


I have a neighbor who lives directly below me. I moved into my unit in late Dec. 2013. This person is very volitile. When moving in, this person bullied my painters, bullied my movers to the point where they were shaken up. In Feb. 2014 she assualted a member of the HOA board, over icicles. I am afraid of this individual. The police have been alerted, but only so much can be done to stop this person further attack. The rest is up to her. I believe this person will attack again.

Where can I find "best practices for board governance"? In particular, what rules exist and may help ensure that boards act in the interest of their community, rather than in their own personal interest?

In July 2012, I informed the Board that I had severe damage to the outside of my townhome. In one corner, the top of my house, which is vinyl, was not attached to the bottom which is brick. The brick wall on this side is also tilted out. Here it is 21 months later and my house still is not fixed. I had very little damage inside, but now I have more cracked walls and a window does not work. I get no answers from them. Do I need to get an attorney? Does Illinois have a time limit for them to fix this? 

Is there any research that reviews and compares the various Chicago condo management companies?

Board is required to make repairs to roof which is defined as a limited common element in our building. What if unit owner builds a new deck above roof membrane but prior to building it his architect recommends he take the initiative to hire a licensed roofing contractor to put a new membrane over existing one which at time was ten years old. Should the Board compensate that unit owner for making the improvement and extending the useful life of the roof by another 5-10 years?  

Can a condo association require an owner to use a particular plumber for unit work/repairs?

How long can someone hold 2 board positions at the same time?

We are a small 6 unit condo assn. We decided to hire one of the owners' son to be the property caretaker. Is it appropriate and legal that instead of paying him outright we deduct his payment from the assessment. In lieu of a salary they would be paying less assessment.

When discussing legal or personnel matters in Illinois, the board may meet in a closed session. Does the board need to report to owners the vote for the decision made at that meeting, for example, whether or not to seek an order of possession for a delinquent unit?

How long can a board member hold the titles President and Treasurer?

Our Board secretary does not write proper minutes. He has been provided with guidance in the form of articles and other informative materials and refuses to attend educational seminars. Can we edit or rewrite what he has submitted so that we may approve the minutes at an open meeting?

Although our 48 unit condo association has a management company and a building manager, our president runs the building like a disfunctional dictatorship. The president's prime form of commincation with owners is leaving one page notices in the unit's door jam or hanging signs on entry doors. I pay for a management company not a dictator. E-mail is never used and letters are seldom sent even though the monthly statement has a message area that is never used. Any suggestions?

Our TH development offers about 30units that are the smallest models and 1/2 of the unit is above the large model below.3 years ago, while we were on a holiday, our upstairs neighbors removed the padding, carpeting and any insulation that had accompanied the unit when it was built in 2001.They replaced it with a cheap hardwood floor.Our relationship with them has become very hostile because we are constantly complaining about the noise.What might be my course of action?

One of our units had a problem with pipes freezing. Who can we hire to determine where the problem is and then fix it?

Where can I find information about the processes used by condominium associations to resolve complaints and disputes between unit owners. We would like to put something in our rules and regulations as to the procedure to follow when one unit owner complains for example about excessive noise or parking complaints of another unit owner.

One of the units in our 6 unit condo association is in a land trust. The trustees are an invalid elderly mother and her three adult daughters. Originally only the elderly lady lived in the unit but now they have moved in a grandaughter, her four children, and also two teenage grandsons. Our declarations don't allow rentals. If the owner of the unit is the land trust then how is it determined who is allowed to live there? Can the trustees move in anyone of their choice?

If my washing machine or dishwasher or toilet,etc.. leaks into other units, who is responsible for the damage to those units? Do I need to carry some kind of insurance that will cover not only my floors, carpets...but also the other units damage? My current Allstate policy reads:Building Property Protection-$78,400, Personal Property Protection-$20,000, Family Liability Protection-$100,000,Guest Medical Protection-$1,000, Loss Assessments-$1,000(Huh?), Condo Unit Owner's Extended Protection-$10,000(Huh again?) 

We are a not-for- profit homeowners association and utility company (water and sewer) we have 72 homes. We have not insurance what kind and how much should we get or don't we need to have it?

WE are a 24 unit with 5 buildings townhomes. our assessment covers water,sewer grass snow roof association budget costs and any common repairs. each homeowner own their property from street to rear. one of the buildings has a rear rear retaining wall. those owners state the HO association should repair the wall on their property. Our board disagree.

