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  • July 19, 2019 12:13 PM | Anonymous

    All inspections for winter damage should be in late March or early April, depending on the location of your HOA community. It also depends if snowstorms have subsided for the spring and summer seasons.

    Many community management companies keep calendars and databases that notify property managers about maintenance check-ups.

    1. Amenities. Residents will spend more time at outdoor amenities when the weather gets warm. Inspect and repair tennis/basketball courts, tot lots, and other outdoor amenities. Check nuts, bolts, and screws on playground equipment and benches for tightness. Ensure the equipment is built to the manufacturer’s directions. Power-wash all metal structures, including swing sets, seesaws, and jungle gyms. Wooden structures need cleaning and resealing, too. 

      The community pool — which opens around Memorial Day weekend — filtration system and equipment must be inspected by a professional. Both the pool and equipment must be operational. Chemicals and materials for the season must be ordered. Pool furniture, signage, and safety equipment must be cleaned and set up. Winterized plumbing must be restored. Locker rooms and bathrooms must be cleaned and stocked.

    2. Common Areas. Conduct street cleaning to remove leftover sand and salt from snowstorms. Inspect walkways, roads, and curbs for damage caused by snow removal. Fix potholes or sidewalk cracks that were created or worsened by heavy snow plows and/or frost heave. 

      “Areas that are accessible by snow plows and snow blowers ... [should be inspected],” Gary Wilkin of Wilkin Management Group in New Jersey, said to The Cooperator. Cracked and/or uneven pavement causes safety issues for residents, especially those aging-in-place. Ask your property manager to call a professional before September for the following spring.

    3. Community Center. An area of immediate concern is any building, like the community or fitness center. With the melting snow and warm rain, potential flooding becomes a big concern. Property managers need to call a professional for a diagnostic maintenance check on irrigation systems, sprinklers, drainage basins, gutters, and downspouts. Maintenance should be biannual and around the drastic change of seasons (winter to spring and summer to fall). 

      “There shouldn't be too many [other] mechanical things you need to look at since ... you've done all your work before the winter to prevent broken pipes and things of that nature,” Wilkin said.

    4. Landscaping. In late April and early May, greenery begins to re-bloom around your community. During this change, you can see what the community needs in regards to landscaping. Do you need replacements for damaged trees and shrubs? Does turf damage exist from snow plows or salt? How will you address garden beds for the spring? 

      “The association’s buildings and grounds committee, management, and the landscape contractor ... conduct a site inspection in the spring,” James Rademacher of Rezkom Enterprises in New Jersey said to The Cooperator. 

      “They determine what areas were damaged and schedule the necessary repairs. Ongoing tree/shrub replacement projects can be worked on, and spring flower plantings completed.”  

    5. Lighting. Lighting fixtures around your HOA community need inspection and/or replacements. The days get longer with warm weather. That means lights will be on longer. Check for bad or outdated light bulbs or broken lighting fixtures, including emergency lighting.

      According to FirstService Residential, a residential property management company in Florida, check with the local utility company or consult with your property management company about available rebates. These are valuable cost-savers for switching to energy efficient alternatives.

    Winter damage in your community is often handled by a community management company. These companies ensure that neighborhoods are ready for spring. 

    To learn more about hiring a community management company, download our Guide to Hiring a Community Association Management Company. Click on the button below to get started:

  • July 19, 2019 12:09 PM | Anonymous

    The weather in most places this year has been reasonably mild for December. However, it’s always a good idea to prepare for the time ahead as the temperatures continue to drop.  To err on the side of caution, HOA boards should be prepared with the best ways to protect building operations and residents. Here are some tips for keeping everyone safe and avoiding seasonal emergencies this winter.

     1. Check Your Walkways

    Some of the most common types of winter injuries come from trips, falls, and slips on icy or wet surfaces. Patrol your community’s perimeter looking for any hazardous routes that could need attention. Apply salt to icy walkways, and have security keep watch for any potential areas that could be missed or become a hazard. If there’s a chance of your community getting lots of snow, have a plan for proper snow or ice removal.

    2. Watch for Cold Rooms

    Include routine security checks in your HOA emergency management program. Your security officer can be tasked with checking for rooms that could become unusually cold without monitoring, such as mechanical or electrical rooms, sprinkler rooms, fuel storage rooms, generator rooms, and parking garages. If you work with a property management company, let your manager know about the unusually low temperature. Otherwise, note it for yourself and continue monitoring in case you need to take action. Dropping temperatures can mean a risk of false alarms going off, frozen pipes, or HVAC issues. Being diligent about checking these possible hazards up front will help you prevent or prepare for temperature-related complaints from residents.

