What Can Condo Associations Do to Stop Large Gatherings this Holiday Season?
October 29, 2020
Large gatherings in condo buildings are problematic because they pose a potential risk of spreading coronavirus. At a press conference on October 19, 2020, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady reiterated the directive to limit gatherings as the number of cases in the City of Chicago increases. This directive is consistent with the restriction imposed by Mayor Lightfoot on Chicago condominiums, which took effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 24, 2020 that “Residential property managers will be asked to limit guest entry to five per unit to avoid indoor gatherings and parties.” While enforcement of this restriction may prove difficult, below is a list of practical strategies for limiting large gatherings in condo buildings:
- Adopt Temporary Policies or Rules to Limit Guests.
Temporary policies or rules can be adopted by the condo board to limit the number of guests permitted in a unit and/or in any common element amenities such as sun decks. Condo boards can adopt a policy via board vote at a board meeting. Adopting a rule requires a few extra steps (a unit owner’s meeting to discuss the proposed rule, which requires 10-30 days’ written notice and formal vote at a board meeting to adopt the rule after the unit owner’s meeting).
- Limit Gatherings in Common Element Amenities.
Temporarily close or limit the number of persons in common element gathering spaces such as hospitality or party rooms. We recommend requiring that common element gathering spaces be reserved in advance to help limit traffic. Click here for relevant considerations and recommendations for reopening common element amenities during Phase IV.
- Notify Residents of Restrictions.
The board or management (if professionally managed) should circulate correspondence to all residents and post signs regarding any temporary policies or rules as well as the directive from Mayor Lightfoot (for Chicago condominiums).
- Send Reminders, as Needed.
Verbal or written reminders from the board or management (if any), as needed, are recommended to ensure compliance.
- Document Violations.
Any violation of temporary policies or rules limiting guests should be documented in written complaints submitted to the board or management to determine the appropriate next step.
- Remedies for Enforcement.
The board may seek to impose available remedies under applicable law and the governing documents such as fines or injunctive action. The association’s legal counsel should be contacted to determine appropriate next steps and available remedies for violations.
The Levenfeld Pearlstein Community Association Group can help guide you through the complexities of condo living during the coronavirus pandemic. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or concerns.