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!