7 Illinois Laws Community Associations Need to Know
|Chicago Financial Books and Records Disclosure Ordinance (Effective January 15, 2014)|
Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC Partner Howard S. Dakoff testified on January 8, 2013, before the City of Chicago Committee on Housing and Real Estate in support of proposed amendments to section 13-72-080 of the Chicago Condominium Ordinance introduced by Alderman Thomas M. Tunney. The Committee voted unanimously to approve the proposed amendments and on January 15, 2014, the Chicago City Council approved an amendment to section 13-72-080.
Previously, section 13-72-080 of the Chicago Condominium Ordinance required a Board to allow a unit owner to inspect financial records of the association within 10 business days from the written request and without any time limitation on the records. The 10 day response time differed from the 30 days required under the Illinois Condominium Property Act. Section 13-72-080 now states, "No person shall fail to allow unit owners to inspect the books and records of account of the condominium association’s current and immediately 10 preceding fiscal years, including but not limited to itemized and detailed records of all receipts and expenditures, within thirty  business days of the time that the written request for examination of the records is received."
|Manager Licensing (HB 595) (Effective January 1, 2014)|
House Bill 595 amended the Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Act ("Act") by creating the concept of "community association management firm" which must be licensed under that Act, and "supervising community association manager" which is an individual licensed under the Act and who manages and supervises a firm. At least 2 members of the Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Board (which has a total of 7 members) must be supervising community association managers. The Act eliminates consideration of a designation "awarded by community association management organizations in that State" (such as the Community Associations Institute PCAM designation) as means of satisfying the initial educational requirement and the initial examination (test) requirement for licensure. The Act also establishes the licensure requirements for a supervising community association manager, which includes consideration of real estate managing broker licensure; and also the licensure requirements for a community association management firm.
Importantly, community associations (condominiums, common interest communities, townhomes, cooperatives and similar), organized as not for profit corporations, are no longer required to pay fees to cover the administration of the Act. Bases for refusal to license or renew a license or for disciplinary action are expanded to include entry of an administrative sanction by a governmental agency due to conduct which is fraudulent or dishonest.
|Medical Marijuana (410 ILCS 130) (Effective January 1, 2014)|
|Known as "The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act" ("Act"), the Act legalizes the use of medical cannabis (marijuana). All approved individuals will be issued a "registry identification card." The Act does not discuss condominiums specifically, but states that a landlord may not refuse to lease to tenant solely for his her or status as a registered qualifying patient or a registered designated caregiver unless failing to do so would cause a loss of federal money or license. Yet, the Act does not prevent the landlord from prohibiting the smoke of cannabis on the premises. But a Board cannot prevent a Unit Owner, who is a registered qualifying patient, from smoking medical marijuana in Unit.|
|Concealed Guns (430 ILCS 66) (Effective July 9, 2013)|
On July 9, 2013, Public Act 98-63, the Firearm Concealed Carry Act ("FCCA"), became state law (430 ILCS 66, et. seq.). This law permits a person with an Illinois concealed carry license to carry a concealed firearm in Illinois. The new law mandates that the Illinois State Police (the "Department) adopt rules for standardized signs that property owners can display prohibiting concealed weapons on their property.
Pursuant to the FCAA, signs must be of a uniform design and require a white background; no text (except the reference to the Illinois Code 430 ILCS 66/1) or marking within the one inch area surrounding the graphic design; a depiction of a hand gun in black ink with a circle around and diagonal slash across the firearm in red ink; and that the circle be four inches in diameter. The sign in its entirety will measure four inches by six inches. A template of the approved signed is available here. The FCCA provides that the signs shall be clearly and conspicuously posted at the entrance of a building’s premises for real property.
|Furnace Efficiency (Federal Law – Department of Energy) (Effective May 1, 2013)|
|As part of the "Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007" (EISA), new rules require every furnace installed to be 90% energy efficient; but these rules were delayed until pending settlement of litigation on the matter. This applies to new furnaces only and does not require that old furnaces be retrofitted or replaced. The energy efficient furnaces require a vent out, either through the roof or side of a building. At this time, there are no exceptions for multi-story condos or high rise buildings. Therefore, any condo owners who require a new furnace may have to make changes to the exterior of the building in order to have the proper venting. The owner would be responsible for these changes, unless that Board opted to pick up some or all of the costs.|
|Chicago Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance (Effective 9/21/13)|
|Any building, including condominiums, larger than 50,000 square feet must track and report energy use in a software called Energy Star Portfolio Manager. The ordinance does not require any improvement to be made to the property to reduce energy use. The only requirement, at this time, is that management or the Board key in the energy use on an annual basis no later than June 1st of each year beginning June 1, 2015, if building more than 250,000 sq. ft. and 10% residential occupancy and by June 1, 2016, if building between 50,000 sq. ft. and 250,000 sq. ft. and 10% residential occupancy. There is a pending proposed amendment to exclude residential properties (i.e., condominiums), but that amendment has not yet been adopted as of January 2014.|
|Chicago Bed Bugs Ordinance (Effective March 2014)|
|By June 1, 2014, every condominium association and housing cooperative must adopt a pest management plan for detection, inspection and treatment of bed bugs in the building. The Board must maintain written records that are kept either on-site or at managing agent’s office of bed bug reports and the action taken, including reports from pest management professionals. Failure to comply may result in fines $300-$500 for first violation, $500 - $1,000 for second violation within 12 months of first violation and $1,000-$2,000 fine for subsequent violations.|