Archive for March 2013

IL Appellate Court Finding in Case of Chicago Luxury Condominium Building, Aqua

March 18, 2013

In Seth v. Aqua at Lakeshore East, LLC, 2012 IL App (1st) 120438, the Illinois appellate court held that the seller of luxury condominiums in Chicago, Illinois, Aqua at Lakeshore East, LLC (“Aqua”), satisfied its obligation to condominium purchasers by providing each purchaser with the necessary “condominium documents” as defined in each sales agreement.  At the trial court, the plaintiffs were initially granted the right to rescind their respective purchase agreements on the basis that Aqua had failed to provide a recorded Association declaration, pursuant to section 22 of the Illinois Condominium Property Act (the “Act”). The appellate court reversed the trial court finding that the condominium documents actually provided to the purchasers constructively met the requirements of Section 22 of the Act .

The Act defines the declaration as “the instrument by which property is submitted to the provisions of this Act, as hereinafter provided, and such declaration as from time to time amended.” 765 ILCS 605/2 (a).  Property is submitted to the provisions of the Act by recording the declaration.  765 ILCS 605/3. In this case, at the time of closing, each plaintiff initialed their respective purchase agreements to acknowledge receipt of the necessary “condominium documents”.  The “condominium documents” included a 61-page, unrecorded, Association declaration complete with Association bylaws, a description of the common elements and the percentage ownership of the common elements.  Aqua proceeded to record the Association Declaration with the recorder of deeds office.

The appellate court found that the plaintiffs’ actual knowledge of the unrecorded declaration under these circumstances was the “functional equivalent of recording” satisfying the requirements of section 22 of the Act. Plaintiffs were not allowed to rescind their purchase agreements and the original judgment was reversed and remanded.

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