    3. Keep Residents Informed

    Make sure those in the community understand the risks involved during the winter months and how to respond in case of an emergency. For example, they will need to know their options for evacuation and safety in the event of a fire. It’s best to hold information sessions for your HOA going over the details. Send out email reminders, and maybe even give residents the instructions in print format, in case they don’t or aren’t able to attend the sessions. Make sure they understand their building’s approved fire safety plan.

    And to ensure this information is readily available, it’s a good idea to schedule these sessions at least once a year, not just during the winter time.

    These steps can greatly assist in keeping your HOA and residents safe and prepared for any potential hazards this holiday season. No one wants to have their family and celebration time interrupted by an unwelcome safety risk, so it’s best to keep everyone informed and safe.

  • June 28, 2019 1:15 AM | Anonymous

    May 29, 2019 Howard Dakoff and Jim Stoller : How to Deal with Difficult People?

    On Thursday, May 29, 2019 hosted by the Building Group at 1221 North LaSalle St Chicago, Illinois forty attendees heard Howard Dakoff and Jim Stoller present the topic “How to Deal Difficult People?” These can be homeowners and board members alike in a community association .

    The tips included:

    • Reaching out for assistance to your team professionals, such as your attorney.
    • Realize there are different personalities to deal with in a group living in close proximity.
    • Managing people takes skill in dealing with interpersonal relationships.
    • Keep all rules reasonable and sane.
    • Enforce all rules consistently.
    • Use parliamentary procedure in all Board Meetings.
    • Remember complainers are looking to blame everyone and everything.
    • See limits to managing time.
    • Do not let bullies take control of meetings.
    • Allow public comment in Comment or Homeowner Session only.

    Board Members:

    • Set goals ; Four to five a year
    • Use knowledge to prove truth.
    • Use best practices at all times.
    • Learn and follow Condo Law.

    In Disruptive Situations

    • Use peer pressure for the disruptors at Board Members.
    • Use team approach to work out all disagreements and challenges
    • Stay non emotional.
    • Stay objective and calm.

    Question time took place after the presentation. All attendees left with tools to use in difficult

    situations with difficult people. New strategies were offered enabling Association members to

    proceed with Board business in an tension free atmosphere.

  • June 28, 2019 1:11 AM | Anonymous





    On Thursday, June 13, 2019 attorney Mark Rosenbaum of the law firm Fischel, Kahn

    presented the topic Management agreements and the knowledge a community Association

    needs to know when choosing and contracting with a management company.

    He presented the following information to issue spot an Association through this process:

    • Choose three management companies through self research or recommendation of professionals in the condo industry.
    • Choose a licensed Ilinois manager.
    • Check on line at the Ilinois Dept. of Financial and a Professional Regulation . Look the nameup and obtain license number and active status of the Manager.
    • Interview the management company and the prospective manager to be assigned to your property.
    • Employ your attorney in the search.
    • Check your Declaration and ByLaws provisions which could affect the terms of the prospective contract with the management company.
    • In the “jump” from one management company to the other , check what your current contract states about exit time and conditions. How much notice is required?
    • Assure a smooth transition with documents due to you, resident lists and records, financials etc from one management company to another. Plan this transition carefully alerting bothparties of time frame and materials due to the Association.
    • Check your Association documents to the terms of the agreement. Two year or three year contract permitted by your Declaration.
    • In the new management contract make sure the duties of the new management company and thus the manager are clearly outlined.
    • Make a required list of what your property needs and the scope of the responsibilities the Board believes is necessary for the property.
    • Determine the number of Board meetings the manager would need to attend to be aneffective manager and be in communication with the Board and the residents.

    These are just a sampling of the information that was presented. Attendees were given a chance to ask questions at the end of the presentation.

    The Board of Directors thanks Mark Rosenbaum for his time and expertise offered to the participants at this seminar.

    ACTHA will repeat this topic next year for it is one of the most requested topics.

  • June 28, 2019 1:10 AM | Anonymous

    By Matthew O'Malley

    A swimming pool in a condominium or homeowner Association can be a welcome amenity to residents.  However, it is important that the Association implement rules and regulations that are suited for the community and address potential legal issues.

