Q&A: Doorman Access

Q. We have a doorman at our Lake Shore Drive building from 8 a.m. until midnight, and the street door is locked at midnight. Is there any regulation regarding necessary available access to the building by guests or emergency responders between midnight and 8 a.m. while the outer door is locked? 

                     —Concerned About Security

A.  “Buildings are permitted to have locked outer doors at any time, as long as residents of the building have reasonable access, which may require a key, key fob or some other device,” says attorney David C. Hartwell of the firm Penland & Hartwell, P.C., in Chicago. “No building is required to allow unlimited access to guests, such access is the responsibility of the owner or resident inviting the guest.  Emergency responders may have keys to building to obtain access, and if not, are permitted to engage all necessary means to obtain access. Again, the responsibility for access by emergency responders will be the responsibility of the person requesting a response and if such access cannot be given, the responders will obtain access by other means. It should be noted that damage to common elements or limited common elements caused by emergency access is typically assessed back to the requesting owner.”   

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