Seth v Aqua at Lakeshore East, LLC (IL)

Summary:  Actual knowledge of an unrecorded condominium declaration is sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the Condominium Act’s Section 22.

Seth v Aqua at Lakeshore East, LLC, 2012 IL App (1st) 120438 (1st Dist. 2012).

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Aqua at Lakeshore East, LLC (Aqua), sold condominium units to Vijay Seth and 15 other people (hereinafter Seth).  Seth signed purchase agreements and made earnest money deposits.  The purchase agreement stated that, prior to closing, in accordance with Illinois Condominium Property Act, Aqua would record a declaration of condominium ownership and of easements, restrictions, covenants and bylaws, as well as the plat showing the building and unit.  The purchase agreement also required the buyer to acknowledge he or she had received the floor plan, a master association declaration, the association declaration, an estimated operating budget, a copy of the heating cost disclosure statement, and the City of Chicago property report.  Seth initialed the part of the agreement indicating receipt of these documents. 

Aqua recorded the association declaration, but the percentage of ownership in the common elements were not the same as what was listed in the purchase agreements.  Seth filed a lawsuit which alleged that Aqua had failed to provide a recorded declaration in violation of Section 22 of the Illinois Condominium Act, and sought termination of the purchasing agreements.  Seth filed a motion for summary judgment.  The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of Seth, finding that Aqua failed to provide a recorded association declaration, and therefore Seth had a right to rescind.  Aqua filed an appeal.


Reversed and remanded.  Section 22 of the Condominium Act requires a seller of a condominium to make a full disclosure of relevant information including the declaration of the condominium project.  Section 22 does not explicitly state whether the declaration must be recorded.  The court of appeals held, without deciding on the issue of whether Section 22 requires recording, that because Seth had actual knowledge of the unrecorded declaration, it amounted to “the functional equivalent” of a recording.  Therefore, Seth’s actual knowledge of the unrecorded declaration was enough to satisfy Section 22 regardless of whether the section requires the document to be recorded.  For these reasons, the holding of the circuit court was reversed.

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By: ATG Underwriting Department | Posted on: Wed, 12/05/2012 - 4:18pm