The purpose of this article is to discuss common disputes between condominium owners and condominium associations, condominium boards, and individual members of condominium boards in Illinois. We will provide an overview of the primary sources of litigation between condominium owners and condominium associations, as well as an explanation of how such litigation is typically handled according to Illinois law.
Property values in the past few years have plummeted, yet homeowners find themselves paying higher property taxes than ever before. Your property taxes are linked to the fair market value of your home; however, when the fair market value of your home is uncertain, the tax assessment may be inaccurate. Due to the slow-paced real estate market, fewer homes are being purchased, making it difficult to get a fair estimate of what someone might pay for a home in your area, let alone a home similar to yours. Assessors do not have the raw data to work with as they did in the past, so they must refer to outdated information and do the best they can. Therefore, because many homeowners feel they have more accurate information than the assessor, they decide to appeal the assessment of their property.
Mechanics Liens in Illinois are governed by the Illinois Mechanics LIen Act (770 ILCS 60/0.01, et seq.). The purpose of the Mechanics Lien Act is to ensure that contractors and subcontractors who provide labor, materials, fixtures, or machinery to improve real estate receive payment for their services and materials.
The Mechanics Lien Act provides a mechanism whereby contractors and subcontractors can place a lien on property that they work to improve in the amount of the value of their services and materials. The lien prevents the owner of the property from transferring the property without first paying the contractor or subcontractor who holds the lien. A Mechanics Lien also allows the contractor or subcontractor who holds the lien to foreclose on the property and have it sold in order to satisfy the lien.
In a previous article, we discussed the first stage of a real estate sale, Attorney Review and Modification of the Contract. In this article, we will provide a checklist of tasks that the seller (or the seller's attorney) must handle between the execution of the contract and the closing date.
When you sign a contract for the purchase or sale of residential real estate, you will typically have 5 days to review the contract with your attorney in order for your attorney to modify its terms. Check out our previous article, Attorney Modification of Residential Real Estate Contracts, for more on this topic. In this article, we will discuss the top 5 things you should be on the look out for when reviewing the contract with your real estate attorney.
When you sell or purchase a home, your realtor will usually present you with a widely used form contract. The realtor will have the ability to customize that form to fit your needs. The contract will typically provide that each party's attorney will have 5 business days to (1) approve the contract; (2) reject the contract; or (3) negotiate modifications to the contract.
During this 5 day period, the contract is contingent upon attorney approval. If your attorney fails to reject or seek to modify the contract within the 5 day period, the contract will automatically be binding upon you after the 5 day period expires.
In deciding which attorney to hire, legal skills and experience are prerequisites. The top 3 qualities that set good attorneys apart from mediocre ones, which you can assess early in the relationship are:
In many commercial leases, tenants are required to pay a share of taxes, utilities, and common area maintenance charges ("CAM"). The tenant's share will typically be proportional to the amount of space leased by the tenant relative to the total rentable space of the building. This "additional rent" will fluctuate from year to year. It is not uncommon for landlords to overcharge their tenants for CAM. This is referred to as Common Area Maintenance Fraud.
If you are a realtor giving your client an opinion as to the value that his or her property will sell for or the time that it will be on the market, be careful. You may be at risk for consumer fraud (click here for an overview of consumer fraud law).
In Duhl v. Nash Realty Inc., 102 Ill.App.3d 483, 429 N.E.2d 1267 (1st Dist.1981), the 1st District Appellate Court upheld a cause of action for consumer fraud where a realtor told a prospective client that their existing home would sell “very quickly” for between $162,000.00 and $163,000.00, when in fact the home did not sell quickly and was overvalued by the realtor by $20,000.00. The realtor was hired for both the sale and the purchase of a new home. Because the existing home did not sell as quickly as the realtor represented, the Plaintiffs were unable to afford to stay in the new home and were forced to sell it at a less than ideal price.
In 2015, Senate Bill 107 expanded the Illinois Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption. Beginning in taxable year 2015, which is payable in 2016, veterans with a service-connected disability rating of at least 30% can apply to have their dwelling's assessed value reduced. The amount of the reduction/exemption depends on the level of disability.
Veterans with a disability rating of 30 to 40 percent receive an exemption that reduces the assessed value of their primary dwelling by $2,500.00. A disability rating of 50 to 60 percent reduces the value by $5,000.00. A disability rating of 70 percent makes the veteran's dwelling completely exempt from taxation.
In order to take advantage of the exemption, you can apply through your county's assessor's office.
