Condo association buys unit in foreclosure
Q: Our condominium association purchased a unit in the association that was in foreclosure. Is the unit now part of the common elements?
A: A unit purchased by the association continues to be a unit and did not become part of the common elements. The unit is association-owned property and continues to have a percentage of ownership in the common elements, and responsibility for payment of assessments and real estate taxes. Depending on what the unit will be used for, the assessed valuation of the unit could possibly be reduced to $1.
Q: At each board meeting of our association, the board approves the minutes of the previous board meeting. Previously, the proposed minutes were read at the board meeting before the board voted to approve them. The current president does not have the proposed minutes read and simply asks for a motion to approve the minutes. Do the proposed minutes need to be read aloud at the meeting?
A: The reading of the draft minutes can be waived, and there is no requirement that minutes actually be read aloud before being voted on by the board. Note that minutes are available for examination and copying by owners upon written request.
Q: My husband and I own a unit together, and my husband owns another unit himself in our condominium. Can we both serve on the board at the same time?
A: Section 18(a)(1) of the Illinois Condominium Property Act states that "if there are multiple owners of a single unit, only one of the multiple owners shall be eligible to serve as a member of the board at any one time." So, yes, under the multiple unit ownership scenario you describe, both you and your husband would be eligible to serve on the board at the same time.
Q: An owner in our association with a physical disability wants the association to install a lift for the pool at association expense. He claims the association is required to do this. Is this correct?
A: The association is not required to install a lift for the pool. However, the Federal Fair Housing Act requires, under the right facts and circumstances, that the association allow this owner to install a lift for the pool at the owner's expense.
Q: The board of directors of my condominium association routinely meets privately without permitting owners to be present and without providing any notice to the community. The board often follows these meetings with announcements about decisions it has made at these meetings. Are they allowed to do meet this way?
A: Pursuant to Section 18(a)(9)(A) of the Illinois Condominium Property Act, "every meeting of the board of managers shall be open to any unit owner."
However, the board may close any portion of a noticed meeting or meet separately from a noticed meeting to: "(i) discuss litigation when an action against or on behalf of the particular association has been filed and is pending in a court or administrative tribunal, or when the board of managers finds that such an action is probable or imminent, (ii) discuss the appointment, employment, engagement or dismissal of an employee, independent contractor, agent or other provider of goods and services, (iii) interview a potential employee, independent contractor, agent or other provider of goods and services, (iv) discuss violations of rules and regulations of the association, (v) discuss a unit owner's unpaid share of common expenses or (vi) consult with the association's legal counsel."
Do note that any vote on these matters must take place at a meeting of the board of managers or portion thereof open to any unit owner.
Unless the board is meeting for one of the above specific purposes, its meetings must be open to the owners and with proper notice.
• 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.