Keough & Moody, P.C.

 

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Volume 5 Number 3 March, 2016 
In This Issue
Quick Links
  
This month our feature article discusses mechanics liens and the defenses which an association can employ against a contractor that has failed to live up to his end of a contract.  And as we approach April, national fair housing month, our second article provides great reminders about how to avoid housing discrimination.

There is quite a bit happening in the months ahead; please ch eck out our event schedule below for information on upcoming events and educational opportunities.  We hope to see you at one soon!

Finally, we welcome your suggestions for future articles or other educational content which you would like to see.  Please respond to this email to express your preference.  

Lindsey Daehnke
  Marketing Coordinator
   Keough & Moody,P.C.

 
The Association Received Notice of a Mechanics Lien:
What should the Board do?
By Damon Fisch

Most people understand that a lien against property is a serious issue to address. However, many people are not sure of how to approach it.

The Purpose of the Mechanics Lien

The primary purpose of a mechanics lien is to provide security to a contractor to assure that payment is made for labor, material and/or services rendered that add permanent value to the real property. However, there is also a secondary purpose to the mechanics lien, to protect real property owners by requiring notice to them and third parties of the existence of the lien.

If you have received a mechanics lien against the common elements of the association, you have received notice that a contractor believes that he is owed money for work that he did to improve the real estate. A mechanics lien is not a judgment. It is not a court order. It is not conclusive proof that the contractor is owed money. A lien merely provides notice to the Association and third parties that the contractor has the right to bring an action in a court of law to foreclose its lien.

A foreclosure of a mechanics lien is not much different than a foreclosure of a mortgage. It is a law suit that asks the court to allow the contractor to have the property sold at a sheriff's sale in order to recover funds the contractor believes it is owed. But, the contractor must prove in a court of law that he has a valid contract to perform the work identified in the lien and that the work was performed in a workmanlike manner. The lien is not... read more

Click the "read more" link above to learn whether or not the lien  is valid and how to defend against a mechanics lien.   

  
Upcoming Opportunities 
to meet attorneys and staff from
Keough & Moody P.C. include:
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Oak Park Seminar Series
 
Thank you to more than 40 people who attended  Session I  of this series, "What to Know and Consider when  Drafting Rules and Regulations," which took place on March 9, 2016. We hope to see many more of you join us for Session II.


April 5, 2016 
6:00 - 8:00pm 
Oak Park Village Hall
 
Attorney  Gabriella Comstock of Keough & Moody, P.C. will discuss proper enforcement of rules and regulations.

 ~ When should Rules and Regulations be enforced?

 ~ When should fines be imposed?

 ~ How do you conduct a violation hearing? 

Representatives from the Village of Oak Park, Oak Park Residence Corporation and Mastercare Building Services will also contribute to each of these valuable discussions.

 ~ Registration and Inspection Requirements in the Village of Oak Park
 ~ Public Resources for Condominium Associations and Owners.

Click on the session name above for 
registration  for this program.
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Register today!  Seats are filling fast.

Understanding the Ombudsperson Act

On July 1, 2016, the Ombudsperson Act goes into effect.  This new law requires that associations take steps to implement written policies for resolving owner complaints.  Failure to implement such policies will, at a future date, interfere with an association's ability to collect common expenses through the legal process.   Keough & Moody, P.C. will be presenting a series of seminars to help managers and board members understand the requirements of the Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act. 

*limited seating available for Naperville and Chicago sessions

Check out the Quick Links menu in the upper left corner of this newsletter to download the full version of the Ombudsperson Act.

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ACTHA

ACTHA Spring Conference
April 16, 2016
Drury Lane Convention Center 
Oakbrook Terrace

Click here for details and registration.

Housing Discrimination, the IDHR, and You
By Therese Edmiston


April is national fair housing month! The next few weeks leading into April may be the perfect time to review your Association's compliance with the Illinois Human Rights Act. This Act prohibits discrimination in real estate transactions on bases including race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability, and familial status. In practical terms, this means your Association may not discriminate when selling or renting units. For example, it is illegal to refuse to sell or rent, alter the terms of a sale or rental, or misrepresent the availability of a unit, based on race, color, religion, sex, age, etc.

Additionally, because the Act prohibits housing discrimination related to familial status, it is illegal to prohibit children, or to limit the number of children as opposed to total occupants of a unit. Also, because the Act prohibits housing discrimination against people with disabilities, it is illegal to require extra charges for support animals (other than for actual damages).

If a unit owner or other individual believes the Association has discriminated against him, he may file a complaint or "charge" with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR). You will be served with a copy of the charge. You should notify your attorney immediately for assistance with the next steps in the process, which will include the following.

First the Association must file a written response to the charge. Then IDHR will assign an investigator to review relevant documents and information. The investigator may schedule a fact-finding conference with the parties. Ultimately, after investigating, IDHR will prepare a report that either recommends dismissing the case, or indicates that there is substantial evidence of a violation. If IDHR finds substantial evidence, the case may either go to hearing before the Illinois Human Rights Commission (a separate state board), or if the unit owner decides to file civil action, to trial in court. To prevent the costs of this process, it is better to avoid discrimination in the first place! Ask your attorney if you are not sure whether your rules and regulations, your practices, or your decisions are compliant with the Human Rights Act.




Chuck Keough will present an education session at this event entitled "How to Avoid the Most Common Association Mistakes."

Good outcomes occur when boards patiently observe their own policies and exercise common sense discretion.  Conversely, less desirable results come about when boards do not.  Join us for a discussion of the most common mistakes that boards make and the best ways to avoid them and the related headaches, friction and expense that they provoke.

To receive a complimentary lunch courtesy of 
Keough & Moody, P.C. use promo code KMPC when 
registering at  www.chicagolandpmexpo.com.  
Parking is also complimentary when validated at registration.


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  Keough & Moody, P.C. ("Keough & Moody" or "we" or "us") provides its newsletter for informational purposes only. The information contained in this newsletter is not legal advice.  Your communication with us through this Newsletter, or by other means, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. Please do not disclose any confidential information to us in response to this newsletter, or otherwise, because we will have no obligation to keep that information confidential unless and until a formal attorney-client relationship is established with you.  ATTORNEY ADVERTISING MATERIAL.