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  • October 31, 2019 4:30 PM | Deleted user

    By: Tom Smiley, PhD

    We know many of the common causes of tree failures, and some of them can be prevented when the trees are young. One of the keys to developing strong trees is the process of structural pruning, or pruning to improve tree structure. 

    With young trees, our goal is to prune them to create a structure that is resistant to future breakage, won’t interfere with people, looks good, and is long lived. The earlier we start on this process, and the more regularly it is repeated, the better the results will be.

    When structurally pruning a young tree, we carefully look it over and make decisions as to which branches to remove. We identify the central leader of the tree. This is the tallest, most centrally located, healthy branch. Other branches that are growing upright near it are reduced or removed. This eliminates one of the most common failure points on mature trees, the codominant stem union.

    We also identify the lowest permanent branch on the tree. Many lower branches, if allowed to grow, will interfere with pedestrians, vehicles or buildings. Branches below the lowest permanent branch can be reduced or removed while the tree is developing so that large cuts won’t be needed later. Smaller cuts reduce the risk of decay moving into the trunk. Ideally, we like to see all the lower branches be half the diameter of the trunk.

    While we are making these cuts, we also try to maintain as many lower and interior branches as possible. We like to have foliage on the upper two-thirds or more of the trunk. In general, lower branches are good and contribute to the development of a strong lower trunk and root system. 

    A lot goes into structural pruning. The exact cuts will depend on the tree species and location in your landscape. If we start the process shortly after the tree is planted and continue on as it matures, the result is a strong, long-lasting and healthy tree.

  • August 30, 2019 4:44 PM | Deleted user

    By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

    Last week Michael Novak, a plaintiff in a fair housing lawsuit against State Parkway Condominium Association and others, distributed a news release announcing an out-of-court settlement of his 13-year-long dispute over his family’s service animal.

    The Novaks, who are both deaf, live with their daughter and a service dog named Hera. Hera alerts the Novaks to doorbells, ringing telephones, alarms, and other situations that hearing people take for granted. Sometimes, Hera also accompanies the Novaks in the common areas of their condo building.


    Assistance animal not a pet

    Under the Fair Housing Act, an assistance animal in not a pet.Housing providers are obligated to make reasonable accommodations to allow a resident to reside with and use an assistance animal at home.

    Residents generally have the right to bring the assistance animal into the common areas of an apartment or condominium community, as long as the animal does not threaten the safety of other residents.

    As previously reported in a 2015 LoopNorth News article, the recently-settled legal dispute began when State Parkway Condo Association imposed fines exceeding $2,100 on Michael and Christina Novak, citing “pet violations” and noise complaints.

    In response, the Novaks filed a Fair Housing complaint against State Parkway, for not recognizing Hera as an assistance animal. The Novaks also filed a legal complaint claiming that State Parkway failed to accommodate their need for a transcription service at a rules violation hearing in 2010.


    Fair housing case continued

    The condo association attempted to have the fair housing case dismissed, but a federal judge ruled the case could continue in October 2015.

    In addition to the condo association, former management company Lieberman Management Services and former building manager, Donna Weber, were also named as defendants.

    During the intervening years, as the fair housing case slowly wound its way through the legal system, Novak and State Parkway sparred in court over the condo association’s failure to provide access to financial records, in accordance with Illinois state laws, and the City of Chicago Ordinances.


    Mounting legal fees

    By 2017, the association’s legal costs exceeded $1 million. State Parkway’s insurers began denying claims for the condo association’s legal defense involving the Novaks.

    That prompted the condo association to issue a $500,000 special assessment to cover ongoing legal fees in the protracted legal battle.

    Earlier this year, the court finally informed Michael Novak of his day in court on the Fair Housing complaint. A trial had been scheduled for August 26, 2019.

    Just two weeks prior to trial, the parties agreed to a confidential settlement of their disputes.

    Neither party is at liberty to share the details of that agreement.  ♦



    Official August 13, 2019, news release, courtesy of Michael Novak:

    Michael and Christina Novak, husband and wife, live in a condominium at 1445 North State Parkway in Chicago (the “Building”).  The Novaks have lived in the Building since September 2003. Michael and Christina have a daughter.Michael, Christina, and their daughter are the plaintiffs in this lawsuit.  Michael has a severe-to-profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. Christina has a profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss.

    The defendants in this lawsuit are the State Parkway Condominium Association (the “Association”, which is responsible for administration of 1445 North State Parkway, Lieberman Management Services, which was retained in April 2006 to manage the Building, and Donna Weber, who was employed by Lieberman, beginning in September 2007, as Building Manager.