    Here are four safety tips your Association should consider that address pool upkeep and liability.

    1. Maintenance

    Check pool equipment, pool structure, water chemistry, drains, pumps, jets, first aid gear, and pool area furniture before the pool area is open. Maintaining equipment allows your Association to develop a budget for pool expenditures and replacements. Important pool related documentation such as insurance coverage, permits, and service records should also be kept up-to-date.

    1. Fencing

    Fencing can prevent pool access after-hours and when lifeguards are not on duty. Additionally, the Private Swimming Pool Enclosure Act requires that new outdoor swimming pools located on private residential property have “a protective fence, wall, or other effective permanent barrier”. This barrier must completely enclose the perimeter of the swimming pool with 42 inches or greater height. The Private Swimming Pool Enclosure Act does not apply to Jacuzzis or above ground pools with a height of 42 inches or more.

    1. Supervision

    While Illinois law does not require an Association to hire a lifeguard, Illinois public health codes govern swimming pool standards. These codes state that lifeguards are only required when an Association allows persons under the age of 16 to be in the pool area without a parent, guardian, or responsible person over 16.

    If you community employs a lifeguard, they should be trained in first aid, CPR, and emergency response. The Association should keep applicable licensing and certification on file.

    1. Signage

    Clear, visible signage can reduce injuries and can mitigate liability. Pool rules addressing hours of operation, lifeguard availability, first aid, emergency contact information, guest usage, electrical devices, rain, thunderstorms, diving, food, and alcohol consumption should be posted around the pool area.


    While this is not an exhaustive list, it should provide some preliminary pool safety issues your community should consider. An attorney can assist in navigating these concerns and advise on other critical issues, including: constructing a new pool; making improvements to existing rules and regulations; complying with Americans with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Act considerations; and assessing potential risks to your Association due to changes in the law.

    If you are a landlord, Board member, property manager and have concerns regarding swimming pool issues and their effect on your property, please do not hesitate to contact KSN. You can reach our law firm by calling 847-537-0500 or visiting our website at


    This article is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By reading this article you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the article author. This article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. © 2019 Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, A Professional Corporation.

  • June 28, 2019 1:05 AM | Anonymous

    By Kevin T. Block

    OK, raise your hand if you are one of us that feels like it is never going to stop snowing this winter.  Mother Nature started us off with a bang in November with some light accumulations leading up to the big Thanksgiving blast that left seven to eleven inches on the ground in the northwest suburbs.  Then she seemed to take a nap in December but woke up crabby and ready to wage weather war again in January; and she has been relentless ever since.

    Snow accumulation totals for this winter are already more than a foot over our average for an entire winter, and we still have a month left before we can even start talking about spring.  Along with all of this snow we have had more than our share of all of the other nasty weather elements Mother Nature keeps in her bag of tricks.  Historic ice storms, a polar vortex that crushed century old temperature records, rain, sleet, freezing rain, hail, and yes, even graupel.  In case you were wondering what graupel is, read on…

    Ice storms don’t hit the Chicago area often because they require just the right combination of cold upper air, warm air above ground level and cold air right near the ground. But when they do happen, ice storms that leave less than an inch of ice on the ground can be much more disruptive than sleet, freezing rain, or snowstorms that leave similar amounts of precipitation. 

    But what exactly is the difference between rain, freezing rain, sleet, ice, etc. and why do we need so many terms for this winter precipitation.  Whether or not precipitation remains snow or transitions to rain, freezing rain, sleet, hail, or graupel by the time it reaches the ground hinges on the temperature fluctuations the snowflakes may encounter as they travel through the layers of the atmosphere.

    When the temperature between the ground and the clouds remains at or below the freezing mark (32F), precipitation will fall in the form of snow. It is possible for snow to fall when temperatures are above 32, as long as the layer of above-freezing air near the surface is rather shallow, not allowing the snowflakes to melt.

    Sleet and freezing rain occur by a similar process but are different forms of precipitation.  Sleet occurs when snowflakes melt into a raindrop in a wedge of warm air well above the ground and then refreeze in a layer of freezing air just above the surface. This results in frozen raindrops, or small ice pellets.  Freezing rain occurs when the wedge of warm air aloft is much thicker, allowing the raindrop to survive until it comes in contact with the cold ground.  A coating of ice then forms on whatever the raindrops contact. Freezing rain is by far the most dangerous because it forms a solid sheet of ice, as opposed to sleet that just has small ice pellets that quickly bounce off of the surface.  Interestingy, sleet can even provide a little bit of traction for drivers, as opposed to the obvious dangers of a solid sheet of ice that forms from freezing rain.

