Law talk: Closed pool irks condo buyer

Posted8/28/2011 12:01 AM

Q. Hello, sir. I ran across your column for the first time today and thought I'd reach out to you about a question I've had for eight years!

Eight years ago I bought a condo in Palatine. The listing said "pool in the summer!" I'd say that the pool and where it was located relative to my condo was 80 percent of the reason I bought the condo. Well, I moved in and found out the pool hadn't been open in years. To this day the pool is still not open. Our board president refuses to open it. Do I have any legal recourse against anyone for this? Did I have in the past?

A. Most listing agreements contain a clause stating something comparable to "facts contained in this listing are believed to be accurate but not guaranteed." Accordingly, I doubt you had anything viable against the listing agent. A more pertinent question, however, would be: Was the fact that the pool was not operating at the time of sale a "defect" in the property that should have been disclosed to you by the seller before you purchased the property? If so, you may have had a cause of action against the seller. Of course, eight years later, that issue is probably long dead.

Regarding the present, there is a board that presumably represents the entire community. Attend a meeting and demand that the pool be opened. To take this a step further, run for a position on the board. Often it is easier to accomplish things from the inside versus the outside.

Q. I have been following your articles in the Daily Herald and I was wondering if you would be able to answer some questions that may help some other readers, as well.

I recently purchased a new condominium (new construction) from a developer who sold 20 units out of 48. The balance of the units are his and he is renting them out. The developer handed the management over to a professional management company and the developer owes more than $128,000 in assessment dues.

He does not seem to want to pay any of his association fees and the rest of the unit owners are paying the bills. Many bills are not being paid.

I was never informed of the insolvency of the building, otherwise I would not have purchased the property. In a case like this, what can happen or should happen? I should mention there is a board whose lawyer keeps suggesting not to go after rent money because she does not want the developer to go into bankruptcy. This issue has been on my mind since I found out about it six months ago. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

A. The developer is collecting rent on somewhere around 28 units and the board attorney is scared he will file bankruptcy? Are you kidding me?

The board attorney should immediately serve the developer with a Notice and Demand for Possession for any unit that is in arrears on dues. The notice provides that unless outstanding association dues are paid within (at least) 30 days, the board will file an eviction action against the unit owner. The board has the power to obtain an Order of Possession of each of these units, take possession of these properties and collect the rents to satisfy the outstanding obligations.

• Send your questions to attorney Tom Resnick, 345 N. Quentin Road, Palatine, IL 60067, by email to or call (847) 359-8983.