13 December, 2011
Posted by on
Sometimes foreclosures come with bonus super surprise gifts – like years of accumulated trash. When hoarders abandon a unit (hey, they suffer financial hardship as well) to a foreclosure, by the condominium corporation or the bank, the nearby residents often get the bonus of smell and vermin as parting last words.
At some point the condominium will use by-laws (almost every condominium has these) regarding smells, health, and safety to enter the unit and have all the trash removed. If the property has a mortgage, or the bank has possession, in most cases the costs of cleanup will be paid by the bank. Because outstanding fees imposed by the condominium on the unit need to be paid before sale, there is a pocket to pull the cash from.
In the case of a foreclosure by the condominium on a mortgage less unit, the banks will usually award costs and allow the condominium to collect out of the proceeds of sale.
13 October, 2011
Posted by on
Chicago will be eliminating a $75/unit rebate given to condominiums of 5 or more units in their 2012 budget. This rebate was started in 1984 because the city taxes these condominiums yet they do not provide any garbage service to them.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel indicates:
Eliminating this garbage rebate for condominium owners, a step also recommended by the city’s inspector general, is the fair and honest thing to do for Chicagoans.
Seriously – how is charging money for nothing exactly fair and honest? Let’s see – you pay me taxes, and I’ll refuse to provide the services you pay for. Sounds like Mayor Emanuel has no idea what the words “fair” nor “honest” mean. Perhaps we should send him a dictionary – or emails with online links to the true meaning of those words.
8 September, 2011
Posted by on
As the president of a 40 year old 100 unit condominium complex I was completely stymied over the ineffectiveness of our recycling program.
Because of limitations on our trash compactor, along with the simple desire to offer recycling separation and pickup to over 250 residents, we converted one of the large rooms entering into the underground parkade into a separation station. We hoped to reduce our trash output (reduce the number of pickups) and become more environmentally responsible.
Unfortunately the location proved troublesome. It wasn’t attached to a trash room (each floor has a garbage shoot) which meant it was easier for owners to still dump recyclable material in the shoot. The room was very difficult for the recycling company to access – they needed access to the garage, and then building keys, along with extra room to maneuver their trailers in and out of a parkade. Without monitoring, the bins sitting right along a major owner though fare from the garage turned it into a dumping ground for garbage as well.
We pulled the program from the unit after six months.
As such, I’m all in favour of building regulations for new multi-unit residences, just like requiring things like dedicated visitor parking and handicap access, have a requirement to a recycling separation room (or rooms) that are easily accessed from a road, or otherwise build separation facilities into the functionality of the building. This should be mandated. Required. Legislated.
Sure – developers will scream that this will only add to the cost of the units they sell, but it likely will benefit the residence with lower trash removal costs and compliance with municipal recycling targets. Retrofitting recycling space is extremely difficult (or in our case impossible). It has to be included up front with all new buildings.
For those that don’t have recycling currently, many municipalities will offer free consulting and even materials (bins, notices, tenant communication) to get your condominium recycling.