At any given time, there are dozens of housing-related bills—both major and not-so-major—being debated by lawmakers in Chicago, Springfield, and Washington, DC. This legislation can have a huge impact condo residents, boards, and those who serve them, including affecting how much your individual unit is worth.
And while there are lobbyists and organizations rallying on behalf of boards and unit owners, it's important for those boards and owners to be proactive and aware of the bills being proposed so they can communicate with their representatives and make sure their interests are being fully represented to lawmakers. Trite as it sounds, every voice counts.
There are a few major pieces of housing-related legislative initiatives trending right now because residents will have to make immediate changes should they pass. One of the biggest—and most controversial—is the fight to ban smoking in private apartments. (For an in-depth examination of this legislation please see the article entitled 'Where There's Smoke, There's Controversy' in this issue of The Chicagoland Cooperator.)
Some other important pieces of pending legislation includes HB5513, known as the Day Care Bill. As proposed, this bill would amend the Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act to permit licensed day care centers within community associations (though not condominium associations) even if an association prohibits businesses from being operated on its property.
The bill has both its fans and its critics. Carol Marcou, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, chairman of the Illinois Legislative Action Committee (ILAC) of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) is in the latter camp. According to Marcou, ILAC's position is that when an owner purchases into a community association, they agree to abide by the governing documents of that particular community association. Owners have the right to request that the governing documents be amended, but in the meantime, they should act in good faith and abide by the decisions of their board and the super-majority of fellow residents.