IL Condo Association Liability Insurance: Accessing a Unit

IL Condo Association Liability Insurance: Accessing a UnitCondominiums are a unique blend of independently owned residences and communal property. When individuals homeowners purchase their unit, they also invest in a share of the community property such as roads, building infrastructure, and other properties shared by the condominium complex. An Illinois condo association’s role is to oversee the maintenance and management of all shared properties and regulate the community, which in turn affords them the unique right to in some cases force access to a private dwelling. There are countless instances where the condo association or board member might need to gain access to an individual unit, however doing so can create liability complications. While the right Illinois condo association liability issuance can help protect the board and it’s members should a resident pursue legal action against it, well written CC&Rs can help fend off many liability charges.

Thorough CC&Rs should contain specific language dictating the circumstances which would allow the condo association or its management company to access a unit. Here are a few common scenarios where association members may need to gain access to a unit, and whether the use of forced access is permissible or not.

  • Emergencies- A condo association CC&Rs should always provide for emergency access with specific language detailing the conditions which would trigger such a response. For example, obvious smoke or flames emanating from a unit would call for immediate assess by fire department or emergency response officials. A water leak, gas leak, or infestation could also qualify as “emergency” scenarios where accessing a unity could be instrumental in preventing further complications.
  • Repairs and Maintenance- Generally, a condo association must provide written request to access a condo unit to preform repairs, maintenance or replacement of equipment which affects other units or common areas. In most cases condo owners must be provided advanced notice of entry and should be preformed at a time when the homeowner can be present. There is an exception for emergency situation. According to experts, when the issue of right of entry is not explicitly stated in the CC&Rs, permission is most often implied.
  • Rule breaking, Complaints and Terms Disputes– When it comes to violations of CC&Rs or other rules, the ability for association members to gain access to a unit is far more complex. In most cases, forcing access and entering a unit without permission would put the management at risk of liability exposures and legal action by the unit owner. Depending on the seriousness of the violation, association boards could either ask for the unit owner’s permission to gain entry (this must be provided in advance), alternatively the association could try to obtain a court order or risk forcing access should the situation cause major safety or property loss concerns.

Illinois apartment and condominium associations have broad property and liability insurance concerns, which fluctuate based on their charter and the size of their community. At Myers Insurance Group, we specialize in helping community associations throughout Champaign County find comprehensive insurance solutions. Our IL Condo Association Liability Insurance specialists can help secure customized coverage to fit the needs of your unique operation. To learn more about our operation, give us a call today at (855) 534-5707.

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