Our condominium association's declarations do not allow rentals. Can an owner let relatives live in his unit without actually occupying the unit himself?

Our Condo Board is up for election. How do you conduct a meet and greet (the candidates). Who should preside?

We have a three-person board who runs unopposed every year. They approve their re-election without a vote stating they are running unopposed so no need for a vote. Is that true?  One board member resigned mid-term.  The remaining two board members have not made a statement on this in regards to how or if the position will be filled.  Must they fill the position?

Does a Board member have to physically live full-time in the unit he/she owns?

How can I decide between concrete and asphalt regarding a driveway that neeeds to be laid down? Right now there are just two concrete tracks for the car's wheels, in the middle of which and alongside is lawn. This often becomes a muddy mess and needs to be done properly as a full driveway.

We have concrete walkways leading up to concrete stoops. Some of the walkways next to the stoops have sunk over the years and created tall steps to the stoops. Question is: are there any maximum stair heights until they are considered a trip hazard? Some of our steps are 9 -10 inches high. Thanks.

What certifications are available for community association managers?

How do we transition to a new management company?

What is the difference between a managed association and a self managed association?

Can you bill an owner who has filed for bankruptcy for delinquent post petition account or are you barred from all billing?

The state licensing act has risks associated with the complaint process; one risk to PM's is the concern about frivolous complaints being filed against them personally when they are acting on behalf of a Board and a specific association.  PM's are being advised to seek representation from counsel if a complaint is filed against them. If the PM is covered under the Assoc. D&O policy, does the D&O provide defense coverage for legal fees for IDFPR complaints?

What is guaranteed replacement cost?

I live in a 5013c and primarily over 55 Association. I have tried to let friends live with me and the Board continues to deny my requests based on age (under 55). I am 64. According to our bylaws 20% can be under 55 although no one under 18 can reside. They also tell me that I must ask for permission for any visitor to stay more than one night although our bylaws state a maximum of 30 days with no more than 14 days of continous visitation. There is a question of familial status as well. Thank you for the help

Can anyone get my lockbox at my bank?

My HOA has been accused of selective enforcement. What is that, and how do I overcome the accusation?

Where can I find sample violation letters for my condo association?

Quickbooks vs. TOPS for CAM Accounting-pros/cons?

Our condominium association owes a lot of money to contractors and vendors.  One contractor recently obtained a large judgment against the association.  Is filing for bankruptcy a viable option for us?

A couple of our unit owners in our condominium association have had trouble selling their units because our association is not FHA certified.  Our Board is considering applying for FHA certification.  What are the requirements?

We are a small association of 24 units and are using Quickbooks, but would like to know if a management software package might be a better fit for us or not?

What about social media, like blogs, Facebook and Twitter?

How can my landscaping keep my home more secure?

Actual Cash, Replacement Cost or Guarantee Replacement coverage?

If a homeowner files for Chapter 7 bankrupcty, can the association attempt to recoup the unpaid association dues from the homeowner?

Does an association really need a reserve study? How come there can be a wide discrepancy in prices for reserve studies?

Why would I need an Engineer / Architect to bid and oversee my capital improvement project? Don't we pay our management company to handle those things for us?

We didn't have money to spend on wood replacement, so we just painted over rotting wood in hopes that it would give us a few more years to wood replacement.  So now, we HAVE to replace the wood.  Is there a product out there that we can get that will not rot?  I've been hearing about Hardie products and other names, but wanted to know if this would work for us?  We have cedar siding and trim currently.

What kind of maintenance, if any, do we need to do on our shingled roofs?

What does a reserve study tell us and how often should we get one?

Do landscape companies hang holiday lighting?

Can you explain the difference between a fixed price snow removal contract and a per inch snow removal contract?  Which is better?

What are some ways an association board can maintain proper oversight of their funds?

What are suitable investments for an association reserve fund?

Will the bank give our association a loan with 10% of the units in foreclosure?

If we have a loan with our association and want to pay off early, do we need to get permission from the homeowners or can the board just make that decision?

If we do audits every other year in an effort to save money, what's the pros and cons?

Should we seal our concrete?

What is the difference between concrete raising and mudjacking?

When would caulk be used for concrete?

What is the difference between expansion joints and control joints?

Why does concrete crack?

