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Ask Attyadvisor Your Own Question
Attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7061
Experience:  29 years of experience in General Practice, Real Estate Law and Estate Law.
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I am trying to run for a position on our subdivision board

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I am trying to run for a position on our subdivision board of directors. When I announced my intentions, a board member requested the board attorney do a title search on my home to determine if I was the owner. My wife owned the home before we were married and my name is XXXXX XXXXX the title. My question is two fold, should I be considered a home owner and allowed to run simply because I have a marriage license, and do I have a solid discrimination case against this board?

Thank you for your question. I am an Illinois licensed Attorney and it will be my pleasure to assist you.

The answer depends on the requirements stated in the bylaws and governing documents for the HOA.

Most HOA’s require that the person running for the board be a title owner. This may be accomplished simply by adding you to the deed.

Can you tell me the requirements to run for a board position as stated in your governing documents?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The letter from the attorney states that according to article 4 section 4.1 of the association by-laws only owners of a unit in the association are permitted to run and serve on the board of directors. However my copy of the by laws doesn't even have an article 4, section 4.1 ( it jumps from 4.02 to article 5)) there is a section 4.01 that deals with easements. I have contacted several previous board members and none seem to remember doing a title search in order to qualify a candidate.
It seems clear that for whatever reason, this person does not want you to run.

That being said most bylaws require a board member to be a title owner.

That is weird that your bylaws are missing that specific section.

This may be as simple as adding your name to the title.

What is the name of the HOA the bylaws may be available on line?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Deer run estates town home association

Where are they located in IL?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes Joliet il

Great. Let me see what I can find. I hope that you will do whatever it takes to run. If this person is that bothered by you running it makes me wonder why?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks Leslie, I've campaigned successfully for many members in the past, and always resisted others requesting me to run. I think that a couple of people on the current board are afraid that I am more popular than they are and this threatens them. Also I am considerably younger so...

Sorry I am unable to find a copy on line.

Illinois law allows the HOA to create their own requirements for Board members.

Under the Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act.

A board member is defined as

"Board of managers" means, for a common interest community that is an unincorporated association, the group of people elected by the members of a common interest community as the governing body to exercise for the members of the common interest community association all powers, duties, and authority vested in the board of managers under this Act and the common interest community association's declaration and bylaws.


There is no requirement that they own the unit, unless the bylaws provide otherwise.

How about having your wife quit claim joint ownership to you so you can run? If this person is that threatened you must be doing something right!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Section 1.04 owner shall mean and refer to the record owner , whether one or more persons or entities, of a fee simple title to any assesment parcel, as hereafter defined, including contract sellers, but excluding those having such interest as security for the performance of an obligation. Ther term "owner" shall include the beneficiaries of he declarent or owner of record to the extent of the number of assessment parcels owned by declarant and also includes the interest of said beneficiaries of declarant as contract seller of any assessment parcel.

Also, do you believe I may have a discrimination case against this board?

Record owner is the title owner as stated on the recorded deed. The beneficiary of the declarant is the beneficiary of the person or entity that created the HOA.

You have an action for discrimination if you fall under a protected class.

The protected classes for discrimination are race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status or disabled.

If you feel that you are being discriminated against for one of those reasons you can file a civil rights complaint.

Do you feel this is discrimination or someone that does not agree with your position on HOA matters?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So you think they are correct right now that I cannot run? Because the didn't notify me of this until after the ballots were mailed out, essentially making my run impossible
I don't know when they performed the title search.

The bylaws only provide for owner of record to run. If they knew that you were not qualified you should have been informed the moment this was determined.

When did they learn the title search results?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I turned in my request to be on the ballot Monday the 28th, we received our ballot on Friday, the letter from the attorney arrived on Saturday Nov1st explaining that I was not eligible . The votes must be in by the 13th.

I am sorry. I know that this was not the answer that you wanted to receive from me.

I wish I could tell you that a marriage license is all you need to qualify to run. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

You would be probably be a great addition to the Board with fresh thinking.

Please feel free to ask me any additional questions that you may have with regard to this matter. Hopefully you can be added to the title and be elected in the next round of elections.

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