    Michael and Christina brought this lawsuit, on behalf of themselves and their daughter, against defendants asserting that defendants have violated the federal Fair Housing Act. They claim that defendants violated the Act by refusing to make reasonable accommodations for their disabilities, including by refusing to provide CART services, which is real time captioning, for board meetings and disciplinary hearings at the Building and for failing to make reasonable accommodations for their assistance animal, a dog named Hera, by allowing her to accompany the Novaks when they are in the Building’s common areas. They further claim that defendants violated the Fair Housing Act by retaliating against them for asserting their right to reasonable accommodations for their disabilities, including by levying unjustified fines against the Novaks and attempting to force the sale of their home. Michael and Christina claim that their daughter has suffered injury as a result of the actions defendants have taken against her parents.

    Defendants deny plaintiffs’ allegations. Defendants contend that they provided plaintiffs accommodations to the extent required under the Fair Housing Act by supplying CART services and making accommodations in respect to plaintiffs’ assistance animal when reasonable. Defendants deny that any of the claimed actions were taken in retaliation for plaintiffs asserting their rights to reasonable accommodations.  Rather, defendants contend that each of the actions they took with regard to the plaintiffs was for a legitimate, nondiscriminatory and non-retaliatory reason such as to ensure compliance with the Association’s Rules and Regulations.  Defendants assert that they treat all of the Association’s unit owners equally regardless of whether or not they have a disability or have exercised their housing rights.

    This lawsuit was scheduled for trial on August 26, 2019 before U.S. District Court Judge Edmond Chang.  On August 12, 2019, following a mediation before Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert, the parties agreed to settle their disputes.  The terms of the settlement are confidential.

  • August 30, 2019 4:40 PM | Deleted user

    By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

    FHA to ease condo financing, claims it will boost homeownership

    If you’ve been following housing news over the past several years, you’ve probably read many articles on proposed revisions to FHA financing.

    The HOA-industry, including trade group Community Associations Institute (CAI) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) have been pushing their agenda to ease mortgage qualification standards for condos for several years.

    Now it looks like stakeholders have finally convinced the Federal Housing Administration to finalize new lending guidelines, subject to a 30-day public comment period.

    Several policy changes will go into effect as of October 15, 2019.

    • FHA is bringing back “spot loan approvals” for condominiums, allowing individual unit buyers to gain FHA mortgage approval. Loans can now be approved even when the housing project is still under construction, and does not yet qualify as an FHA-certified community. The catch is, the condo project must prove it is “financially stable,” and that’s a challenge for many so-called “affordable” housing associations.


    • Currently, only 6.5% of condo projects in the U.S. are FHA certified. Critics of the current system complain that the certification and recertification process is costly and burdensome. In response, FHA says it will now require re-certification every three years, instead of every two years.


    • The current administration will now allow for a higher percentage of commercial space in mixed-use condominium projects.


    • Additionally, FHA will now seriously consider approval of financing for condo units in communities with only 35% owner-occupancy. Furthermore, up to 75% of units in a single condo association can be purchased using FHA mortgages.


    One small bright spot: new FHA guidelines still allow the administration to adjust acceptable owner-occupancy, commercial-occupancy, and FHA concentration ratios, depending on the financial health of the community.

    That’s why, as a percentage of all home buyers in the U.S., IACdoesn’t expect a huge surge in FHA financed condominiums.

    But HOA-industry stakeholders are celebrating, as they have long held that easier-money policies will increase the number of eligible first-time homebuyers in the market.

    The industry’s obvious goal is to sell more condos.

    And, to the uneducated housing consumer, the political agenda of pushing more first-time home buyers into lower-priced condos might seem like a good idea. After all, it is one way to provide an affordable path to homeownership.

    But is it the right way?


    New FHA policies won’t make homeownership more affordable

    Upon careful consideration, it’s this author’s opinion that new HOA/condo industry driven FHA guidelines are bad policy.

    First of all, it’s deceptive and misleading to sell condos as an “affordable” entry into homeownership. For the past five years, IAC has documented hundreds of examples of condo owners who were sucked into condo life by the low purchase price.

    Within a few years, these homeowners are choking on much higher condo fees, and stressing over unexpected special assessments.

    And, here’s another eye opener. IAC hears from owners across the U.S. on a regular basis. Many of them tell me that their condo fees now far exceed their monthly mortgage payments, including taxes and insurance.


    Most condo crises not reported

    The vast majority of these condo horror stories never get reported in the media. That’s because most owners caught in a cycle of unaffordable payments are desperately trying to sell their units.

    Many do not succeed. They’re forced to either rent their units to tenants or simply walk away and pay the consequences of bankruptcy and bad credit ratings.

    The winners in this condo game are investors who have the bankroll to pick up units at rock bottom prices, often through short sales and HOA or bank foreclosures.

    That’s why many condo associations have such low owner-occupancy rates. Quite often, the only people who can afford to own them are investors who operate as landlords or short-term rental entrepreneurs.