Crackfill does'nt look very nice so will sealcoating it make it look better?

What is crackfilling and when should we consider it?

Are there different types of sealcoating materials?

When is the best time to sealcoat?

How often do you sealcoat driveways

Why should we sealcoat driveways?

What is sealcoat?

Why does asphalt fail and need to be repaired or replaced?

What causes potholes and how are they repaired?

Can you tell me the differences between pavement patching, patching, resurfacing, and removal and replacement?

What causes asphalt to go bad and break down?

When is the best time to consider asphalt repairs?

What is asphalt?

Can we still have our buildings painted with oil-based paints, although there are 'green' products out there?

How early and how late in the season, does a normal association landscape contract begin and end?

How much fidelity/crime coverage should our Association being carrying?

As a Condo unit owner, what do I need to insure?

If I decide to do nothing after a major home disaster?  What issues will I be faced with in both the short and long term future?

Our home just had a major disaster.  Will my insurance cover all the expenses of the restoration?

Do I need to hire a restoration contractor?

Our place is flooded, so can I walk on wet/affected areas?

What should I do with draperies and fabric furniture skirt or other fabrics?

What should I do with my furniture that is sitting on wet carpet (if I can move it)?

What should I do with my HVAC system(s) when we've had water damage?

What should I do with the electric/power in the areas that are wet/affected?

What is the most important thing to do first, if I have water loss?

Is it necessary to have director's and officer's insurance for our board members?

Is it necessary to have insurance for our board members?

What can I do to prevent ice damming?

The association’s governing documents state the date of the annual meeting and the information related to the meeting is also posted on the association’s website. Is this sufficient notice of the annual meeting?

Is a board member who was appointed by the board to fill a vacancy up for election at the next annual meeting or does he complete the term of the board member whose position he filled?

We are conducting our annual meeting of owners. Can we immediately hold a board meeting? Do we close the owners’ meeting and then convene as a board meeting?

Can a board member participate in a board meeting remotely (i.e., telephone conference)?

In our monthly board meetings, are we required to follow "Robert's Rules of Order" at every meeting?

Why isn't the contractor required to include free replacement of everything in the landscape that dies while they are under contract doing the maintenance?

Why wouldn’t we always just hire the lowest bidder to do our landscape maintenance. Mowing is just mowing, right?

I see the letters CLP and CLT sometimes on the business cards of landscapers. What do the letters mean and why would they be important to me?

We are a small association of 6 units, so do we need to file a tax return even though we aren't making money?

What is an audit and do we need one every year?

What should we put into reserves on an annual basis if we don't have a reserve study?

What materials do you recommend for flat roofs?

Should we have a mobile website?

Do we need to have capital reserves?

How do we determine the size of our capital reserve fund?

How do we keep our data and records secure and safe?

Should our association have a Web site?

How can we pay for large projects that are needed if we do not have the funds at this time?

Is an association required to have a reserve study?

Are Associations required to file income tax returns?

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Financial Tips for Self-Managed Associations

The ins and outs of handling finances without the use of a professional manager. Read More >

How Many Loan Sharks Does it Take to.....?

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What Ice Dams are & how to prevent them.  Read More >

Proper landscaping helps keep intruders at bay.

This reprinted article from the Tribune discusses the ways landscaping design can deter criminal activity in your neighborhood. Read More >

The Importance of Having Recorded Copies of Your Association's Governing Documents

Do you understand the importance of having a recorded copy of your association's governing documents? Learn why it is a must for board members, managers and legal counsel to be referring to a recorded copy of the Declaration, Bylaws and Amendments. Read More >

Banking FAQ's

Some Frequently asked questions regarding bank loans Read More >

Fair Housing Laws....Is Your Association Being Fair?

Informative article about fair housing laws Read More >

An Overview of the Common Interest Community Association Act

Information regarding CICAA Read More >

10 Things You Should Know About The Common Interest Community Association Act

Important facts about CICAA Read More >

2014 edition of the Illinois Condominium and Community Association Law book

This booklet contains the entire text of the Illinois Condominium Property Act and the Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act. We also have included selected provisions from the Illinois General Not for Profit Corporation Act of 1986, selected provisions from the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure and the entire text of the Illinois Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Act and Illinois Homeowner's Energy Policy Statement Act. We hope you find this booklet to be a useful resource. Read More >