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Illinois Condominium Property Act Amended Regarding Distribution of Proposed Annual Budget

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in annual budget, condominium asociations, condominium association law, condominium attorney, Illinois Condominium Law, Illinois Condominium Property Act, proposed annual budget

A quirk of Illinois Condominium law has long prevented sending notice of the meeting at which an Association’s annual budget would be considered at the same time as the proposed annual budget was sent to unit owners. This is because one section of the law provided that the annual budget had to be sent out at least 30 days in advance of the meeting while another section required that the notice of meeting could not be sent out more than 30 days in advance. Effective June 1, 2016, this will no longer be the case, as the Illinois Condominium Property Act has been amended to provide that the proposed budget can now be distributed to unit owners at least 25 days in advance.

Kreisler Law condominium attorneys have represented Illinois condominium associations for forty five years and have a depth of experience and knowledge of Illinois condominium law. Feel free to contact a Kreisler Law attorney whenever you need an attorney experienced in condominium or community association law.

Illinois First District Appellate Court Sanctions Use of Move In Fees For Chicago Leases

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in attorney fees, Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance, holding security deposits, mandatory requirements, minor violation, non-refundable move-in fee, nonpayment of monthly rent, RLTO, tenant's attorney fees

The Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (“RLTO”) contains many mandatory requirements as to the holding of security deposits by landlords to which the ordinance applies. Any violation of those provisions, even an unintentional or minor violation, comes with a penalty of double the entire security deposit and makes the landlord liable to pay the tenant’s attorney fees for enforcement. Because of this, it has become increasingly common for Chicago landlords to cease the formerly widespread practice of requiring a security deposit, typically in the amount of one month’s rent, for every lease. Many landlords instead are now requiring a non-refundable “move in” fee, usually in the amount of a fraction of a month’s rent.

The recent Illinois First District Appellate Court decision in Steenes v MAC Property Management sanctions the new move-in fee practice. In Steenes, the Appellate Court affirmed a lower court decision that a $350.00 non-refundable move in fee was permissible in the case of a lease providing for rent in the amount of $715.00 per month. The court concluded that the $350.00 fee was “a ‘charge’ made in return for plaintiff’s moving into her unit, which would cover defendants’ resulting expense, time, and the interruption of business related to the move.” The Court’s reasoning was based upon its finding that the “amount of the move-in fee appears inadequate to be considered as security for any nonpayment of monthly rent or secure…” tenant’s performance of the lease terms. Because the move-in fee was expressly made non-refundable, the Court found that the fee could not be considered “as a surety for either unpaid rent or compensation for damage to the apartment” and thus was not a security deposit under RLTO.

Feel free to contact an experienced Illinois landlord law attorney at Kreisler Law if you have questions about how to properly serve eviction notices or any other area of the laws governing landlords and tenants.

Illinois Condominium Property Act Amended to Empower Emergency Action by Association Boards

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in condominium association, condominium association law, emergency action, emergency event, ICPA, Illinois Association Board, Illinois condominium associations, Illinois Condominium Law, Illinois Condominium Property Act

The 2014 Appellate Court decision in Palm v 2800 Lake Shore Drive Condominium Association held that discussions of condominium business and taking action on matters at meetings closed to unit owners by a quorum of Association Board members was improper except under very limited circumstances. Effective June 1, 2016, the Illinois Condominium Property Act (ICPA) has been amended to clarify the power of an Illinois Association Board to take action in emergency situations.
A new section 18(a) 21 has been added to the ICPA to cover this situation. The new section specifically provides that “The intent of adding this paragraph (21) is to empower and support boards to act in emergencies”.

The new section permits the Board to ratify and confirm actions of board members taken in response to an emergency. The section requires that within seven business days of the occurrence of an emergency event, board members give notice to unit owners of the occurrence of the emergency as well as a general description of the actions to address the event.

Kreisler Law condominium attorneys have represented Illinois condominium associations for forty five years and have a depth of experience and knowledge of Illinois condominium law. Feel free to contact a Kreisler Law attorney whenever you need an attorney experienced in condominium or community association law.

Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in avoid probate, estate administration, estate administration attorney, estate planner, estate planning attorney, recordable deed, TODI, Transfer on Death Instrument, will, witnesses

In 2012, Illinois became one of sixteen states which allow the owner of residential real estate with no more than four residential units to avoid probate at death by use of a pre-recorded instrument known as a Transfer on Death Instrument (TODI). By use of TODI, a person with the same mental capacity as required to make a will, can execute an instrument with the same notarization requirements as those needed to execute a recordable deed.