    That’s why IAC thinks it’s ironic that FHA is now willing to reduce the minimum owner-occupancy requirement from 50% to 35% of total units in a condo association.


    Construction defects plague many condominium projects

    It’s also no secret that the last housing boom dumped a lot of poorly-built housing into the U.S. real estate market.

    Condominiums were especially hard-hit with construction defects, a fact that has been documented by the HOA industry trade group itself. (See CAI’s Too Close to Home report).

    Shoddy construction. Bad apartment-to-condo conversions. The all-too-common deferred maintenance of multifamily stacked and townhouse condominiums.

    For all of these reasons, homeowners find that they lose money on their “affordable” housing investment.

    That’s especially true when they happen to be owner-occupants outnumbered by investor-owners in the community.

    For a typical case study of a condo crisis, see the recently published research paper co-published with Michael and Shelly Marshall: HOA power relationship, problem-solving, and communication patterns during a major building renovation construction crisis.

    (Citation: Michael J. Marshall, Shelly Marshall & Deborah Goonan (2018) HOA power relationship, problem-solving, and communication patterns during a major building renovation construction crisis, Housing and Society, 45:3, 186-205, DOI: 10.1080/08882746.2018.1529509)



    Short term rentals turn American Dream into nightmares

    Enter the Airbnb mess.

    For quite a few condo owner-occupants, the rise of short-term rentals using online platforms has created plenty of unexpected lifestyle challenges.

    Many first-time homeowners think they’ll be living next to other owner-occupants. They hope they’ll get to know their neighbors and make a few long-lasting friends.

    Starry-eyed condo buyers often assume they’ll be able to lounge by the community pool in peace, use the community room for friendly gatherings, sleep peacefully at night, and return from a hard-day’s work to a maintenance-free home.


    Condos as mini hotels?

    Then reality set in, as several neighboring condo and townhouse units begin operating as mini-hotels. Out of town guests arrive daily, toting luggage. In vacation mode, they can be fond of partying until the wee hours of the morning.

    Condo owners complain that the guests hog up the pool. Residents can’t use the clubhouse, because it always seems to be booked for special events such as bridal showers and bachelor parties.

    How will FHA’s guideline allowing even more commercial use of property improve life for owner-occupants? It’s far more likely that restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and convenience stores will serve visitors and tourists than condo buyers seeking a stable long-term home.


    Condo owners can lose their life savings

    And what about the very real possibility of hostile condo takeovers, the deconversion of condominiums back to apartments?

    Make no mistake: a low owner-occupancy rate greatly increases the risk that opportunistic investors will take over a condo corporation, terminate the association, and then force the owner-occupants to sell their condos at artificially low prices.

    In most cases, investors win, owner-occupants lose.

    That fact is well-documented by the media and discussed here on IAC.

    Therefore, if FHA truly wants to “help” encourage and sustainentry into homeownership, then the administration should NOT be backing mortgage financing of common interest development of any kind, especially condominiums.♦



    New FHA Guidelines Expand Access To Condo Mortgages
    Brenda Richardson, Senior Contributor | Forbes
    Aug 15, 2019, 08:04am

    FHA to make financing easier for condo owners
    Announces long-awaited changes to eligibility requirements that include individual unit approval
    August 14, 2019
    Jessica Guerin | HousingWire

    Read the official FHA guidelines (124 pages):

    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 24 CFR Parts 203, 206, and 234 [Docket No. FR-5715-F-02]
    RIN 2502-AJ30
    Project Approval for Single-Family Condominiums

  • August 30, 2019 4:37 PM | Deleted user

    By: Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

    HOA dispute turns violent (TX)

    Pleasant Run Estates neighborhood, in Lancaster, Texas, was recently the scene of a gun fight between the HOA President’s wife and a homeowner fighting against an assessment lien on his home.

    Last week, authorities arrested homeowner Kenneth Haggerty on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Belinda and her husband, Anthony Tucker, filed a police report after Haggerty blocked her car, then shot her in the heat of an argument.

    Haggerty’s attorney says the dispute centers on the HOA’s collection of fees, to which it is not entitled.

    According to two local reports, Anthony Tucker claims to be the President of the HOA at Pleasant Run Estates. And, in a cozy arrangement, his wife, Belinda, owns the company that manages the community association, Professional Property Management Services.

    Conflict of interest? Haggerty and other unnamed homeowners certainly think so. Most of the residents fear the Tuckers, and don’t want to be named.

    Can you blame them?

    But wait, the story gets even more bizarre.

    You see, Lancaster City Manager Rona Stringfellow informed NBCDFW that maintenance in Pleasant Run Estates is paid for by tax dollars, collected by a Public Improvement District (PID).

