Illinois Condominium Association Laws

By Kwami K. Kwami
The Condominium Property Act governs condominiums in Illinois.

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Living in a condominium community in the State of Illinois can be a rewarding experience. And this experience can be greatly heightened if all of the unit owners know and understand that condominiums are legal entities governed by state law. The Condominium Property Act defines not only what a condominium is, but also how a unit owners association sets up and operates such a community through its board of managers.

Condominium Defined

A Registered Illinois Land Surveyor is required to conduct a proper condominium survey in accordance with Title 68 IAC 1270.56(c) (Minimum Standards of Practice; Condominium Surveys). A condominium survey is a specialized class of boundary survey for defining the plat of land upon which the condominium will stand.

All of the exterior walls, and everything attached to such, are considered part of the common property of the condominium. All porches, balconies, awnings and patios that are attached to, and designed for, a particular unit are considered limited common property. Everything within the confines of the walls, ceiling and floor of each unit, including any improvements, are considered part of that particular unit and property of its owner.

Paperwork Filing

Along with the special condominium survey and the land deed, a condominium declaration is required to be filed. The deed must be signed by all owners, if it is fee simple, or by all lessees if it is leased. The declaration must list the parcel legal description, the legal description of each unit, a legal description of all common property, the official name of the condominium which must have the word condominium in it, the names of the city and county where the condominiums are located, the common property owner interest percentage, all legal information pertaining to the lease and the rights of unit owners as enumerated within their lease.

Insurance Policies

All condominium insurance policies must include full coverage property insurance for all common property if each unit must also carry such; at least $1,000,000 in commercial general liability insurance that covers the condominium association and its officers and agents, as well as the developer and the unit owners; fidelity bonds in the full amount of the association funds and reserves for the officers and agents of the association; and directors' and officers' liability that extends to all contracts officially entered into for the officers of the association.

Additionally, the Condominium Property Act requires that unit owners' associations have insurance policies that cover "workers compensation, employment practices, environmental hazards, and equipment breakdown."

Association By-Laws

Unit owners' associations are required to be incorporated as not-for-profit organizations under state law. Each association is required to have bylaws that include the following: the unit owners get one vote per unit to elect from among them a board of managers; the size of the board of managers; the terms of office for each of the managers with one-third of the terms expiring annually; the powers, duties and compensation of the board of managers (including the hiring of a managing agent); the method of removal from office of members of the board; the right of all unit owners to receive a review copy of all proposed annual budgets at least 30 days before adoption and the guarantee that all unit owners receive adequate notice before all board of managers' meetings, all of which are open to all unit owners.

Displaying Flags

No unit owners' association nor its board of managers will have the authority to in anyway prohibit the display of the American flag and/or a military flag within the confines of the limited common area of a condominium unit. Any restriction that the unit owners association or its board of managers places on the display of such must be in accordance with Title 4 USC §§ 4-10.

About the Author

Kwami K. Kwami is the founder of Imagine-A-Nation Edutainment Media which produced PHAT LIP! YouthTalk Radio, the first internationally syndicated youth-oriented radio talk show. He is the author of "The Tables Have Turned: A Street Guide to Guerrilla Lawfare" and director of Do-It-Yourself LAW (Lay Advocacy Workgroups).

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