However, in the case of a TODI, the execution must also be witnessed by at least two disinterested individuals in the owner’s presence, just as required for an Illinois will. The TODI must provide that the transfer to the beneficiary will occur on the owner’s death and must be recorded before the owner’s death with the county recorder where the real estate is located.

Because a TODI is not a deed, the normal requirements of notice and delivery for an effective deed are not required for a TODI transfer. All that is required is that the beneficiary accepts the transfer when the owner dies.

A TODI is completely revocable by the owner at any time before the owner’s death. Revocation occurs when a document is executed, acknowledged, witnessed and recorded revoking the TODI expressly or when a new TODI is properly executed, witnessed and recorded which is inconsistent with the earlier TODI.

Only a natural person can create a TODI. However, the beneficiary of a TODI can be a natural person, a corporation, a limited liability company, a trust or any other entity capable of owning residential real estate.

The transfer of title by a TODI is effective upon the owner’s death by the execution by the beneficiary and recording with the local recorder of deeds of a Notice of Death Affidavit and Acceptance of Transfer Upon Death. The TODI becomes void and ineffective if not accepted within two years of the owner’s death. In addition a TODI may be disclaimed by the beneficiary. A beneficiary who disclaims a TODI is treated as having pre-deceased the owner and will be treated as never having had an interest in the property.

The TODI Act created yet another tool for Illinois estate planners. It gives an estate planning lawyer essentially the same tool for transferring qualified residential real estate at the owner’s death as have long been available to estate planners for bank accounts and securities.

Feel free to contact an Illinois estate planning attorney experienced in the use of a TODI at Kreisler Law if you have questions about the use of a TODI in your estate plan or any other area of the laws governing wills, trusts and other Illinois estate planning tools or Illinois probate or estate administration.

When Can a Chicago Landlord Conclude a Tenant Has Abandoned the Apartment

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in abandonment of apartment, Chicago landlords, Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance, landlord attorney, personal property, rental periods, RLTO, tenant's intention

The Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) applies to all non-owner occupied residential rental buildings as well as to owner-occupied buildings of more than six units. RLTO has helpful definitions of when a tenant can be considered to have abandoned his or her apartment. The first situation is simple, where the tenant has given actual notice to the landlord of the tenant’s intention not to return to the unit.

The second definition of abandonment requires three things:
a) That in the case of a tenancy with rental periods of one month or more, all persons entitled to occupy the apartment have been absent for a period of two (2) days or in the case of rental period of less than a month, that all persons have been absent for one rental period;
b) All persons entitled to occupy the unit have removed their personal property from the premises; and
c) Rent for the period is unpaid.

The third situation is which the landlord may conclude there has been abandonment is where all persons entitled to occupy the apartment have been absent for a period of thirty two (32) days and rent for the period is unpaid.

Feel free to contact an experienced Illinois landlord attorney at Kreisler Law if you have questions about RLTO or any other area of the laws governing landlords and tenants.

Illinois Small Estate Administration Made Easier

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in decedent, estate administration attorney, personal property, probate, probate estate, small estate administration, small estate affidavit

Illinois has long had a law which permitted the transfer of up to $100,000 in personal property at a person’s death without the need for probate. The law permitted the transfer by the completion and execution of what is called a small estate affidavit. Since a probate estate can take seven months to a year or more to complete and can involve attorney fees and costs of $2,000 or more, this alternative to probate can be very useful in the right circumstances.

Until the beginning of 2015, the small estate affidavit had a characteristic which severely limited the usefulness of the procedure, in that the affidavit could only be used where the estate had no debts other than funeral expenses. This changed through a law passed in 2014. Now a small estate affidavit may be used in estates which have non-funeral debts, provided all debts of the decedent are listed in the affidavit.

The person who signs the small estate affidavit becomes responsible for paying the debts. In addition, the signer becomes responsible for distributing the estate to its rightful recipients, who are also to be listed in the affidavit.

The small estate affidavit allows banks and other third parties who have possession of the decedent’s assets to transfer them in accordance with the affidavit. Further, the small estate affidavit may used to gain access to a safety deposit box of the decedent.

