Perl Quoted in Chicago Tribune Article on Illinois Collection Decision

Posted by on Aug 31, 2012 in Assessments, Collections, Legal Decisions

In the August 17, 2012 edition of the Chigaco Tribune, Ronald L. Perl, Esq., the partner-in-charge of Hill Wallack LLP’s Community Associations Group, was quoted in the article “Ruling Could Change Course of Collection Proceedings.”

The article discusses the Illinois Appellate Court’s recent decision in Spanish Court Two Condominium Association v. Lisa Carlson, which involved the association’s lawsuit against an owner for nonpayment of assessments under Illinois’ Forcible Entry and Detainer Act. That Act allows associations to take temporary possession of a unit and rent it out in order to pay the delinquency. The owner countersued the association, alleging a failure to maintain and repair the common elements as required by its governing documents.

The Trial Court ruled in favor of the association, but the Illinois Second District Appellate Court disagreed. The three-judge panel determined that associations are duty-bound to repair and maintain the common elements and that neglect can be viable defense, at least in eviction cases like this one. Comparing the relationships between landlords and tenants to associations and owners, they wrote: “[j]ust as the contract principle of mutually exchanged promises can justify a tenant’s refusal to pay rent, so that principle can justify a condominium unit owner’s refusal to pay assessments.”

Disagreeing with the Court’s ruling, Mr. Perl stated: “This makes it exceedingly easy for any owner to say, ‘I’m dissatisfied with services; therefore, I’m not going to pay my assessments.’ If a significant number of owners decide to do that, it chokes off the supply of income to associations, so associations are even less able to provide services. Associations have no other source of income but from co-owners.”

“This is not a landlord-tenant situation,” said Mr. Perl. “This is a situation where there are multiple co-owners, and each one is responsible not only to the association but more importantly to each other.”

You can read the full Chicago Tribune article here. And you can read the Illinois Appellate Court’s decision in Spanish Court Two Condominium Association v. Lisa Carlson here.

For more information on this case or any other issue concerning your community association, please contact one of our Community Associations attorneys. For breaking news or updates on new blog posts, follow us on Twitter at: @njcondolaw.

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Perl Quoted in Article on Special Assessments in The New Jersey Cooperator

Posted by on Aug 9, 2012 in Assessments, New Jersey Cooperator

In the July 2012 edition of The New Jersey Cooperator, Ronald L. Perl, Esq., the partner-in-charge of Hill Wallack LLP’s Community Associations Group, was quoted in the article “Cash-Strapped? Getting Residents Behind an Assessment.”

In discussing whether an association can levy a special or emergency assessment, Mr. Perl stated: “[t]here are firm rules about how much a board can spend without resident approval. Sometimes the board’s lawyer may be tasked with finding ways to interpret those documents to meet the need of the particular situation in question. That’s a very dangerous way to do business. If it looks like you’re going to require the vote of the owners, don’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole. Have the vote of owners.”

“And if the vote fails and the board still feels this particular change needs to be made, they can create a legal action, inform the residents that they have done so, present the pertinent information to a judge, and ask the judge to make a ruling that shows that the work must be done. In situations where there is a significant stalemate between the board and residents, seeking a judgment before vendor contracts are signed or financing is taken out to do a job is far more preferable than starting the job and having residents take legal action after everything already in motion.”

You can view the full article here.

For more information on special or emergency assessments or any other issue concerning your community association, please contact one of our Community Associations attorneys. For breaking news or updates on new blog posts, follow us on Twitter at: @njcondolaw.

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