Condo and community association boards are to represent the community’s needs and act in their best interest. As such, they have fiduciary responsibility to be fair and transparent. One of our preferred vendors Keough & Moody, P.C., recently explained how the 2018 ruling in Boucher v. 111 East Chestnut Condominium Association, Inc. reminds us how to comply, and prevent issues. Read the below explanations of laws and expectations to determine if you need to change your board’s practices.

Evidence-backed HOA Violations

Anonymous complaints are legally not sufficient to impose a violation fine. Boards must first have independently-verified evidence. Upon member or legal request, boards must provide the evidence for HOA violations. You may consider eliminating the acceptance of anonymous complaints.

Keeping Executive Session Minutes

Boards are allowed to meet outside of noticed, open meetings, and must for vendor interviews and the like. However, boards must record and maintain minutes for such meetings. Unlike open HOA Board Meeting minutes requirements, executive session minutes need not be detailed. Nor do they need to be video or audio recorded. But they do need to include:

  • date and time of the meeting
  • general topic of the meeting (such as a violation hearing or consultation with legal counsel)
  • who was present

Note that executive session minutes, whether they come in written, video, or audio form, can be requested by any association member.

Respecting Owners’ Complaints

Boards are, of course, not expected to endure abuse or harassment. However, owners that disagree with board opinions or interests, and express so either written or verbally, are not in violation. If you are unsure whether to penalize an owner, consult with your attorney. The attorney can help you ensure proper action, and that you have all documents and evidence in place.

January 1, 2019 Deadline

Illinois common interest associations and condominium associations must abide by The Condominium and Common Interest Community Ombudsperson Act. The Act imposes a January 1, 2019 deadline for all associations to write and adopt a policy to resolving owner complaints. Contact your attorney for help drafting this document right away if you have not begun.


Photograph by Katie Chan under the Attribution-ShareAlike license