Illinois tweaks law regarding association records, copying

Q: Are there any recent changes to the Illinois Condominium Property Act or to the Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act going into effect in the new year?

A: There have been changes recently to the both the Illinois Condominium Property Act and to the Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act. Some of the changes are currently in effect, while others do not go into effect until Jan. 1.

Recent changes to both the Condominium Property Act and the Common Interest Community Association Act add to the list of books and records that must be maintained by the board and made available for examination and copying by owners. The board must also make available any reserve study. Note that this does not impose a responsibility to have a reserve study; it just requires the board to make it available if it has a reserve study. These changes were made to Section 19 of the Condominium Property Act and to Section 1-30 of the Common Interest Community Association Act. This change was made to correlate with records Fannie Mae will request in connection with its recent addendum to the lender questionnaire. This change was effective May 27.

Further, the repeal date for the Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act has been kicked down the road to Jan. 1, 2024.

Another change to the Condominium Property Act reduces the time, under Section 22.1, within which an association must respond to an owner's request for information in connection with the resale of a unit. Previously, the information had to be provided within 30 days of a request. Beginning Jan. 1, the 22.1 disclosure information must be provided to an owner within 10 business days of a request.

Section 22.1 has provided that a reasonable fee, covering the direct out-of-pocket cost of providing such information and copying may be charged by the association or its board to the unit seller for providing such information. Beginning Jan. 1, this fee cannot exceed $375.

As of Jan. 1, 2024, this fee is required to be increased or decreased based on changes in the "consumer price index-u" during the preceding 12-month calendar year. "Consumer Price Index-u" means the index published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor that measures the average change in prices of goods and services purchased by all urban consumers.

Note, however, that the association may charge an additional $100 for rush service completed within 72 hours.

Q: Traditionally, the board of our association has annually appointed owners to a finance commission. The finance commission assists the board in preparing the annual budget. The board did not appoint a finance commission for the current budget. An owner is now claiming the board has breached its fiduciary duty to the owners by failing to use a finance commission to assist with the budget this year. There is nothing in our governing documents that refer to this finance commission. Has the board breached its duty to the owners?

A. There is absolutely no requirement in the law that the board establish a finance commission to assist the board with the preparation of the annual budget. The board does not have a fiduciary obligation to establish the finance commission, and the board did not breach a fiduciary when it did not establish the finance commission this year. That a finance commission may have been established in the past for the described purposes is not persuasive legal authority to require the board to establish a finance commission on an ongoing basis.

Absent any language in the association's governing documents, whether or not to establish such a finance commission is wholly within the discretion of the board using its business judgment.

• David M. Bendoff is an attorney with Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit in the Chicago suburbs. Send questions for the column to him at The firm provides legal service to condominium, townhouse, homeowner associations and housing cooperatives. This column is not a substitute for consultation with legal counsel.

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