What do bed bugs and condominium records have in common?

Chicago condominium association boards should be aware of two recent amendments passed by city council.

Chicago Condominium Ordinance Amendment mirrors state law

Chicago Condominiums

A request for books and records by a unit owner of a Chicago condominium used to be a trap for an association board. The Illinois Condominium Property Act gives an association board up to 30 days to respond. The Chicago Condominium Ordinance, however, gave the association board only 10 days to respond. Associations argued that they only needed to comply with the Illinois law but the courts disagreed. See Palm v. 2800 Lake Shore Drive Condo. Ass'n, 988 N.E.2d 75, 85 (2013). As a result, and per the Chicago Ordinance, that owner was legally entitled to recovery of attorneys’ fees if the board failed to produce the records within 10 days. 

Now, a recent change to the Chicago Condominium Ordinance can allow Chicago associations to relax just a bit when they receive a request from a unit owner for books and records. An amendment to Section 13-72-080 of the Chicago Municipal Ordinance now gives an association 30 days to produce books and records, as opposed to the previous 10 day requirement. This amendment mirrors the state requirements set forth in the Illinois Condominium Property Act. See 765 ILCS 605/19(a)(9); 765 ILCS 605/19(b). 

City addresses growing bed bug problems

Chicago may be commonly known as the “Second-City”, but for the past two years it ranked number 1 nationwide in reported bed bug problems. The city council must not have been pleased with this unofficial title and has made new rules affecting rental and condominium properties to treat this growing problem. An amendment to Section 7-28-840 of the Chicago Municipal Ordinance requires condominium associations to prepare a “pest management plan” for the detection, inspection and treatment of bed bugs. Some parts of the plans may vary from association to association, but each plan must include an inspection of a condominium unit at least 10 days after a bed bug is found, or the association receives written notice of known or reasonably suspected bed bug infestations. Furthermore, condominium associations are required to maintain records of all pest control measures for three years. Condominium associations have until March 24, 2014 to have a plan in place. The city council is currently working on a sample plan for condominium associations to work off of as a model. 

The Ordinance requires unit owners or lessees in condominium units to immediately notify the condominium association of any known or reasonably suspected bed bug infestation. The Ordinance already has penalties for violations, but associations could introduce their own fines within their required bed bug plans.

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