2012 March

2012 March Vol. 2 No. 3

Focus on...Exterior Maintenance

Q&A: Regulating Vehicles On-Site

By Charles T. VanderVennet

When I moved into my condo the bylaws said that vehicles are limited to standard  motor cars (no boats, no trailers, no motor homes and no commercial vehicles).  That was in 2004 and I have a pickup truck and my wife has a SUV. When we moved  in, our property was being managed by one property management company. Now  seven years later, a new property management company has taken over and they  sent us a letter stating that the vehicle restrictions are: (no trucks, pickup  trucks, vans with sliding slides, recreational vehicles (RV's), trailers,  motorcycles, or commercial vehicles of any kind), unlicensed or inoperable  vehicles are not permitted to park on the association property. My question is  can the property management make this kind of change that affects people who  had a vehicle that was okay when the condominium was bought? Read More

Q&A: No Attendance?

By James A. Slowikowski

Our association holds monthly meetings on the same time, day and location every  month. Notices are posted in the elevators and common areas one week in advance  yet no one attends. If binding votes are required to be in the presence of  owners in an open meeting, what happens when there are no attendees? Can the  board still conduct business as usual even if there are not any owners present?  Please advise. Read More

Chicago's Building Services Trade Unions

By Maggie Puniewska

 He makes sure you feel safe and secure in your Lincoln Park condo building. He  is the building engineer who fixes your bathroom leak. She is the reason you  receive your important mail on time. These folks are part of the thousands of  unionized service workers in Chicago, many of whom work in the city's  multifamily condo communities. Two unions in Chicago—SEIU Local 1 and IUOE Local 399–represent workers from a variety of fields including janitors, security  officers, stadium and theater workers, doormen and resident managers, chief  engineers, superintendents and maintenance workers. Read More

What's In Your Wallet?

By Liz Lent

 In these times of economic uncertainty, nothing is more important than planning  for a rainy day, especially when that rainy day might involve repairs to  multimillion dollar buildings. That is one of the many reasons why having an  adequate reserve fund is so integral to the fiscal health of any condominium or  co-op community. While it seems like a monumental task to get a detailed  analysis of how much money needs to be saved each year to pay for boiler  repairs or façade replacements five, ten or even 30 years down the road, the ability to plan  far in advance can prevent a lot of problems for boards and residents alike. Read More

Curb Appeal

By Rosie Powers

 As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first  impression, and for homebuyers, that first impression is almost always the view  from the street. No matter how deluxe the accommodations inside, if the property’s exterior is less than desirable, a buyer’s mind is often made up before they enter the front door—if they even bother to go that far. Read More

Papers, Please!

By Lisa Iannucci

 Just think about this—you go to a doctor’s office for the first time and, hanging on the wall is an empty frame where his  medical degree should be. You question him about it and he tells you, sure, he  graduated from med school. He's totally qualified to wield a scalpel and  prescribe drugs. But there’s no proof. At this point, you probably get off the examination table and head  out the door. After all, with no degree, you probably wouldn’t let him take care of you. It could cost you your life. Read More

Concrete Concerns

By Keith Loria

 In Chicago, urban high-rises with sidewalk frontage and suburban HOAs containing  walking paths, parking lots, and service roads are reliant on their paved  surfaces for conducting their everyday business. Therefore, it's crucial that  buildings and associations regularly inspect and maintain their concrete. Read More

Let There Be Light

By J.M. Wilson

 There was a time when most large residential developments relied on glaring  floodlights to brighten parking lots, front porches and entryways. Today, there  is more to exterior lighting than just chasing shadows away and discouraging  crime. Lighting is now a deliberately thought-out part of residential community  design, with a lasting impact on value. Read More

Deck it Out

By Keith Loria

 When you consider all the different exterior components that a condo association  has to deal with, decks are sort of like the Rodney Dangerfield of the list—they rarely get any respect. Read More

Green Exteriors

By J.M. Wilson

More often than not, when boards or associations broach the issue of their buildings “going green,” images of bamboo flooring, hemp drapes, or solar panels on the roof suddenly spring to mind. The impression seems to be that in a condo, green upgrades are difficult and costly—if not impossible—to do. Read More

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