Association may vote to reject lease to a felon

Posted9/4/2021 7:00 AM

Q: My association has a right of first refusal on the sale or leasing of units. The board learned a proposed tenant of my unit, who is a friend of mine, is a felon resulting from residential burglary. The board was successful in obtaining the necessary unit owner vote to exercise its right of first refusal. The board leased my unit from me and then immediately subleased the unit to a third party. My proposed tenant is trying to get his life back in order, so isn't this some sort of discrimination?

A: Felons are not members of a protected class -- such as race, religion and gender -- that would give rise to a claim of unlawful discrimination. As a result, the association could exercise its right of first refusal to lease your unit based on its knowledge that the proposed tenant is a felon.


Q: The board of my association has adopted rules that prohibit the use of barbecue grills on our balconies. Our balconies and siding of the building are wood. Can they do this?

A: Many municipalities have ordinances that prohibit grills within some described distance from combustible materials. A grill on a wood balcony of a wood-sided building would typically violate such an ordinance. Even absent such an ordinance, such a rule could be reasonable if the board determines grills on the balconies are a fire hazard.

Q: About five years ago, our association amended the condominium declaration. It has come to the board's attention that these amendments were never recorded with the county. Must they have been recorded to be effective?

A: Yes, amendments to a condominium declaration need to be recorded to be effective. It's probably too late to record the amendments at this time.

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Q: The board of our condominium meets monthly. Can we reduce the number of board meetings?

A: Yes, per the Condominium Property Act, the board is only required to meet four times a year. Many associations do hold monthly board meetings, or more frequently than the required four. This should be driven by whether there is business to be conducted that requires a meeting.

Q: Does the Illinois Condominium Property Act state a date by which a board must meet to adopt the annual budget?

A: The Condominium Property Act does not require that an annual budget be adopted by a specific date. That is generally set forth in the association's declaration or bylaws. In establishing a meeting to adopt an annual budget, the board needs to keep some time frames in mind.

Each unit owner must receive, at least 25 days prior to the adoption thereof by the board, a copy of the proposed annual budget.

Each unit owner must receive notice, in the same manner as provided in the Act for membership meetings, of any board of managers meeting concerning the adoption of the proposed annual budget and regular assessments. That means unit owners must be given no less than 10 and no more than 30 days written notice of the time, place and purpose of the budget meeting.

Q: I am on the board of my condominium association. The board members routinely meet without posting any notice of its meetings to unit owners. Is this proper?

A: Under the Condominium Property Act, notice of every meeting of the board must be posted in entranceways, elevators or other conspicuous places in the condominium at least 48 hours prior to the meeting of the board. Where there is no common entranceway for seven or more units, the board may designate one or more locations in the proximity of these units where the notices of meetings are to be posted.

• 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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