Residents seek delivery box for packages

Posted1/5/2019 7:00 AM

Q. The board of our association was presented a petition signed by about 30 percent of the owners requesting the board to install a secure package delivery box in the vestibule of our entrance. This box would allow small package deliveries to be made when an owner is not home. The board has expressed some reluctance, indicating it is not visually appealing, but has not made a decision. Is the board required to have this delivery box installed based on the request of the owners?

A. The board is not required to have this package delivery box installed. Whether or not to do so is a business decision of the board. Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the board may want to take a poll of the owners on the issue. The poll is nonbinding and is advisory only, but may assist the board in reaching a decision on an issue of this nature.

Q. An owner in our condominium association works nights and sleeps days. This owner complains to the board about the daytime noise from the unit located above this owner's unit. For example, he complains about footsteps, television and conversations. The board has spoken with other neighbors who say that while they can hear noise from the unit in question, it is no louder than noise they hear from other surrounding units, and that the television and conversations are at "normal" volume.

The board does not consider the noise to rise to the level of being a violation of any rules or the declaration; however, the complaining owner continues to complain, and is now making threats about suing the board. What should the board do here?

A. A certain amount of sound transmission between units is simply a fact of life in a multiunit building. And noise that might be an issue during overnight hours isn't necessary so during the day when most people are up and about. It appears here that the board recognizes this and isn't taking action to address the seemingly unfounded complaints of the downstairs owners.

And when one owner complains about another owner, without corroboration, it's a "he said-he said" that makes it difficult for a board to determine if a noise violation has been committed, as the "evidence" is often subjective.

In these situations, the complaining owner should be required to present the board with objective evidence of noise, and that such noise exceeds accepted noise levels for the particular time of day. Sound engineers can do this sort of testing and provide that sort of information.

Q. I live in a small townhouse association that is not a condominium. Other than our declarations and bylaws, what other Illinois homeowner association laws apply to our association?

A. Your association would be a common interest community association, pursuant to the Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act. However, whether or not a "small" association is governed by that law depends on a couple of factors.

A common interest community association organized under the General Not for Profit Corporation Act of 1986 and having either 10 units or less or annual budgeted assessments of $100,000 or less is exempt from the Common Interest Community Association Act. Even if exempt, the association can elect to be covered by the act by a majority vote of its directors or members.

Importantly, if the association has either 10 units or less or annual budgeted assessments of $100,000 or less, but is not a not-for-profit corporation, the association would not be exempt, and the association would be governed by the Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act.

Whether or not exempt from the act, the association would be governed by the Illinois General Not for Profit Corporation Act of 1986, if the association is incorporated as a not for profit corporation.

• 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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