Following are changes to condominium law, new in 2016, and enacted by the State of Illinois. Just a reminder that we are not legal beagles, so the language will be plainspoken.
Coverage of fees and expenses from sale of a foreclosure
Prior law allowed condo associations to collect, from the buyer of a foreclosed unit, 6 months of assessments and fees in arrears. In January, 2015, the Condo Assessment-Nonpayment-Lien Bill, HB 486 was sponsored by our district’s Rep. Kelly M. Cassidy. A similar bill was then sponsored in the Senate, SB 1368, by our district’s Sen. Heather A. Steans. These bills require the buyer to pay 9 months of assessments and fees in arrears and for the mortgage-holder to make up the difference between the nine months of regular assessments paid by the buyer and the total of any special assessments, late fees, chargebacks, attorney fees, costs of repairing damage to a unit, or other common expenses owed to the association. Takes effect June 1, 2016.
Electronic communication allowed by Boards of Directors
Another change, HB 2640, sponsored by Rep. Cassidy, allows board members to participate in meetings in person, by telephone, or by means of any technological means whereby all persons participating in the meeting can communicate with each other. Such remote participation constitutes attendance and presence in person at the meeting. Takes effect June 12, 2016.
Electronic voting by board members and also by unit owners, such as at annual meetings, is also possible when such rules are incorporated in the by-laws at least 120 days prior to the election and participants have expressed in writing their desire to do so. (Board Members are already allowed to participate in Board Meetings via speaker phone pursuant to the Illinois Not-For-Profit Act.)
Boards enabled to act in emergencies
HB 2641 empowers condo boards to act in emergency situations in order to prevent further damage and to later ratify their actions at an open meeting. Notice of the emergency and a description of the actions taken must be given to the owners within seven days. Takes effect June 1, 2016.
Boards may amend governing documents in very limited situations
HB 2643 allows for a condo’s governing documents that have simple omissions or errors or are inconsistent with law to be amended by a two-thirds vote of the board. Owner approval is not needed. Takes effect June 1, 2016.
Illinois Ombudsman Funding
In 2014 the Illinois legislature passed and the governor signed into law the creation of the Office of Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson in the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to mediate disputes between owners and their associations. The law was to take effect Jan. 1, 2016 but is subject to funding as is practically everything else in the July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016 Illinois budget, yet to be passed.
Changes To Budget Notification Requirements Effective In 2016
As of June 1, 2016, the board will have 5 additional days to prepare and deliver the annual budget to owners. Consequently, owners may have only 25 days to look over a proposed budget prior to the meeting to adopt the budget – as opposed to the 30 days prior required in 2015. With a 25-day notice, boards can finalize their budgets the month before the adoption meeting and still have time to prepare the mailing.