Connected Management Blog

Helping condominium board members run a successful community.

The Cost of Living in Chicago

Chicago Skyline Chicago is one of the United States’ largest cities, ranking third as of the 2010 census. New York and Los Angeles are the only two cities in the US with larger populations than Chicago. However, according to expatistan.com, the cost of living for Chicago ranks 11th in the nation, while New York ranks as the most expensive in 1st place, and Los Angeles ranks 7th. Not too terrible. On the cost of living index where, 100 is the national average, Chicago registers above that average at 112. That equates to Chicago’s cost of living being about 12% higher than the...
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Chicago Energy Benchmarking

This article provides a brief overview of Chicago’s energy benchmarking program and links to resources where further details can be obtained. Instructions are also provided for board members of condo associations that are required to participate in the program. The practical requirement for most boards is to hire an energy-certified company to complete the benchmarking work on behalf of the association. While it is possible for a board to perform some of the required energy benchmarking steps directly, most will find it far easier to hire a firm to handle the entire process on their behalf. Ordinance Overview Information about the...
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Keeping Board Meetings Organized

Board Meeting  Serving on a condo board is not an easy thing to do. Often, there is so much work to do that members feel as though serving on the board is a full-time job. This is unacceptable, especially given the members' other career committments. Any kind of disorganization is a bad sign for condo associations. The lack of a proper structure can result in a lot of wasted time and energy; not to mention the fact that many of the meetings' goals will be left unachieved. Implementing a framework for all board meetings will ensure that the maximum amount of work...
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A Guide to Condo Security

Security Camera Living in close quarters with hundreds of other people, some of whom may be your friends, can give you a false sense of security. The reality is that condominiums are often targets for criminals for a number of reasons, including perceived affluence and the fact that businesses and offices often employ technologically sophisticated security systems, decreasing their viability as potential targets. Many buildings have doormen or private security that act as a barrier between visitors and your private living space. But this added level of security often comes with higher monthly dues or an overall higher cost of living, a...
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Move-In Fees Explained

Moving Move-in fees are the cause of many headaches for some new tenants. There are often great debates waged between landlords/associations and tenants over the reasons behind these fees and their legality. Here are the answers to some common questions about move-in fees: Why do I have to pay? Usually, a move-in fee is charged to a tenant upon signing their new lease. The fee serves to cover the costs of accomodating and processing new tenants, such as changing directories and reprogramming security systems. A move-in fee is always non-refundable. How is this different from a security deposit? A security deposit...
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