Feel free to contact an Illinois estate administration attorney experienced in the use of small estate affidavits at Kreisler Law if you have questions about the use of a small estate affidavit to avoid probate or any other area of the laws governing Illinois estate planning or Illinois probate or estate administration.

New TRID Requirements are Delaying Residential Real Estate Closings

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in Closing Disclosure form, disclosure period, loan documentation, Loan Estimate form, mortgage, Real Estate, real estate closing, real estate law, three day rule, TILA-RESPA forms, TRID

The new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) Rule went into effect October 1, 2015 and is already delaying residential real estate closings. TRID requires loan documentation consisting of two new forms: the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure to ensure compliance. These new forms consolidate the TILA-RESPA forms and are meant to give consumers more time to review the total costs of their mortgage.

The Loan Estimate is due to consumers three days after they apply for a loan, and the Closing Disclosure is due to them three days before closing. However, the three day rule is only applicable if the disclosure is delivered personally. If the disclosure is delivered any other way, the Rule “deems” the disclosure was made three business days later, making the disclosure period six or more days before the closing.

Because there are huge potential penalties to mortgage lenders if they do not make the required disclosures on a timely basis, mortgage lenders are interpreting the new rules very conservatively and are adding additional days for the disclosures as a cushion. Thus, rather than using three days before closing as a cutoff, the cutoff for a particular transaction might be 7 – 10 days or more.

Feel free to contact an Illinois attorney experienced in handling all aspects of real estate closings for both buyers and sellers at Kreisler Law if you have questions about sale of your Chicago area real estate or any other area of the laws governing the purchase or sale of real estate.

New Mortgage Rules Likely to Delay Future Residential Real Estate Closings

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in Closing Statement, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, federal agency, financial disclosure rules, HUD Settlement statement, loan approval, mortgage, Real Estate, real estate closing, real estate law, reidential mortgage loans, residential closing

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), a new federal agency created in 2010, is imposing new financial disclosure rules for residential mortgage loans applied for on and after August 1, 2015.  The new rules will eliminate the HUD-1 settlement statement which has been part of residential closings for many years and replace it with new forms, one of which, the Closing Disclosure, must be sent to the borrower/buyer a fixed number of days in advance of closing.  Because large fines of as much as $1,000,000 per day can be imposed on lenders for violating the new rules, it is expected that lenders will err on the side of caution in following the new rules.

 

Under the new rules the Closing Disclosure, which contains all of the financial information about the closing must be received by the buyer/borrower at least three days before closing.  Since it is expected that most lenders will mail the disclosure and because of the time periods for receipt of mailings imposed by the new rules, the Closing Disclosure will have to be mailed more than a week before a closing can occur.  Adding to that period, the additional time to be imposed by national lenders for preparation and processing of the form, many lenders are likely to require final closing figures as much as 12 to 14 days in advance of closing.

 

Thus, for a real estate deal which today could be closed a day or two after final “clear to close” loan approval, the new rules will likely push off that same closing for two weeks after final loan approval.

 

Feel free to contact an Illinois attorney experienced in handling all aspects of real estate closings for both buyers and sellers at Kreisler Law if you have questions about the sale of your Chicago area real estate or any other area of the laws governing the purchase or sale of real estate.

New Procedures Announced in Daley Center Eviction Cases with Jury Demand

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in eviction court, eviction law attorney, evictions, jury demand, jury trial, jury trial judge

Effective April, 2015, the Presiding Judge of the First Municipal District of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois announced a new procedure for eviction cases where the defendant files a demand for a jury trial.

Eviction cases which are assigned to the Daley Center are initially assigned at random to one of five courtrooms which hear only non-jury cases. Under the new procedure, when a defendant files a demand for trial by jury, the case is then transferred to room 1301 on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday within ten (10) days after the transfer order is entered. On the appointed day, the case is then assigned to a jury trial judge and courtroom.

All further matters in the case, including motions for discovery and for use and occupancy, are then heard by the assigned jury trial judge.

This replaces the current procedure under which jury cases were re-assigned to a single courtroom (Courtroom 1501) and all motions or other proceedings before trial were handled in Courtroom 1501. Under current practice, the case was only transferred to a jury trial judge on the date of trial

Feel free to contact an experienced Illinois landlord eviction law attorney at Kreisler Law if you have questions about the new procdure or any other area of the laws governing landlords and tenants

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