    And I have not forgotten, in case you were wondering what graupel is, graupel (snow pellets) forms when snowflakes are coated with a layer of ice. Graupel is typically white and opaque. Unlike hail or sleet, graupel is soft and can fall apart easily in your hand. Graupel is also usually smaller than hail, with a diameter of around 0.08-0.2 of an inch.

    The demand for ice melt applications to remedy this onslaught of frequent, diverse precipitation has been high, exacerbated by the intermittent freeze/thaw cycles we have also seen that create melted runoff that refreezes overnight.  The need for more salt/chemical applications has resulted in some difficulty on the part of the suppliers keeping up with the demand of contractors.  Typically, suppliers are required to supply municipalities and transportation authorities first to ensure that the road ways are kept safe, leaving a high demand from contractors to take care of private properties.  Higher demand can also mean higher prices, which you may see in the future. 

    If your budget has been blown up by the cost of clearing snow and keeping up with these applications, you are not alone.  Commercial building managers, retail mall owners, and HOAs alike share in the budget pain that this winter is creating.

    However, the safety of employees, residents, visitors, etc. and the ability of vehicles to effectively navigate around your property should always be paramount when balancing the cost considerations that must be confronted in the midst of a winter like this one. 

    Hang on though, two weeks ago, Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow around 7:30 a.m. ET and did not see his shadow, predicting an early spring for us all.  A member of Phil’s Inner Circle read from the groundhog’s prediction scroll to the cheers and applause from the crowd;

    “Faithful followers, there is no shadow of me and a beautiful spring it shall be.”

    As the legend goes, if Phil sees his shadow, he considers it an “omen” of six more weeks of bad weather and heads back into his hole. If it’s cloudy and he doesn’t, you can put away that winter coat sooner than expected.  But of course, his predictions aren’t always correct.  Statistically, you’re better off trying to decide what the rest of February and March will look like by flipping a coinsince Phil’s accuracy record is only 40%.  At least with a coin you will be right half of the time.

  • June 28, 2019 1:02 AM | Anonymous

    By: Sheila Malchiodi, The Inside-Out Company, and Angela Williams Duea, LMS

    Capital improvement projects are often started in the spring, and annual maintenance work is beginning now. The first step for an association is to obtain bids or proposals for the work. Some association boards have specific requirements on exactly what they want, but other board members lack industry knowledge and clarity in their request. If you do not have a streamlined system, you may not be getting the most out of your Requests for Proposals (RFPs). Here is a look at the entire process, along with some tips about how to better use RFPs in your procurement process.

    1. Establish a calendar of events and project timeline.

    Consider all of the projects your association plans to complete for the calendar year and list them in priority. Once you identify what projects are most important, you can start to establish individual project timelines.

    Identify steps in the process that will require hard dates: RFP distribution, pre-bid meeting, proposal submission, vendor selection meeting and a preferred production timeframe.

    Something to keep in mind when organizing your timeline, specifically for exterior work, is how long will the project take. The Midwest climate and variable weather plays a large role in the scheduling of projects. Planning, flexibility and realistic expectation-setting is crucial to meeting deadlines.

    2. Determine if you are looking for short or long-term solutions.

    Generic requests will produce a plethora of submissions, some providing short-term solutions and others long-term. To ensure that you are comparing apples to apples with your bids, make sure you tell each vendor the same list of expectations for the end result.

    For example, if you have an older property with metal balcony railings that have been painted multiple times in the past and are currently failing (flaking paint, rusted posts, etc.), do you just need a quick scrape, spot prime and topcoat to make them look presentable for another year until the association can afford to replace? Or are you looking for more extensive preparation, welding repairs and a full prime coat / two topcoat systems that will ensure the railings look presentable and are protected for the next five years?

    By establishing clear expectations you are more apt to receive effective proposals, which will ensure you have accurate information to match the right contactor to your community’s needs.

    3. Provide a clear scope of work.

    It is important that you provide vendors with a clear scope of work. This includes a full list of component and preferred products (brands and grades). Note whether  repairs or work to be completed should  match existing structures or change to something new. This can be a difficult task if you are not familiar with the required preparation or latest products on the market. If you are unclear of how to go about setting a clear scope of work, consider hiring an engineer or asking a product company to write the scope of work for you.

