When buying a condo in Chicago, it’s crucial to review the condo documents carefully to ensure you have a clear understanding of the property, its rules, regulations and overall financial health. As a unit owner, you become part of the community and are required to abide by its governing documents and bylaws. Below are some key areas to pay attention to when reviewing the association’s documents.
Key Things to Note in an Association’s Condo Documents
● Declaration, Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R) – The association’s declaration outlines the rules, restrictions and responsibilities of condo owners within the association. Pay attention to any restrictions on renovations, pet policies, rental restrictions such as for short-term rentals and other important provisions that may impact your lifestyle or investment plans, as violations will be enforced.
● Bylaws – The bylaws govern the operation and management of the condo association. Look for information on board elections, decision-making processes, meeting requirements, and any provisions related to common areas, assessments, and the handling of disputes. If you serve on the condo board, you will need to be intimately familiar with the association’s bylaws.
● Budget and financial statements – It’s also a good idea to review the association’s budget and financial statements to assess its financial health. Look for any significant increases in assessments, outstanding debts or pending special assessments that could impact your future expenses. It’s also important to ensure the association is properly funding reserves for future repairs and maintenance.
● Meeting minutes – Examining the meeting minutes provides insights into recent discussions, decisions and any ongoing disputes or concerns within the association. Pay attention to issues related to maintenance, major repairs, ongoing litigation or disputes among owners.
● Insurance policies – Understand the insurance coverage provided by the association, including liability coverage, property coverage, and any special assessments or deductibles that may be applicable in case of damage or loss.
Before buying a condo in Chicago, do your due diligence and carefully review the condo documents before proceeding with the purchase. This will help you make an informed decision and ensure that the condo aligns with your needs, financial situation, and long-term plans.