A holiday song, direct to you from 'Condoworld'
Every year in the month of December, most people celebrate "the holidays". ("Holiday: A day designated as having special significance for individuals, a government, or religious group have deemed that observation is warranted." Source: Wikipedia.)
Holidays have songs and none more glorious than ones based upon legends or historical events. So, I put my quill to parchment, after putting on my multicolor velvet cap with a pom-pom ... nondenominational, of course, and wrote the following song based upon actual events I have witnessed or dealt with while spending 35 years of my life in "Condoworld." (No kidding, actual events.) Sing along, please.
On the first day of Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Diwali or any other holiday you can think of celebrated in December, my true love gave to me...
•A pervert in a tree ... One of my association clients reported an owner, naked, sitting in a tree with binoculars aimed at a second floor unit. Needless to say, he was locked up.
•Two bad checks ... How many times have I been called about an owner that bounced not one, but two successive personal checks on paying off a delinquent balance, after the first one was returned NSF. Once burned, shame on you, twice burned, shame on me?!
•Three years ... After the recording of the Declaration how long a developer has to turn over control of an association to the owners by holding an election, or the sale of 75 percent of the units, whichever occurs first.
•Four barking dogs ... Not one, not two, but four dogs, when the Association does not permit dogs, but the owner requested an exemption for a "therapy" dog and got a little carried away.
•Five squabbling directors ... Nine directors guarantees at least two factions, seven may be ideal, and five is good for five different people with five different personal agendas.
•Six pigeons laying ... And pooping, and cooing and whatever else pigeons do on buildings that take no steps to have them "relocated." Provided of course, that you do not have a very sensitive animal rights conscious owner who dumps a 50-pound bag of birdseed off the balcony.
•Seven swans a swimming ... with 500 Canada geese in the retention pond and walking across the common areas pooping everywhere, ripping open garbage bags and attacking small children, family pets and sassy owners. Whoever said the swans keeps the geese away had better invest in a border collie.
•Eight units in foreclosure ... A most common sight these days, and not too bad unless there are only 12 units in the building.
•Nine ladies dancing ... at midnight, after mass quantities of alcohol and other unknown substances, keeping time to some very melodic death metal music, and singing along to the lyrics. Meet and greet my upstairs neighbors!
•Ten days notice ... The minimum amount of time necessary to send advance notice of a members meeting, or not more than 30. This works fine for annual meetings, but how many boards know this must also be sent before the budget meeting, the rules adoption meeting, the special assessment adoption meeting, etc.
•Eleven pipes-a-banging ... in the furnace room, the boiler, the HVAC, etc., but only on Sunday nights and the night before a holiday, when you cannot reach anyone.
•Twelve assessment payments ... not a very big number, but for some reason a large number of people forget, even though they pay their mortgage and all their other bills, and then refuse to pay the late fees that are posted after the manager has to post the account, update the ledgers and account for the shortfall in the operating account.
•... and a partridge in a pear tree.
May you find peace and joy in the forthcoming holiday season and good health and prosperity for you and your loved ones for the coming year.
• Jordan Shifrin is an attorney with Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit in Buffalo Grove. Send questions for the column to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column is not a substitute for consultation with legal counsel. Past columns can be read at www.ksnlaw.com.