    If you have a large-scale project that requires multiple contractors, has problems needing specifications, or one requiring a large portion of the association’s money, utilizing a professional in that field will safeguard your association from errors right from the start. The extra upfront cost may save you from larger additional expenses that may be incurred during the project.

    As Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

    4. Host a pre-bid meeting and over-communicate your expectations.

    This meeting should be mandatory, where all potential bidders are present. The scope of work, alternative options, goals, and deadlines should be discussed. This also gives bidders the opportunity to ask questions, propose cost-saving solutions and give alternate suggestions prior to bid submission. Many times, this pre-bid meeting uncovers defects, areas of concern and a multitude of other things that could have a significant effect on the outcome of your project.

    5. Ask for references.

    Even though we know most companies will give their best clients as references, have a list of specific questions to ask regarding timeliness, cleanliness, reliability, and so on. Do not be afraid to ask the hard questions. This will uncover areas of concern that will affect your decision.

    6. Review proposals.

    Some associations choose to create a spreadsheet that includes all of the bidding companies. This is a great tool to be able to look at competitors pricing side by side. With that said, it is still important to review proposals submitted in their entirety. Things to look for and consider: additional options, areas not included, end result disclaimers, current conditions, supervision levels, warranties and products. This will assist in determining who your top three companies will be.

    7. .Interview your top three companies.

    Many times, the lowest price is not the best option. Use this time to discover the alternatives, suggestions and product offerings of each individual bid. Utilize your property manager and their area of expertise with selection.

    8. Hire the company that best suits the association’s needs and budget.

    Now that you have collected facts, created your plan and interviewed your top contractors, it is time to make your decision. Through preplanning and education, you are sure to find the right contractor for your project that will meet your needs, expectations and budget.

    Not all RFPs are hard to create. When you utilize professional partnerships and their expertise, associations can accomplish otherwise overwhelming tasks without undue distress. Property managers are able to seek credible vendors, gather extensive information related to the job at hand and make help associations make hard, but necessary, decisions that will ultimately result in the success of a project.

     A well-executed RFP can make the difference between a process that flows and one full of problems. If your system is not honed, consider the steps listed above and see if you can streamline your system.

  • May 31, 2019 3:33 PM | Anonymous

    In a collection of orders entered at the end of March 2019, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Margaret Ann Brennan ruled on several motions for sanctions, ultimately awarding over $1 million in sanctions against a single unit owner and his attorney.  In so doing, Judge Brennan shone a spotlight on an all-too familiar phenomenon in the condominium-association setting: By: Diane Silverburgserial litigants.

    By: Diane Silverburg

    Judge Brennan was assigned to handle a number of lawsuits that had been consolidated into one:  1618 Sheridan Rd. Condominium Association v. Marshall Spiegel, Case No. 15 L 10817, consolidated with Case Nos. 16 L 3564 and 15 CH 18825.   In ruling on the several motions for sanctions filed in the consolidated proceeding, Judge Brennan observed that the unit owner in question had filed over 60 lawsuits in Cook County and the Northern District of Illinois, alone.  Together with the assistance of his attorney, John Xydakis, Spiegel had filed lengthy and successive pleadings in the three consolidated matters, often not waiting for the Judge even to rule before submitting another amended pleading.  The range of claims that Mr. Spiegel sought to litigate – which grew with each amendment – ranged from purported theft and slander, to harassment and stalking, to fraud, falsification of affidavits, and ex parte communications, as well as for such picayune matters as empty water bottles left near his front door and the like.

    Among the many findings the Court made in awarding sanctions against Spiegel and his counsel, Xydakis, were that they had:

    • filed motions that were objectively unreasonable, including motions to disqualify Kim’s counsel;
    • filed a duplicative lawsuit brought solely to harass, increase costs, and cause delay;
    • repeated misstatements of the law and evidence in their pleadings;
    • included numerous irrelevant allegations in their pleadings;
    • repeatedly displayed complete disregard for the importance of judicial economy; and
    • failed to dismiss obviously frivolous claims.

    Spiegel and Xydakis were ordered to pay the sanctions award of over $1 million by no later than May 1, 2019.

