Homeowner associations were created to help preserve property values in neighborhoods, while promoting unity and harmony amongst neighbors. About 60 million people reside in about 305,000 associations throughout the country, according to the Community Associations Institute. The associations are run by a board of directors who are homeowners in the community, who set and enforce the rules governing individual neighborhoods. There also are rules that govern Illinois homeowner associations. The Illinois Condominium Property Act applies to both condominium and homeowner associations.
Board of Directors
Homeowner association boards are the governing bodies of private communities. Members are elected by the homeowners annually and have open monthly meetings. Board members' responsibilities are outlined in the each association's declaration and bylaws, which also detail procedures for collecting assessments from homeowners to maintain public areas and taking action against homeowners who do not pay their dues or violate regulations. Violations can result in placing a lien on a property or foreclosing on a home, as well as late fees.
Board members are elected at an annual meeting. A proxy or absentee ballots are mailed to all homeowners to vote for board members. The meeting quorum, or required number of attending persons to open a public meeting of record, is outlined in individual bylaws.
Homeowners in an association are allowed access to documentation such as meeting minutes, declaration and bylaws, insurance policies, list of all members, rules, and ballots from the previous year's election.
If you believe your association has acted unfairly, you can contact an attorney or attempt to remove your board members, according to the steps outlined in your association's declaration and bylaws.