M.E. from Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Can a director of a building lock the access to my main water shutoff valve for my condo unit? I am afraid of in an emergency, we can’t find someone with a key. We are on the second floor and we have people living in the unit below us. Thank you for the great job you do.
Mister Condo replies:
M.E., thank you for the kind words! As a matter of policy, locking any door that houses a necessary utility for residents is a bad idea. However, there is no reason the Board can’t decide what common areas under their control they decide to lock up. In fact, it is quite possible that they were given the advice to secure the room from an insurer or property manager. I think a better solution might be to have an access code or such to get into the room and to provide owners with that code so they could, in an emergency such as you have described, turn off the water and prevent massive damage. You might suggest they try that approach for better peace of mind for you and your downstairs neighbor. Keep in mind, they don’t have to accept your advice and may choose to continue their own solution of keeping the door locked. All the best!