Condo associations and HOAs in Illinois operate much like mini-governments. They have their own rules and regulations to help the association function efficiently and in the best interest of its community members.
While associations must abide by the Illinois Condominium Property Act (ICPA), they are also governed by their own internal policies. Condo board members oversee and enforce these important documents, including the condominium declaration, bylaws, and rules and regulations of the association. If the bylaws are not being followed, there are several ways they can be enforced.
Ways to Enforce Condo Bylaws
In Chicago, as in many other places, condo bylaws are enforced through a combination of internal resolution methods as well as legal avenues. Here’s a sequence of events some condo boards follow when enforcing bylaws.
- Pursue internal resolution: The first step in enforcing condo bylaws usually involves communication and internal resolution. Condo associations often have a management board and regular meetings where issues can be raised. If a resident is not adhering to the bylaws, the board might issue warnings, fines or schedule mediation meetings to resolve disputes.
- Impose fines and penalties: Condo associations usually have the authority to impose fines and penalties on residents who violate the bylaws. These fines may accrue until the violation is resolved.
- Consider mediation: Mediation can be a useful tool to resolve disputes between residents or between residents and the condo association. Mediation involves a neutral third party who helps facilitate a resolution between the parties involved.
- Take legal action: If internal methods and mediation fail, the condo association may consider taking legal action. This might involve filing a lawsuit against the violating resident. Legal action can be costly and time-consuming, so it’s generally considered a last resort.
In some cases, if certain bylaws are consistently problematic, the condo board might decide to amend the bylaws through a vote at a meeting. This can change the rules and regulations to better suit the community’s needs. Additionally, the board might double-down on its education efforts to make sure all residents are aware of the bylaws and the importance of adhering to them.
Hiring a professional management company can also help, especially in terms of providing guidance to the board regarding enforcing bylaws effectively. To learn more about board responsibilities, contact us at First Community Management.