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Oak Manor Condo Association / Board not disclosing records and condo owners have been informed we are $11000 in the rear

1 Oak Lawn, IL, United States Review updated:

On December 7th I received a notice from my Condo Association which indicated that our prior Managment Company Van Witz had not been paying our bills. Because of this we are now $11367.00 behind and our utilities are being threatened to be shut off by December 2oth if we don't pay a special assessment by December 17th. It was also disclosed at this meeting that there are condo owners who have NEVER paid their assessments and our board has not taken the necessary steps to pursue this matter with these owners as per the terms of our bylaws. The board also said that they had NO IDEA that the utility bills were not being paid. If this is correct that is extreme negligence on the boards part as well as the Management Company. I moved into my Condo in April 2006. Since I have been here we have had 3 different managment companies including the new one the board "without a vote or telling us why" brought on board. Now that we are swopping management companies for the third time I am alarmed and have asked to see our records which our bylaws say we are entitled to see at anytime during the week at reasonable hours. The board keeps telling me they will show me the records once the new management company gets everything in order. I'm not interested in trusting another management company at this point. Why should I wait for a third management company to supposedly fix the books before I look at the records? They board is supposed to ensure they are available and in order. I have a right to see the records but the board keeps putting me off BUT they do not give me a timeframe for when the records will be in our hands. I am very suspicious of all of this. I also asked the board to give me a copy of the service agreement with Van Witz so that I can review it and site breachs and file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. They have not and will not do that either. This is how it works. We get a new Management Company, I ask the Management Company for something and they direct me to the Board. I ask the Board something and they say they have to ask the Management Company. You just run around in circles but everytime we go to a new management company we go with a new whopping debt. I do not think our association is being run effectively and I do not understand why they will not provide these records that our bylaws say must be kept on file for review. I can't even follow up and pursue the matter with my own resources until they provide documentation with account numbers and balances. Nor do I have confidence or the ability to evaluate what is going on without these records.

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Comments

  • Ms
      5th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    This is very alarming and disheartening to me as I have just bought a unit in Jan 09 and was not made aware of these issues...

  • Su
      10th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    I live in Oaks Edge Condominium, also in Oak Lawn. We have one owner that owns 5 of 11 units. He fired our management company, only allows himself to be on the board, has refused to allow anyone to see ANY financial statements over the last two years - including the Secretary of State! - so now our condo association was dissolved by the Secretary of State effective Friday. The rest of the unit owners elected myself as the president and another owner as the treasurer, but this guy refuses to turn ANYTHING over, records, keys, contracts, etc - and now we are getting fined by the Village of Oak Lawn for various things, one if which is an extremely loud light outside my window - and the guy just refuses to give us the key to turn it off. He'd rather continue to get $250 tickets. It's insane. This guy owns 3 car dealerships and just can't be bothered with any of it. Not only that, only 27% of the units in the building are owner occupied, so it is IMPOSSIBLE to sell. I'm at my wits end. (And litigation is expensive - I know, I've tried, and basically wasted $500 only to be told I had to move from small claims to chancery for another huge fee...)

  • El
      25th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    We are having the same problems with Van Witz. My association is out at least 16k, our gas was cut off for 4 days. VW is not working with us at all, Pam, the owner is not returning any calls. We don't know if they have our money or not. It's VERY VERY VERY frustrating. I found a similar story on Craigs List:

    http://chicago.craigslist.org/sox/com/1237392256.html

  • Pa
      28th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Our association is having the same problems. I am the president of the association. I make all of our records available to anyone who wishes to see them. However, due to having Van Witz as our management company, we are now behind $7000 on our utilities. I agree that it is the boards responsibility to oversee the accounting that Van Witz is performing. However, when they are falsifying documents and leading us to beleive that they are paying our utility bills when they aren't and haven't paid on them for months, it isn't easy for the board to realize this until shut off notices are being left on our door. I just had a meeting on Friday to let all of the unit owners know what is going on. We hired an attorney to end our management relationship with Van Witz. They turned over our book of records but there was no check for the $15000 that was in our operating account. We filed a report with the Palos Hills Police Department. The officer there advised me that there have been close to 25 reports filed already from other associations throughtout the south suburbs. Our building is located in Chicago Ridge. A newspaper reporter was ere last week to get some information about our association and what we are going through with Van Witz. He said that after interviewing many associations, there is approximately $320, 000 unaccounted for in Oak Lawn alone! No one can find the owner, Pam VanWitzenberg. No one really knows what happened to all the money either. I have heard many stories including her husband running off with the money, that she was using the money for her real estate business, and that her husband is a contractor and was out of work so they used the money to pay their own bills. I'm really not sure what's going to happen. All I know is that the more people that we can get on board and the more people we have to sign a petition, the better the chance is that the State's Attorney's office will help us get our money back, or at least put that ###, Pam VanWitzenberg in jail. My neighbor down the street is trying to get as many associations involved as possible to get this matter reconciled. If you would like to speak with him, let me know and I will tell you how to get in contact with him.

  • Ja
      10th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    i am from oak lawn condo association we have same problem vith Van Witz we are 8800 bihind for gas water and comed gas is shut of for one week now. if anyone know how can we get out this problem please email me at janonebus@poczta.pl they keep ignoring us our calls and we don t have gas hot water and soon we will be whitout water tanks

  • Ta
      8th of Sep, 2009
    0 Votes

    Our management company has acutally taken on assisting some of the condo associations who have fallen behind on their bills due to prior management. We have recently taken over the 10-unit complex in Willow Springs and not only had their gas turned back on within a very reasonable time, but were also able to negotiate down the outstanding amount with Nicor.

    We understand that most Associations had no idea of what their manamegement company was doing, or not doing, and now the Association's Board members are left to put the pieces back together. If any association board members wish to speak with us in regards to how we may be able to help your situation, Target Property Management would welcome the opportunity to meet you to see how we can help.

    Our office can be reached at (708) 805-1654 and ask to speak with Mary.

    Good luck to all associations who are similarly situated.


    -- Target Property Management

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