Obtaining Bylaws from Seller

Asked by Lee, Chicago, IL Mon Oct 8, 2012

Hi Is the seller of a property responsible for providing the buyer a copy of the bylaws? and within how many days do they need to provide it after an offer and can seller charge buyer for a copy of these documents? Thanks

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10
Philip Sencer, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Oct 9, 2012
Read the contract. All of the standard ones state that the seler must provide bylaws and lots of other financial information to the buyer at no charge. The time frame is negotiable, but I always put 2-3 days and no one ever complains. Speak with your agent and attorney if you are not getting them.
1 vote
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Tue Oct 9, 2012
Yes, the seller is (in my area, anyway) responsible for providing the buyer with a copy of the bylaws.

This should be done at the very beginning of the transaction - and it might be a contingency that is put in the contract, stating the timeframe in which they have to be produced. It may also state that if you find anything that is unacceptable, you have the right to cancel the deal.

If the sellers can't locate their copy, they can usually call the association and obtain an new copy - if there is a charge for doing this, the seller should be respsonsible for the fee, too.

Best wishes...........
1 vote
Simir Shah, Agent, Chicago, IL
Fri Oct 12, 2012
Sometimes a simple google search for the association may bring up their website and they might have those docs available for download, its worth a try.
0 votes
Cindy Wilson, Agent, Chicago, IL
Fri Oct 12, 2012
Not providing the bylaws is a violation of the contract. Either your agent or your attorney should be chasing them down; it is not acceptable to say that the seller doesn't have them and you have to find or buy them yourself. You may need a new attorney and/or agent if they're not assisting you with this.
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Tue Oct 9, 2012
Ask your attorney why he feels the responsibility to obtain the bylaws is on you

Many sellers misplace the bylaws - this is nothing unusual - and it is easy enough for them to obtain a new copy (here, it may cost $50 - 100 dpending on the complex) through their Association.

What is your agent advising you?
Ask him or her to intervene on your behalf.

Truthfully, the listing agent should have prepared the sellers, in advance, to have the bylaws available and ready..

Good luck, and I hope this resolves itself quickly!
0 votes
Bill J Delig…, Agent, Naperville, IL
Tue Oct 9, 2012
The seller (on their own) or via the association are responsible for providing the bylaws within a reasonable time period.
0 votes
Matt Laricy, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Oct 9, 2012
Yes the seller is responsible to get these to you. It should take them no more than 10days to get these back. In reality it should take 4-5 business days, but most likely it will take a week.
0 votes
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Tue Oct 9, 2012
Different States have different standard Offer to Purchase dn Contracts. Most that I'm familiar with do have a requirement that if the property is subject to a HOA that the Seller is responsible for supplying a copy of the current HOA rules, regs, bylaws and even a financial statement to the buyer. Who enforces this is anyone's guess.

You've mentioned that your attorney said it was your responsibility and I'm assuming their a real estate attorney and have reviewed the contract so I am left to presume the Illinois Real Estate Commission hasn't elected to make this a requirement of the standard contract used in your area.

I would suggest asking your buyer broker to supply you the name and contact information for the HOA management company and then calling them directly to request the documents. Be prepared that they may require a fee, some do, some don't, some will simply email you them in a .pdf file.
Again your purchase contract may or may not stipulate who would be responsible if there were a fee.
0 votes
Lee, Home Buyer, Chicago, IL
Tue Oct 9, 2012
Thank you all for your replies..MY attorney is saying the seller does not have the Bylaws and it is ME that needs to obtain then. I am a potential first time buyer and have had several "seasoned" byers tell me that this is not the case and your answers have confirmed what they are telling me
0 votes
Sorry to hear that Lee, just like there are good and bad doctors and realtors there are also good attorneys and bad ones. I hope you get this issue resolved, good luck.
Flag Tue Oct 9, 2012
Jorge Vega, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Oct 9, 2012
Lee,

Follow the direction of Philip and Kelli. You should be using the "condo" contract for the City of Chicago and your attorney should be contacting the sellers attorney for immediate response on the requested documents. The contract should be contingent on the seller providing this information. Good luck!!!!
0 votes
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