TIME TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF “USE OF TECHNOLOGY”
While it may seem trite to repeat this statement – our society is facing unprecedented times. In 2014 when I (as the Co-Chairperson of the Illinois Legislative Action Committee of CAI) was negotiating changes to the Illinois Condominium Property Act and the Common Interest Community Association I could not have anticipated the events we are all are facing today. However, both acts were modified in 2015, in various ways, including a provision titled “Use of Technology.” I am recommending all board members and management carefully review the provisions of Section 18.8 of the Illinois Condominium Property Act and Section 1-85 of the Common Interest Community Association Act. Subsection (b) of both 18.8 and 1-85 provides for the following:
(b) The association, unit owners, and other persons entitled to occupy a unit may perform any obligation or exercise any right under any condominium instrument or any provision of this Act by use of acceptable technological means.
Both acts define “acceptable technological means” to:
Include(s), without limitation, electronic transmission over the Internet or other network, whether by direct connection, intranet, telecopier, electronic mail, and any generally available technology that, by rule of the association, is deemed to provide reasonable security, reliability, identification, and verifiability.
If an association has not implemented any increased use of technology since these changes were adopted, it is time to heavily consider doing so. Please discuss with counsel and management how to continue the business of the association by more effectively employing technology. Going forward, this crisis should force each of us to review or procedures and protocols to determine whether we are using all the tools available to us. The language regarding electronic voting has been in place since 2015 – is your association using it? The statutes provide for electronic notices. Have proper procedures been adopted to implement this method of communicating with owners and, more importantly, has the association encouraged such efforts? Out of crisis grows opportunity. Please use this situation as an opportunity to explore what can be done to allow the business of the association to continue moving forward, while we devote much of our personal time to the immediacy of our current global situation.
Stay safe and take care of one another.