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Helpful Links for Homeowners

Browse the following links to find helpful resources and events for both homeowners and board members.

Best Practice Reports

Function-specific best practices in topic areas such as energy efficiency, governance, reserve studies, community harmony and spirit, financial operations, strategic planning, and transition have been developed using a variety of sources, including, but not limited to, recommendations from industry experts and various industry-related publications. Browse our best practice reports below.

Homeowners FAQ

Find answers to all of the most frequently asked homeowner questions below.

If my Management Company is a member of CAI, do all of the associations we manage become members, too?

No, they don’t. Because CAI has separate and distinct categories of membership with special benefits specific to each category, each Association must join CAI in order to receive the special benefits of membership. We do encourage all management companies to promote CAI to their Associations, as it is proven that a well-educated Board backed by the resources CAI offers is much easier to work with.

What is CAI?

Community Associations Institute, or CAI, is a national, non-profit organization which provides education and resources to those involved in the community association industry. This diverse group includes homeowners, board members, managers, attorneys, accountants, lenders, insurance providers, and those who service community associations such as roofers and painters.

What does it cost to join CAI?

General membership inquiries about joining CAI, including cost, benefits of membership, and how to join can be answered by clicking HERE.

I serve on the Board of a community association. What resources do you have for me?

The Illinois Chapter of CAI provides educational, social, and networking opportunities for board members and homeowners. We offer homeowner programing called DCAL (Dedicated Community Association Leader), which is a series of educational courses designed to educate in the daily operations of community associations. Topics covered are Governing, Meetings & Elections, Fair Practices, Rules & Regulations, Insurance/Risk Management, Understanding Financials, and the Essentials of Community Association Management for Volunteer Leaders. We offer social and networking opportunities so that you can meet other individuals within the industry such as other homeowners and board members, association managers, and business partners that provide services for associations. Become a CAI member and you will receive subscriptions to Common Ground and Common Interest magazines, a chapter membership directory, Free DCAL programming, discounted rates in our bookstore, and Free access to the member exchange and resource library.

I am a homeowner concerned about protecting my largest investment– my home. What can CAI do for me?

Most of the programs CAI – Illinois offers are a great way for homeowners to gain important knowledge about how their association can flourish. Find out what laws and rights protect homeowners in an association. Discover new ways to revitalize your community and build great relations with your Board and manager. Meet other homeowners and share experiences, ideas and solutions to common association problems. Learn about the fiduciary duties of a Board of Directors, and the rights and responsibilities of homeowners and association volunteers. Get answers to your specific questions.

My Association only has 5 units. Are we too small to join CAI?

Absolutely not! Individuals may join CAI to gain the great benefits, and the smallest of associations and the largest of associations can receive crucial knowledge about running their association and building better communities. In fact, smaller associations absolutely need the resources CAI offers, as they may lack the guidance of a professional community association manager. Association unit owners, board members, service providers and professional association managers can ALL benefit from CAI’s nationwide resources.

Our community association manager is a member of CAI, and he/she said we would gain the benefits of CAI through him/her. Is this true?

No, it isn’t. Although your manager can pass some CAI information along to you, you will not receive the discounts, direct information, personal attention, membership directories, magazine subscriptions, website passwords, and other benefits available only to CAI members. Considering the knowledge that your board members and homeowners can receive from CAI about community association living, it makes no sense for a manager to convince you not to join CAI.

Our association just can’t afford to join CAI.

Board member membership is even more affordable now with a 3-15 board member rate of $295. That is less than $20 per board member for a year. You will receive discounts on seminars and publications, free DCAL education, free magazine subscriptions, newsletters, and expert information you’ll get on basic and advanced community association issues. You can’t afford NOT to join! In fact, most of our community association members value CAI so highly, they put CAI’s membership dues expense right into their budget. If you’re not clear on what value you would be getting for your money, please call us at the Chapter Office.

I’m still not sure how CAI can specifically benefit ME.

Is your Association dealing with any of these issues?

  • Experiencing problems with turnover from the Developer.
  • Trouble collecting assessments and enforcing rules.
  • Apathetic residents and/or Board members.
  • Dangerously low (or no) reserve funds.
  • Drafting reasonable rules and regulations.
  • Dealing with hostile homeowners or board members.
  • Problems with the election process.
  • Questions about bidding for contractors or managers.
  • Conflicts of interest.

If so, then CAI can help YOU. We offer seminars that give expert advice on these issues and more. CAI also has a vast library of publications that deal with each of these specific topics, as well as publications offering broad, more general information on associations as a whole.

Get to Know Our Partners

Diamond Partners
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We were made to serve community associations. For more than two decades, we've been committed to helping associations reach their financial goals with an unmatched level of service.

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Diamond Partners
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We serve community associations of all sizes throughout the Chicagoland area. We provide common element repair financing to associations as small as six-units as well as to large high-rise communities and sprawling city or suburban townhome associations.

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