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The Illinois Community Association Manager Licensing Act initially went into effect July 1, 2010, and required professional community association managers to obtain a license to work in the state. In 2023, the Act was significantly amended to redefine roles of Community Association managers, applicants, licensees, supervising managers, and firms. In addition, this legislation makes significant changes to association audits and disclosure practices.

Community Association Management (CAM) Firm
A community association management firm is a company, corporation, limited liability company, or other entity that engages in the community association management business. It is unlawful for any firm to provide services to any community association if it does not have a license issued by the Department.
In addition to applying and paying the required fee of $650 for a two-year license, the firm must provide evidence to the Department that it has designated a licensed community association manager to manage the firm.

CAM Firm Requirements
CAM Firms are required to follow the following procedures:

  • Notify IDFPR of every hire and separation of a CAM from the firm or change in DCAM within 14 days
  • Maintain fidelity/crime, general liability, and E&O insurance
  • Unless directed otherwise, maintain all Association Accounts at FDIC-insured depositories

CAM Firms are required to have written policies covering responsibilities of the firm to comply with the Act and maintain Association Accounts.
Unless otherwise stated in management agreement, CAM firms must transition all accounts, funds, and respond to Board of Director record requests within 10 days. Audits: The IDFPR may audit firm accounts to ensure compliance of accounting practices to ensure no comingling of funds.

Licensed Firms and Designated CAMs
Effective June 2, 2023, all CAM Firms must be licensed. Initial licenses issued before August 31, 2023 will expire August 31, 2025.
Each licensed firm must designate a single licensed leader called a Designated CAM (DCAM). DCAMs are responsible for the following:

  • Implement and Communicate Office Policies
  • Oversee compliance
  • Train employees on requirements of federal, state, and local ordinances
  • Supervise Association Accounts
  • Supervise firm advertising

DCAMs supervise all licensed and unlicensed firm employees. Maintaining a DCAM is an ongoing requirement for firm licensure.
Community Association Managers (CAMs)
A community association manager is an individual who:
1.      Has an ownership interest in or is employed by a Community Association management firm, or is directly employed by or provides services as an independent contractor to a Community Association; AND
2.      Administers for remuneration the financial, administrative, maintenance, or other duties for the community association, including the following services:

    • ​Collecting, controlling, or disbursing funds of the community association or having the authority to do so.
    • Preparing budgets or other financial documents for the community association.
    • Assisting in the conduct of community association meetings.
    • Maintaining association records.
    • Administrating association contracts, as stated in the declaration, bylaws, proprietary lease, declaration of covenants, or other governing document of the community association.
    • Coordinating financial, administrative, maintenance, or other duties outlined in a management contract, including individuals who are direct employees of a Community Association.
NOTE: Effective with 2023 regulations, licensees must now be referred to exclusively as Community Association Managers.

Unprofessional Conduct
CAMs are forbidden from engaging in unprofessional conduct including:

  • Offering legal advice without possessing the necessary license.
  • Not adhering to the rules stated in the association's governing documents.
  • Presenting facts inaccurately, making false statements, or engaging in deceitful behavior.
  • Not revealing conflict/s of interest
  • Breaching fiduciary duties to the community association.
  • Not complying with the terms of the management agreement or legal requirements.
  • Failing to handle confidential information properly.
  • Neglecting to provide timely notice and delivery of documents to unit owners as mandated by Illinois laws or legal documents.
  • Not disclosing affiliation agreements and their terms that bind a client community association.
  • Assisting a licensed or unlicensed individual in violating the applicable law.
  • Hindering an inspection, audit, investigation, examination, or disciplinary proceeding.
  • Not returning association documents and property within 30 days after termination.
  • Imposing fees that were not disclosed in the management agreement.

Pathway to Licensure
There are multiple pathways to licensure for those interested in practicing the profession of community association management in Illinois. Below is a simple pathway for those new to profession. See the sections below for alternative methods to licensure.
1.      Register and complete the CAI M-100: Essentials of Community Association Management, Illinois-Specific Edition.
2.      Apply for then take and pass the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) Examination.
3.      Fill out and turn in the State Application
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have the equivalent of a high school diploma, have completed a minimum of 20 hours in a community association management course, successfully complete a community association management examination, and supply a fee of $300.

Initial Education Requirements
Individuals applying with the Examination Method must complete 20 hours of approved prelicensure courses. The following is a condensed list of approved prelicensure courses:

  • CAI Illinois-S​pecific, M-100: The Essentials of Community Association Management  (click here to register)
  • CAI Association Management Specialist (AMS)
  • CAI Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM)
  • Community Association Managers' International Certification Board (CAMICB). Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA)

The education requirement does not apply to persons holding an Illinois real estate salesperson, broker, or managing broker license in good standing.
Click here for the full list of approved prelicensure courses.

Renewal Requirements
Community Association Managers
Licenses expire August 31 of odd number years; therefore a license is valid for two years. The fee for renewal is $300 per license for two years.
Beginning in 2025, each Community Association manager must complete a total of 12 credit hours each renewal period. State law allows these credits to be earned from a sponsor that meets the requirements of CAI and/or CAMICB, among others. In addition, maintaining a professional designation of CMCA, AMS, or PCAM, fulfills these requirements. 

Supervising Managers and Firms
Having a designated Community Association manager shall be a continuing requirement of firm licensure.

Application Methods
Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and submit the fee of $300 with the application. The Department provides for the three following application methods:

  • Examination - Applicants must attach to the application a copy of all completed certifications and a record of successful completion of the required examination.
  • Endorsement - An applicant may use this method if he or she is licensed under the laws of another state and that state's requirements are substantially equivalent to Illinois requirements at the time the license was issued. A certification from the state in which the applicant was originally licensed and currently licensed must be attached to the application. In addition, the applicant must complete the Supporting Document Form CT-APP on the application.
  • Restoration - Any community association manager whose license has expired or has been placed on inactive status for five years or less may have the license restored upon payment of $50 plus all lapsed renewal fees. Any person seeking restoration of a license that has been expired or placed on inactive status for more than five years shall file an application, pay the restoration fee of $900, and submit proof of one of the following:
    • Sworn evidence of active practice in another jurisdiction;
    • Affidavit attesting to military service during the period the license was lapsed or on inactive status;
    • Proof of passage of the examination during the period the license was lapsed or on inactive status; or
    • Proof of re-certification within the past five years by CAI, CAM-ICB or other specified organizations.
      • ​Or in the case of Military Renewal or Restoration; a person is eligible for the restoration or renewal of their community association manager license without paying any lapsed renewal fees if:
      • ​The person's license expired while in federal service on active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States or called into service or training with the State Militia or in training or education under the supervision of the United States preliminarily to induction into the military service; OR
      • Within two years after honorable termination of service, training, or education under the with proof provided.
      • ​Click here for the Department's Community Association Manager Application for Licensure.

        Fidelity Insurance 
        The supervising manager or the firm may not have access to and disburse an associations funds unless each of the following requirements are met:

        • There is fidelity insurance in place to insure against loss for theft of association funds;
        • The fidelity insurance is not less than all moneys under control of the supervising manager or firm for the association;
        • The fidelity insurance covers the manager, supervising manager, and all employees of the firm for the same term as the service agreement between the firm and the association, as well as term for the association's officers, directors, and employees.

        Note: A Community Association may secure and pay for the fidelity insurance unless an agreement between the Community Association and the Community Association Manager or Firm indicates otherwise.

        Segregation of Accounts
        A firm that provides services to more than one association must maintain separate segregated accounts for each association unless the associations consent to combine the accounts. In no event shall the funds be commingled with the supervising manager or firm's funds.
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