Please feel free to call or e-mail me with any questions, or to schedule a free consultation:
Kevin O'Flaherty | (630)324-6666 | email@example.com
What are the Responsibilities of a Trustee When Selling Real Estate? | Illinois Trust Administration
If you are a trustee responsible for the administration of a trust after the passing of a loved one, you have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries of the trust, within the limitations and instructions laid out by the trust document.
If a trust is in place and estate planning has been done properly prior to the death of the grantor of the trust, it should not be necessary to open a probate estate. However, if the beneficiaries disagree with the actions of the trustee, the beneficiaries may open a probate case and seek to make the trustee personally liable for mismanaged assets of the estate.
An Indemnification agreement is an agreement between two parties providing that if one party is sued for a particular reason, the other party will cover the costs of defending the lawsuit as well as any damages that arise from the suit. It is a useful tool when two parties are intertwined in a larger transaction, and want to divide legal responsibility between them. It protects each party from lawsuits for which the other should be responsible.
Indemnification agreements can be built into a larger contract (like a lease, asset purchase agreement, or employment agreement) or it can be a stand-alone agreement.
In a recent article, we explained how Special Needs Trusts, also known as Supplemental Needs Trusts, can be used to allow individuals with disabilities to earn income, accumulate wealth, receive gifts and inheritances, and maintain a quality lifestyle while still qualifying for government benefits.
As explained in that article, assets held by a Special Needs Trust cannot be used on "shelter" or groceries without reducing the amount of SSI benefits that the beneficiary of the trust is entitled to receive.
If you are renting property and would like to evict one of your tenants for non-payment of rent or for any other reason, you and your lawyer will be required to follow these steps:
How Much Time Do I Have in My Home After a Foreclosure Judgment? | Illinois Foreclosure Timeline Explained
If the bank holding your mortgage has filed a foreclosure action against you and received a judgment of foreclosure from the Court, you will still have a significant amount of time in your home before you are required to vacate the premises.
The borrower has 90 days after the date of judgment to redeem the property. In order to redeem, you must pay all amounts due and owing to the bank. A sale on the property cannot take place until after the redemption period. After the redemption period has expired and proper notice has been given by the bank, the property can be sold. This is usually done by the Sheriff.
Most apartment tenants have a horror story or two: busted pipes, leaks, mold, infestation, horrible neighbors, etc.–and many of these apartment tenants probably did nothing about these horror stories, believing that their only remedy was moving out. Historically this was the case, but today tenants have a variety of rights to ensure that they live in peace and comfort.Implied in every lease is an implied warranty of habitability, which requires that the apartment be maintained in a livable condition by the landlord. Working pipes, plumbing, heat, removal of insects and rodents, and keeping the premises within the housing code are the some of the basic requirements of this warranty.
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O’Flaherty Law is based in Downers Grove, Elmhurst, and Naperville, Illinois. Our team has expertise in many areas of law including but not limited to bankruptcy law, business & corporate representation, civil litigation, criminal defense, estate planning, divorce & family law, immigration; probate, guardianship & elder law; and real estate law. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (630)324-6666.
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O'Flaherty Law has experience in legal services in the following legal practice areas: estate planning and probate; featuring wills and trusts, powers of attorney, living wills, estate tax avoidance and probate practice; real estate law; featuring commercial and residential sales and leases, foreclosure defense, short sales, REO closings and consent foreclosures, mechanic's liens and landlord and tenant disputes; family law; featuring divorces, child custody, child support, paternity, adoption and orders of protection; criminal law; featuring DUI, traffic and criminal defense; business representation; featuring entity selection, incorporation and s-corp election, bylaws and operating agreements, annual reports, annual meetings of shareholders, employment agreements, handbooks and warning and termination letters, business contracts, independent contractor agreements, trademarks and copyrights, regulation and licensing compliance and dissolution and mergers; business and personal bankruptcy; featuring Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 cases; litigation; featuring commercial contract and tort law, employment and labor law, personal injury and collections; and immigration law.
Located in Downers Grove, Illinois, O'Flaherty Law serves DuPage County, Will County, Cook County, Kendall County, Kane County and McHenry County in Illinois, as well as the following cities: Wheaton, Naperville, Woodridge, Downers Grove, Darien, Willowbrook, Westmont, Lisle, Oak Brook, Warrenville, Glen Ellyn, Aurora, North Aurora, Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles, Lemont, Joliet, Bolingbrook, Plainfield, Crest Hill, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Northbrook, Highland Park and Chicago.
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