Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Building a Bridge and Getting Over It

When I was pissing and moaning about our building, I happened to read about a legal case that makes our issues look like child’s play.

Get this---a woman can’t sell her condo because an association was never formed by the unit owners OR her developer. The proper paperwork was never registered with the state and because four out of the six units in the building were owned by non-resident owners, they never got together to elect officers and fill out the necessary paperwork.

While I won’t make a stinging indictment of all non-resident condo owners who have renters; this type of behavior is increasingly being seen in my neck of the woods as investors buy up property in emerging neighborhoods. The units are cheaper and the condo Declarations and By-Laws tend to not to have owner occupied clauses so the unit can be rented out even before the association is turned over.

Since the developer was such a tool and didn’t do his (or their) part, it was left up to this unfortunate soul to attempt to organize the other owners. Much to her dismay, four other unit owners didn’t see it that way. She could only find one person to attempt to meet with. From what I understand, that isn’t enough to get the ball rolling on the formation of a board.

As if that weren’t bad enough, the developer was such an asshole, he simply stopped paying the utilities about the time the last unit was sold. Also note, he never turned over any of the assessment money that he should of been paying for the unsold units.

This woman not only paid her own mortgage and utilities, but also shouldered the bills for her building until she couldn’t do it anymore.

She lived through a Chicago winter with no heat, no electricity and no water.

Let’s all take a deep breath, imagine that scenario and officially get over ourselves.

I’m pretty strong and I’d like to think I’m also pretty resilient but I don’t know if I could even begin to tackle that problem. Jeeez…

Naturally she attempted to put her unit on the market and was greeted with yet another unwelcome surprise. She was told she couldn’t even sell her unit because an association had yet to be formed. Therefore, it legally wasn’t a condo---it wasn’t anything---it had no designation other than an apartment.

Can you believe that?

The woman is suing her developer and her fellow unresponsive unit owners in Cook County Circuit Court as we speak. The link to the case can be found here.

How did I stumble on this pitiful tale of woe? Simple, one of the jagoffs that was an unresponsive unit owner in her association also happened to own one of the foreclosed upon units in my association. In fact that gentleman who’s name is Ryan Hudson is being sued for foreclosure in fourteen separate cases.

Think I’m giving you the business? Read it for yourself here

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