    The “Spiegel” orders reflect observations similar to those voiced by former Circuit Court Judge Mary Ann Mason in her dissenting opinion in Boucher v. 111 East Chestnut Condominium Association.  There, now-Justice Mason remarked on the dysfunctionality that can occur in a condominium setting where a unit owner – despite his having voluntarily sworn to abide by the association’s “constitution” (declaration) upon becoming a member of the association – decides that the declaration simply does not apply to him.  She further observed that “were courts to referee internal disputes that arise in condominium associations, they would have time for little else” and that courts should thus be hesitant about recognizing “such spurious claims as they burden associations with costly litigation that must be borne by all unit owners.”

    While it goes without saying that legitimate claims deserve all due consideration in an appropriate forum, Judge Brennan’s award of sanctions in 1618 Sheridan Rd. Condominium Association v. Spiegel properly should give unit owners inclined to put their hubris, entertainment, and ego ahead of an association’s common good, goals and financial health, ample reason to pause before proceeding with trumped-up claims.


    This article is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By reading this article you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the article author. This article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. © 2019 Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, A Professional Corporation.

  • May 31, 2019 3:28 PM | Anonymous

    By: Joseph Scharnak

    As you’re probably well aware, Association residents pay regular assessments to cover collective maintenance expenses, based on the annually-budgeted needs of the community. Are you familiar with Special Assessments?

    Let’s review the basics:

    What are Special Assessments?

    Special assessments are monies, in addition to the regular monthly assessment, collected by a condominium, townhome, or homeowner’s association from its members so that the Association can pay for expenditures not included in the Association’s annual budget.

    An Association’s use of funds collected through a special assessment is generally restricted to the specific project for which the Special Assessment was approved as well as any ancillary costs (for example, engineering fees, building permits, construction bonds).

    When an Association levies a special assessment, the board resolution may call for payment in a single lump-sum or in multiple installments – most frequently in monthly installments payable over the course of several years.

    Special assessments payable in installment payments are often adopted in connection with a bank loan obtained by the Association. The interest cost incurred by the Association is passed through to only those association members that elect to pay the special assessment through installment payments.

    Why Adopt a Special Assessment?

    Associations may be forced to adopt a special assessment in connection with an unforeseen major expense. For example, a catastrophic loss that is not fully covered by the Association’s insurance coverage or when the Association finds itself in a position where construction defect litigation becomes necessary.

    More often, special assessments are levied because an Association has elected not adequately funded its reserve account over the course of many years.  Unfortunately, when the day comes where the Association is faced with a major repair cost, the reserve account doesn’t have enough money to fully cover the cost of the project.

    Even when an Association’s annual budget includes a reserve fund contribution, they may find that a special assessment is still required because the board relied upon an unrealistic or outdated reserve study in connection with its planning for future maintenance, repair and replacement costs.

    What Legal Restrictions Exist for Special Assessments in Condominium Associations?

    Notice of the Meeting. Unlike a regular board meeting, which may be called on as little as 48 hours’ notice, a board meeting called for the purpose of adopting a Special Assessment requires written notice to each member of the association no less than 10 days and no more than 30 days in advance of the meeting.

    Owner Approval. Special Assessments for additions and alterations to common elements not included in the annual budget must be approved by a 2/3rds vote of all owners.

    Owners’ Right to Veto. In situations where a Special Assessment is adopted for purposes of maintaining, repairing or replacing the common elements, if the amount of the proposed Special Assessment plus the amount of all regular assessments and any other special assessments payable in the current fiscal year exceeds 115% of the sum of all regular assessments and special assessments payable during the immediately preceding fiscal year, the owners have an opportunity to veto the board’s decision by submitting a petition signed by owners owning at least 20% of the total ownership interest in the association within 21 days of the date on which the board adopted the Special Assessment.

    Emergency Situations. When a Special Assessment is adopted by a board in order to comply with any law, or in order to address an emergency situation presenting an immediate danger to the structural integrity of the common elements or to the life, health, safety or property of the owners, no owner approval is required to adopt the Special Assessment and the owners do not have the right to veto the board’s decision.

    If your Association is considering levying a special assessment, do not hesitate to contact our law firm. Since 1985, KSN has been a legal resource for condominium, townhome, or homeowner’s associations throughout the Chicagoland area. We have multiple offices including downtown Chicago, Mundelein, and Naperville. Call 855-537-0500 or visit to get started.

    This article is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By reading this article you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the article author. This article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. © 2019 Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, A Professional Corporation.

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