Q&A: Office Space for Manager

Q My condo's board recently approved a plan to provide an office for our property manager. Since the building did not have a space for an office, they want to put up walls in one of our common areas, so the property manager has a place to work. I understand the property manager needs an on-site place to work, but it will shrink our club room considerably, which I assume was part of the price tag of my unit. Will this decrease unit values if the common area is compromised? Is it legal for the board to approve something like that?

—Legally Speaking

A “Your board is not permitted to reconfigure common space. A change to common space requires 100% unit owner approval to amend the percentage of ownership interest assigned to units in a declaration or unless otherwise provided by law,” says Chicago-based attorney Sima Kirsch. “Such a change requires an amended plat to be prepared and recorded. If the board does not voluntarily reverse their decision, a petition for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief will provide an adequate remedy. Section 8 of the Illinois Condominium Property Act specifically prohibits partition of common elements except if the association follows required procedure: 'As long as the property is subject to the provisions of this Act the common elements shall, except as provided in Section 14 hereof, remain undivided, and no unit owner shall bring any action for partition or division of the common elements. Any covenant or agreement to the contrary shall be void.'”

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