Advance notice of increased assessments must be given

by Admin
Advance notice of increased assessments must be given

Q: I am an investor owner of a condominium unit. Long story short, our association property manager sent the unit owners a notification at the end of December of a 5% assessment increase commencing on January 1. Because of the late notice, my January assessment payment was slightly short, and I was assessed a $50 late fee for not paying the January assessment in full. I appealed to the board for reconsideration and was rejected. Do I have any remedies to force the Board to reimburse me for the late fee assessed?

A: As long as the revised budget was approved by the Board and notification was provided to unit owners before the month when the increase commenced, unit owners are required to pay the increased assessment in full. Assuming the Association rules and regulations call for a late fee for assessments not paid in full when due, unit owners would be liable for the late fee and there is no remedy to successfully seek reimbursement.

Q: I am a unit owner in a condominium association and our governing documents contain a weight limit for dogs. I understand that the doctrine of reasonable accommodation per the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act would invalidate a dog weight for a unit owner granted a reasonable accommodation due to a disability; however, the president of our board trains therapy dogs and is currently training a golden retriever over the weight limit. The president claims the doctrine of reasonable accommodation applies because the dog is being trained as a therapy dog. Is this true?

A: The doctrine of reasonable accommodation pursuant to the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act allows a resident living in a condominium an exception to animal restrictions in the Association’s governing documents such as no pet restrictions or weight limits. The law guarantees persons in housing equal opportunity to housing. However, to be entitled to a reasonable accommodation, and thus an exception from the weight limit, the person (president of the board in this case) must have a qualified disability under applicable federal law and be prescribed the assistance animal to ameliorate the effects of their disability. The doctrine of reasonable accommodation does not apply to animals alone because they may be used as a therapy animal.

Q: I am a disabled unit owner in a condominium association who needs accessible parking and it is my understanding the Illinois legislature is considering legislation to address the issue of accessible parking spaces in condominium associations. What is the status of the legislation? 

A: On May 24, 2024, the Illinois legislature approved legislation amending the Condominium Act to impose new requirements for condo associations related to accessible parking. If the approved legislation is either signed by Governor Pritzker or not vetoed by Governor Pritzker by July 23, 2024, the new law shall become effective on January 1, 2025.

In sum, the proposed amendment to the Condominium Act imposes two new requirements on condominium boards. The first requirement is to adopt a policy to reasonably accommodate a unit owner who is a person with a disability who requires accessible parking. The second requirement requires condominium boards to make reasonable efforts to facilitate a resolution between unit owners to provide accessible parking in situations where the association does not own or control parking that meets the accessible parking needs of a disabled unit owner.

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