T.F. from Cook County, Illinois writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
My condo has a $25.00 lockout fee if an owner needs keys from the office to enter their unit. Can they legally charge me this fee when my cat sitter comes to access my home to care for my pets while the office is unstaffed and the doorman has to get the keys from the office? This seems more than onerous when I am not home, therefore not locked out, and they allow people to enter their units when a permission to enter is completed.
Mister Condo replies:
T.F., I am sorry that you find yourself in this predicament. I am not an attorney and offer no opinion on the legality of the charge. It is not uncommon for a fee to apply when extra service is rendered. In this case, the doorman having to get keys from an office that is unstaffed. Is the office always unstaffed? Can your cat sitter be scheduled to arrive at times when the office is open? Is there any other way to get a set of keys to your cat sitter? Only you know these answers but unless an alternate solution is found, the charges will likely continue. All the best!
2 thoughts on “Condo Cat Sitter Costing Owner a Fortune in Lockout Fees”
You could look into getting a smart lock for your unit door. Many complexes have owners who have switched from having a key. You can then regulate it remotely. But ensure you get it approved, because many complexes have requirements concerning the style, etc. If you aren’t up for the technology, some complexes allow a lock box for their personal cleaning person, pet walker, sounds like yours may not. Ours are kept in a cabinet in the lobbies, along with any real estate agent lock boxes. Of course, if they were willing to make an allowance for realistic situations, that would be nice, instead of making it a burden to keep paying that fee.
Why can’t you simply give a key(s) to the cat sitter? Does a trusted neighbor have a key? Can they help?