    As far as the City is concerned, the PID was established in 2016, in order to replace the HOA as a “more effective way to pay for neighborhood maintenance.”

    There’s absolutely no compelling need for Pleasant Run Estates to have an HOA. In fact, City Council didn’t know that an HOA was up and running.

    Why, then, are the Tuckers collecting HOA fees from homeowners, and placing liens on private property when homeowners refuse to pay them?

    In this context, Haggerty is accused of lashing out at Belinda Tucker, aiming to shoot her in the head.

    Belinda survived the violent attack by blocking the bullet with her hand. As soon as he witnessed the shooting, Anthony Tucker ran out from his home, with his own firearm, shooting back at Haggerty.

    This is a textbook example of negative social impacts of HOA governance schemes. HOAs often bring out the very worst human behavior, including inappropriate aggression and violence.

    So far, no charges have been filed against Anthony Tucker, who was apparently acting in self-defense.

    Haggerty has been released from jail after posting bail. He lives across the street from the Tuckers.

    The environment remains very tense at Pleasant Run Estates.


    Gunfire Erupts Between Neighbors Over HOA Dues
    One neighbor jailed for shooting another in dispute over HOA dues
    By Ken Kalthoff | NBCDFW
    Published Aug 5, 2019 at 6:15 PM | Updated at 6:49 PM CDT on Aug 5, 2019

    Victim Speaks After HOA Dispute Ends in Shooting
    By Ken Kalthoff | NBCDFW
    Published Aug 14, 2019 at 6:32 PM

  • August 30, 2019 4:26 PM | Deleted user


    How our service benefits you!  Hot water pressure is essential to your morning routine.  Suddenly one morning, AHHHH! NO HOT WATER!!!  Our service specializes in restoring hot water without the normal construction techniques.  Sediment is removed from the hot water pipes by a specialized machine.  45 minutes later your hot water pressure is back to normal and you saved money doing it this way…LOTS OF TIME AND MONEY!

  • July 31, 2019 2:06 PM | Deleted user

    Here in Massachusetts, heavy snow in winter is common. With it comes the risk of ice dams. While for regular homeowners dealing with removal and damage of ice dams is pretty cut and dry, and the same for those who lease property, those who own or manage a condo find themselves somewhere in-between. While some condo associations are only responsible for the exterior of their condominiums, unit owners are responsible for the interior. For situations like ice dams on condos, where the problem starts on the outside but causes interior damage, where does the liability lie?

    How and Where Ice Dams Form

    Ice dams form when snow and ice melts on a roof, usually due to poorly insulated attic space, and then flows to the cooler edges and gutters of a roof and refreezes. As this process repeats itself, a crust of ice forms that traps water between the wall of ice and the roof. This standing water leaks through the roof, and from there can cause damage to interior walls and ceilings.

    Condo Association: Roofs as Common Areas

    Almost universally, condo roofs are considered a shared area and are therefore managed by the condo association board for the condo. As such, the association is liable for the maintenance and repair of these roofs. When ice dams start to form on the roofs of a complex, it is their responsibility to have them removed. If damage does occur to the roof and structure of the condo due to an ice dam, it is the condo’s responsibility to repair them.

    Ice Dam Removal: Avoiding Neglect

    When reporting damages to the master policy carrier or dealing with questions of liability from condo owners, it’s important to act immediately to remove the ice dams and prevent additional damage (such as performing mold prevention). Use a licensed contractor or roofer and consult with them for the best method for your complex. Make sure to save correspondence, receipts, and document all efforts to get the ice dams removed to mitigate claims of negligence: important for your insurance claims as well as potential condo owner lawsuits.

    Condo Owners: Water Damage and Your Policy

    While the roof and the exterior of your structure are your condo association’s responsibility, the interior (all-in) is sometimes yours, including the water damage caused by ice dams. As such it’s important to contact the carrier of your unit owner’s policy – sometimes referred to as an HO6 policy – as soon as possible to report the damages. If you’re not happy with the way the insurance settlement turns out, you may want to hire a risk management or legal firm to review the claim and settlement.

    Condominium policies, for both master and units, are a complex give-and-take with common areas, limited common areas, deductibles, condo reserves, and more. At H&K Insurance our condo experts can help you review your current policies, discover gaps in your liability coverage, and work with you during situations like ice dams that affect both individual unit owners as well as condo associations. Contact us today to get started.

    Brendon Kilcoyne is a licensed insurance agent who has been with H&K since 2003, who specializes in providing risk management for condominium associations and apartment complexes. He has obtained the designation of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and is an active member of CAI (Community Associations Institute). Along with access to his expertise, he can provide direction in determining what kind of program best suits your needs.

  • July 19, 2019 12:13 PM | Deleted user

    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 | Deleted user

    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 | Deleted user

    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 | Deleted user





    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.

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