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Condo Law How does the law apply to Chicago condos and suburban Chicago condos? As housing, condominiums are covered by many of the same laws but there are also some unique aspects specific to condominiums. Some attorneys even specialize in condo law.

The Fair Housing Act, along with other federal, state and local laws are in place to guarantee a right to a national housing market that is free from discrimination based upon race, color, gender, religion, handicap, family status and country of origin. The seller must not discriminate nor instruct his/ her real estate professional to favor or exclude a particular person or group of people.

Condo buyers have the legally protected expectation that they can be shown condos they can afford and cannot be steered into or out of particular areas, nor can there be discrimination in financing, appraisal or insuring.

Illinois has a condominium act that recognizes the formation of condominium ownership in which all occupants in a multi-unit building own separate property (the unit they live in or rent out to someone else) and a specified share of ownership in the common areas at the property. Examples of common areas include, but are not limited to, hallways, elevators, lawns, sidewalks, pool, roof, etc. Condo ownership is usually thought of as residential, but it can also include office condos and commercial condos.

Other aspects of condo law include the condominium declaration, or master deed. The declaration is filed with the county in which the development is located. The filing of the declaration is the official start of the condo association.

The condo association enforces the condominium bylaws, which regulate and administer the condominium property. The association bylaws are typically first established when the condo declaration is filed with the county, and the bylaws can be changed by a legal procedure within the association and its members.

Covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&R) are regulations filed by the condominium developer that must be followed by anyone purchasing a condo. These regulations include rules designed to keep the appearance of the building uniform. An example includes prohibiting flags or signage from being displayed on the individual balconies.

One of the most often-asked aspects of condominium law is how to resolve conflicts between unit owners. At OwnACondo.com, we urge unit owners to work within the structure of their condo association to air and resolve grievances. However, if reasonable resolution cannot be obtained, consider the services of a condo attorney familiar with condo law.

The above narrative is provided for general information and is not meant to serve as a comprehensive guide to condominium law, the Fair Housing Act or any other aspect of legality. Please be sure to contact a qualified lawyer for more specific information. OwnACondo.com is unable to answer general or specific questions in this regard.

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