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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 118635
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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An incident occurred in my Condo building last weekend to which

Customer Question

An incident occurred in my Condo building last weekend to which I received the complaint e-mail below. I have no knowledge of the situation but have been consistently accused over the past week by the doorman. I'm unsure how to even respond it's so ridiculous. I've never even met the person they describe in the notice below.
This will serve to advise you of a nuisance Rules violation complaint registered against you on Saturday morning April 16th. Specifically, at approx. 3:20am a neighbor complained about a person peering into their unit from their patio. In addition, the person was noticed on the balcony of other units above as well. Upon investigation, we now have a witness who saw you climbing the fence of their patio and even asking what you were doing? They indicate your answer was that you were locked out of your unit, and was climbing up the building to get in! The security officer on duty wrote an Incident Report.
As this appears to be an extreme violation of unit owner privacy and trespassing acts, the board of directors takes this allegation very seriously, and before taking any further action regarding discipline, please get back to us with your response, at your earliest convenience, but by no later than seven (7) days.
At such time the Board will determine any possible sanction, which ultimately gets confirmed at a regularly scheduled board meeting in executive session.
Regarding: Nuisance (II. Apartment Use)
Rule A. i. “No unlawful, noxious or offensive activity or anything constituting a nuisance is to be carried out in any unit.”
Regarding: Trespassing (General Provisions)
Rule E. iii. “Loitering playing, entertaining or solicitation in the halls, vestibules, stairways, entranceways or other common elements is prohibited. Any activities that create a nuisance, disrupts the peace, or which may cause damage to any part of the Common Property, is prohibited.”
The Board has a right to enforce these Rules through the Illinois Condo Act and the Condo Declaration instruments.
This will serve as a fine implementation letter to be delivered to the Board of Directors along with whatever response you would like them to have before making a determination. The Board reserves the right to determine the fine amount, if any, (or other sanction) based on your action(s). Please understand, the unit owner is subject to any fine/discipline based on behavior exhibited.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
xc: unit file
Neil Moldenhauer, CMCA
Condominium Property Manager
757 Orleans at Chicago Condominium Association
757 N. Orleans St.
Chicago, IL ###-##-####
Kass Management Services
ph(###) ###-####
fx (###) ###-####
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
The board does have the right to enforce these rule and can sanction an owner. However, if you did nothing like they are accusing you of doing, then your letter needs to be very short (since someone who knows nothing about an incident does not have much they can say, since they do not know about the incident). You need to simply tell them that it was not you and you were home inside your unit the whole night and have no idea what they are talking about as you never spoke to anyone in the complex that night.
That is all you can say, since you do not know anything about what they are accusing you of. If you say much more then you are leading into their claims.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I agree I'm more concerned about what protects me (the owner) from claims such as this. It seems the board is going to fine me no matter the response.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My follow up question is if the board fines me anyway after claiming no knowledge of the situation what recourse do I have against frivolous claims such as this?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You are protected by what the bylaws, since those govern what the association can or cannot do. If it is proven that there is no justification for them having to approve the work you are doing, they cannot fine you and if they do, you can sue them in court for a declaratory judgment, which is a court order saying whether or not they had a right to fine you based on the bylaws.