Along with property managers, attorneys may be keepers of some of the best stories to come out of Chicagoland's condos and HOA communities. They hear and see (and litigate) it all, from the crazy cat lady who diversifies into African goat-rearing in her backyard to the suspected mobster who may—or may not?—be running a house of ill repute out of his condo apartment.
Marshall N. Dickler started practicing law in the 1970s and in his 40-plus year career he’s seen and heard it all when it comes to association’s legal cases, from the heart-wrenching to the ridiculous. One of his favorite water cooler stories is the case of the unit owner, his girlfriend and the nearly erotic eviction.
“The unit owner had a wife, too, but broke up with the girlfriend,” says Dickler, the principal of Dickler, Kahn, Slowikowski & Zavell, Ltd., in Arlington Heights. “The girlfriend wouldn’t move out of his other condo, so he stopped paying the assessments. We got an eviction order, but she was unaware of it. When the sheriff showed up, she was in a red negligee and the sheriff literally removed her from the premises in the negligee. Kids gathered to see the nearly naked lady - and I got phone calls from the board about upset mothers.”
Ultimately, the girlfriend disappeared and the owner sold the unit.
For Steven Welhouse, a partner at The Sterling Law Office in Chicago, finding a unit owner became a true challenge. “We had one case when the unit owner had completely walked away from the unit and we were forced to file suit for late fees,” says Welhouse.