Home Grown

Housing program

Condominium Registration and Education Programs

Oak Park

Goals

  • Maintain the quality of condominium properties by way of routine inspection of common area and rental units.
  • Maintain accurate database of condominium management
  • Provide educational opportunities for condominium owners and associations

Target

Condominium rental units; condominium owners and associations

Financing

Inspection fee ($10/unit per year) and inspection citations

Successes

  • No citations have ever been issued to condominium properties.
  • High resident attendance at village-sponsored trainings and seminars.

Lessons learned

Associations can be quickly changing entities, and it is important to have mechanisms in place to collect updated and relevant information.

Program background

Prior to 2009, Oak Park loosely enforced its rental registration program for condominium properties and predominantly focused its code enforcement efforts on multifamily rental buildings. However, after the foreclosure crisis hit, the Village found that it was becoming more difficult to track an increasing number of rental units located within condominium properties. Concerned about the maintenance of an aging housing stock, the Village modified the ordinance and set down a path of stricter enforcement starting in 2009.

With the change, the registration fee went from $3/unit per year to $10/unit per year. The Village organized an extensive mailing campaign to inform condo associations of the fee increase, and to determine with greater certainty how many condominium units across Oak Park were rentals. Though there was some resistance from associations early on, the Village has received few complaints in recent years. Today, out of 4,600 condo units in Oak Park, 500 units have been identified as rentals and are required to register.

Due to the increase in the number of condominium associations in Oak Park and requests for programming and resources, the Village has established educational programs for condominium owners and associations. In partnership with organizations like the Oak Park Residence Corporation and the Association of Condominium, Townhouse, and Homeowners Associations, the Village has been able to offer free programs that teach best practices in condominium management and strengthen associations.

How it works

Oak Park condominium registration program

Every June, all condo associations receive mailings that include a registration form inquiring about the leadership of the association, the appropriate inspection and management contacts, and which units of the property are being rented. About one-third of the associations in Oak Park are self-managed. For all other properties, Village staff will work with property managers to coordinate inspections. The annual inspection fee is $10/unit for each condominium unit in the building. All common areas and one-third of all dwelling units that are not occupied by the owner of the unit are subject to inspection. The Village will issue citations for any violations found if the property manager has not fixed within 30 days from the time of inspection.

There are four inspectors responsible for all multifamily and condominium building inspections. Since tracking and enforcement of rental units is often more challenging in condominium buildings than in multifamily buildings, the Village prioritizes having multiple points of contact with associations each year. Registration is a critical tool used to gather up-to-date information on any changes that occur within associations. Inspectors are often able to report back to the Village about any changes in association leadership, contact information and the breakdown of units rented versus units owned.

Oak Park condominium education programs

The Oak Park Condo Network hosts a series of seminars and training opportunities throughout the year on a variety of topics. In recent years, the Association of Condominium, Townhouse, and Homeowners Associations (ACTHA) have offered a six-week training program centering on how to improve the functionality and efficacy of an association. The training covers such topics as the governance and administration of an association; risk management and insurance; and financial issues. Attendees of the training have the option of taking a certification exam through ACTHA to become a certified administrator. An average of 50 people affiliated with Oak Park associations attend each training cycle.

The Village also contracts with Oak Park Residence Corporation (OPRC) to provide one-on-one assistance to small condominium associations with fewer than twelve units. OPRC will often teach self-managed associations how to run effective meetings and elections, execute maintenance contracts and budget for contingencies.

Contact

Department of Community Development, Village of Oak Park
708-358-5410, housing@oak-park.us, www.oak-park.us

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