Tressler attorney Katerina Tsoukalas-Heitkemper received a successful result for her condominium association client and its property management company after an 18-month investigation by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR”). The IDHR dismissed the familial status discrimination complaint after its lengthy investigation, finding that the Association had consistently and uniformly enforced its covenants while providing its owners with due process and that the owner’s allegations were not substantiated by sufficient evidence. While the IDHR complaint itself is not available for public dissemination, below is a brief recap of the matter:
- The Association commenced violation proceedings against one of its owners for violations of the Association’s Declaration pertaining to nuisance and noise. The proceedings were commenced after the Board received multiple complaints over a 4-month period from various owners alleging interference with the quiet use and enjoyment of their units.
- The Association held multiple hearings and ultimately demanded abatement of the noise and nuisance behavior – and no monetary fine was imposed.
- In response to the request to abate the noise and nuisance behaviors, the unit owner filed an IDHR complaint against the association and management alleging familial status discrimination. With particularity the owners alleged that the association was discriminating against their minor grandchildren who visited every other weekend.
- After an 18-month investigation, the IDHR complaint was dismissed.
- The IDHR found that the Association had enforced its covenants consistently against all owners (and their guests/invitees), had followed due process and based upon the IDHR’s findings, there was not substantial evidence to support a familial status discrimination allegation.
Attorney Katerina Tsoukalas-Heitkemper counseled this association client and its management company every step of the way – from the time the first owner complained about the noise until the IDHR complaint was dismissed. The lesson to be learned here is to make sure that your association is uniformly and consistently enforcing its covenants against all owners, that due process is being afforded to all owners and that all owner complaints and board action taken to resolve those complaints are documented in writing.
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