State changes condo board residency requirements
Q: You have previously commented on board member residency requirements established in some condominium declarations. One of our board members said he heard about some change to the law about this issue. What do you know about this?
A: I have previously commented on my view as to whether a board member residency requirement in a condominium declaration is valid; I have questioned the validity. The Illinois legislature has now addressed the issue.
Effective Jan. 1, 2022, Section 18(a)(1) of the Illinois Condominium Property Act is amended to expressly address the issue of board member residency requirements. The revision permits a condominium association's declaration to provide that a majority of the board members, or such lesser number as provided therein, must be comprised of unit owners occupying their unit as their primary residence. However, the declaration cannot require that more than a majority of the board be comprised of unit owners occupying their unit as their primary residence.
Commonly found language in a condominium association's declaration that require all board members to reside on the property would not be valid, and could be amended.
Q: For the past year or so many condominium and common interest community association boards have ceased in-person meetings, and have conducted their board meetings via video with services such as Zoom. Now that Illinois has lifted its meeting size limits and relaxed its social distancing guidelines, do association board meetings need to return to being held in person?
A: Many condominium and common interest community association boards were introduced to video meetings during the pandemic. However, both the Illinois Condominium Property Act and the Illinois General Not for Profit Corporation Act have expressly permitted the use of video board meetings.
The Condominium Property Act provides that "board members may participate in and act at any meeting of the board of managers in person, by telephonic means, or by use of any acceptable technological means whereby all persons participating in the meeting can communicate with each other; that participation constitutes attendance and presence in person at the meeting."
The Not for Profit Corporation Act provides that "(u) nless specifically prohibited by the articles of incorporation or bylaws, directors or nondirector committee members may participate in and act at any meeting of such board or committee through the use of a conference telephone or other communications equipment by means of which all persons participating in the meeting can communicate with each other. Participation in such meeting shall constitute attendance and presence in person at the meeting of the person or persons so participating."
Therefore, all Illinois condominiums and not for profit common interest community associations can continue to conduct board meetings via video conference, as long as the above described requirements are met. Importantly, owners must be permitted to "attend" the open portion of these board meetings conducted by video conference.
Q: The board of our association posts notice of board meetings throughout the association. The board does not post the board meeting agenda; however, it is available at the board meeting. Is the board required to post the agenda with the notice of the board meeting?
A: The board is required to post notice of board meetings, stating the date, time, place and purpose of the board meeting. The board is not required to post the agenda for the board meeting, unless required by the association's declaration or bylaws; some do include that requirement. Nonetheless, many boards do post the proposed meeting agenda with the notice of board meeting. This would be a matter of personal preference, often based on the desire of the owners.
• David M. Bendoff is an attorney with Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit in the Chicago suburbs. Send questions for the column to him at CondoTalk@ksnlaw.com. The firm provides legal service to condominium, townhouse, homeowner associations and housing cooperatives. This column is not a substitute for consultation with legal counsel.