Condominium Owner May Claim Neglect in Evictions

A recent case, Spanish Court Two Condominium Association v. Carlson, 2012 IL App (2d) 110473 (June 27, 2012) is going to affect forcibles involving condominium associations throughout the state. 

In that case, the condominium association filed a complaint in forcible entry and detainer against the defendant based on defendant’s failure to pay regular and special assessments for six months.  The defendant did not deny that she had not paid assessments.  Rather, she claimed she did not owe assessments because the condominium association had failed to maintain the roof and the brickwork above her unit, causing damage to her unit and its contents.  Further, she claimed that the condominum association had ordered her bathroom to be partially “destroyed”, believing that it was causing a leak in a neighboring unit.  When the plumber determined the leak did not originate in her unit, the association repaired the bathroom, except for the toilet, which was inoperable.  Based on these items, the defendant claimed that the association’s claim should be estopped, and she should be reimbursed for the various repair expenses she had incurred as a result of the association’s failure to maintain the property.

Based on an analogy to landlord/tenant law, the court determined that 1) the defendant could certainly claim neglect as a defense to the association’s suit, but 2) she could not counterclaim damages. 

This brings the practice of forcibles for condominium associations one step closer to landlord/tenant law!