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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 118196
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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i live in a three flat in Chicago. The by-laws were written

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i live in a three flat in Chicago. The by-laws were written in 1980 and have not been updated. Two of the units are in agreement with changes which need to be made to common elements however the by-laws state every decision requires unanimous vote.
Is this in compliance with Illinois Condo act? How do we get around this obstinate owner who wants to invest nothing in the building?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Sadly the IL condo act allows each condo to set their own rules for voting to pass matters. The default in the condo act is a majority vote, but the act allows each association to make their voting more restrictive.

This is the problem with these small unit condo associations. In order to get around the owner, I am afraid that if you can prove that repairs need to be made to the building and he refuses, the only recourse is to file suit against the one owner for declaratory judgment to change the bylaws to allow for a majority vote. Unfortunately, going to court against the obstructionist owner is going to end up costing you money for an attorney because an attorney must represent you in this type of matter as it is multiple owners, but I am afraid that it is the only way you can resolve this and get the court to order the changes to the bylaws to remove the deadlock and allow for repairs and updates that are necessary to be made.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Paul, appreciate your advice. If two of the owners agree can the expense for the attorney be taken as condo expense? As the bylaws sit now evrything over $20 dollars need to get unanimous approval....

Thank you for your response.

Unfortunately, if you require unanimous approval for those types of expenditures, it is going to mean you and the other owner would likely need to pay the attorney to go after the other owner, because he is not likely to approve that expense either.

These bylaws are a major problem for you and you have to go to court to get them changed if you ever hope to do anything at all with this association.
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