#Erwin Law Answers

  • How Will Legalized Pot Effect Property Owners?

    Important to owners, condominium associations, property managers and tenants, the law includes an amendment to the Illinois Condominium Property Act which allows condominium associations to place certain restrictions on the smoking of marijuana, both in common elements and in private units.

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  • What steps can be taken in a homeowner association if one owner is interfering with the rights of another owner?

      Conflicts between owners are inherent in shared community living. And whether misconduct is a result of an owner’s natural personality or a result of medical conditions affecting that owner, the Association and its Board cannot simply turn a blind eye. As there may be a number of corollary issues to carefully consider — rights… Read more »

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  • I live in a condominium and the smoke from my neighbors’ cigarettes wafts into my unit through my open balcony window. Is there anything I can do?

    Conflicts between smokers and non-smokers in shared living communities is a common source of friction. Just as with noise complaints, resolution of these disputes often must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Unless your association amends its Declarations to ban smoking completely, your neighbor is in her right to smoke within the confines of her unit. That does not mean, however, that she may necessarily do so to the detriment of her neighbors.

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  • Can a Homeowner Association equalize the percentage of each owner’s interest?

      Whenever a homeowner or condominium association is formed by a developer, it is established by virtue of a Declaration which is recorded with the County Recorder. That Declaration includes a schedule of all of the Units in the association and their corollary ownership percentage. These percentages are the common element ownership percentages allocated to… Read more »

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  • Can a condo board establish a rental cap in the building’s rules and regulations, or is a by-law update required?

    In Illinois, one of the seminal cases regarding the implementation of leasing restrictions is Apple II Condominium Association v. Worth Bank & Trust Co. In that case, the court held that associations may prohibit leasing by either Board action or ownership approval, depending on the terms of their Declaration.

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  • What can I do, as an agent, to provide my clients with additional value AFTER they’ve closed on their sale of purchase?

    Buying or selling the right property — and at the right price – always feels like a big win, for everyone involved. And it is. So, oftentimes, real estate agents will finish one deal and move quickly on to the next. But the most successful agents understand that every closing opens up a whole host… Read more »

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  • Must surplus funds from a completed homeowner association project be refunded to Owners or can it be used in other ways?

    When a homeowner association has to undertake large capital repair projects, it will often pay for these projects by way of charging special assessments to the owners.  Previously, when there were surpluses collected for those projects, Illinois law prohibited refunds to the owners, past or present. However, as of January 1, 2018, absent express directives… Read more »

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  • Is an LLC the best structure for our real estate business?

    Real estate investors and developers are often well versed in assessing properties, analyzing cap rates, zoning issues, property tax concerns and other matters related to real estate due diligence. Yet they often overlook, or give little importance to, the structure of their business and the framework they establish for the ownership of the properties they… Read more »

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  • What are the critical components of a valid mechanics lien claim?

    A contractor who doesn’t get paid for doing work on someone’s home or real estate property has a useful method of enforcing his or her collection rights – the filing and prosecuting of a mechanics lien against that real estate property.  Mechanics liens are products of state law and, in Illinois, are authorized and governed… Read more »

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  • How can I benefit from the new tax laws?

    The recently-enacted tax law changes are substantial, and are already greatly affecting all areas of industry, real estate included.

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  • What do I need to know about international buyers and sellers?

    Whether foreign citizens are buying and selling pied-a-terres, vacation or second, even third homes here in the States, they are, quite clearly, a highly valuable target segment in the luxury home market.

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  • If I file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, do I have to repay all my debts?

    To the unfamiliar, a Chapter 13 plan is a cumbersome document that could negatively impact one’s rights. A Chapter 13 plan must treat all of a debtor’s creditors, both secured and unsecured. Treatment, however, does not necessarily mean full payment.

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  • How can I avoid commission conflicts?

    Some commission structures are simple and straightforward. Others, such as continuing commissions on a commercial lease, can be more complicated. But one thing they all have in common – they must be properly written and executed in order to be enforceable.

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  • What’s the best structure for our business?

    #ErwinLawAnswers   Real estate investors and developers are often well versed in assessing properties, analyzing cap rates, zoning issues, property tax concerns and other matters related to real estate due diligence. Yet they often overlook, or give little importance to, the structure of their business and the framework they establish for the ownership of the… Read more »

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  • The ICPA in Practice: Has Section 22.1 Lost its Meaning? 

    We reviewed the matter, and are featured in the ‘Legal Updates’ section of the CAI webpage: http://www.cai-illinois.org/association-disclosures-section-22-1-illinois-condominium-property-act/

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  • Developer Turnover To The Association in New Developments:

    How to affect a smooth transition.

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  • The Chicago Tribune Cites James Erwin

    about funding major improvements for a condominium association.

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  • The Ultimate Do It Yourself Project

    Chicagoland Cooperator article featuring James Erwin of Erwin Law LLC

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Erwin News

  • Congratulations to our client, BEx LLC

    Congratulations to our client, BEx LLC, a leading developer of FX trading solutions, on its successful collaboration with Northern Trust.  We’re pleased to have been a part of the legal team that worked to bring this major business advancement deal to fruition. We invite you to contact Erwin Law to discuss how we can help grow your company. Read… Read more »

  • We’re On the Air…

    with our first-ever radio spots — now playing on WFMT – 98.7 FM! Listen for us during morning drive time, Mondays through Fridays.

  • Another favorable outcome achieved for a client.

    James Erwin successfully procured repayment of a loan of over $340,000 from an out-of-state borrower that was years in default and had been ignoring the lender’s demands. With a strategic approach aligned with our client’s objectives, Erwin Law avoided litigation while still getting the debtor to repay the entire loan.