The Democratic Way Electing New Board Members

The annual election is probably the biggest event in the administrative life of the condominium, homeowners or cooperative community. For board members and residents alike, it's their most important performance.

The board members elected that night will be responsible for overseeing the financial stability of the association and the proper maintenance of the property. The resolutions and rules they pass and the attitude with which they serve their fellow residents greatly influence the tenor and feel of life within the community.

Recognizing the significance of board elections and their potential for causing confusion and contentiousness, the Illinois state legislature has laid out a comprehensive, detailed protocol for elections in the Illinois Condominium Property Act. The ICPA allows the condominium association some latitude in setting election procedures, but it makes the limits on their discretionary power very specific and clear. And whenever there is a conflict between the association’s declaration or bylaws and the Condominium Act, the act prevails.

Homeowners associations, usually comprised of townhouses and single-family homes, are governed by the Common Interest Community Associations Act of 2010, which is similar to the Condo Act but specifically tailored for HOA’s.

Co-ops: a Different Animal

Because they are so sparse in Illinois, “co-ops are a little bit of a different animal,” according to attorney David Hartwell, managing partner of the Chicago-based community association law firm of Penland & Hartwell, LLC. “Co-ops are typically governed by the Illinois Not for Profit Corporation Act, which really only addresses corporate formality.”

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