The board of the 33 W Ontario condo in downtown Chicago is forcibly entering residents condo to perform non-emergency inspections that last an hour or more. In the process they are piercing residents’ carefully constructed bubbles and pods with viral Covid particles transmitted by strangers.
And most lawyers agree that there is nothing that the residents can do about it.
Because none of the many Covid pandemic “guidelines” carry the teeth of law, condo associations can generally do what they want, when they want. And that is something that occupants agree to when they take up residence in the building (at least in the fine-print of the residential condo contracts.)
So, despite the pandemic, the 33 W Ontario Condo Association made the decision to enter many of the units in the building without regard for the cross-contamination danger posed by such actions. And over the strenuous objections of some residents who do not want strangers contaminating their carefully constructed pod.
So contractors who do not live in the building are going from one unit to the next, sometimes a dozen or more in a day, dragging viral particles between units and substantially elevating the Covid transmission risk posed to each unit of the building.
When residents object, the association pulls out visitor logs and aggressively questions the resident about their visitors – effectively cross-examining the objecting residents about their personal lives – trying to use it as proof that the objecting residents concerns aren’t real or valid.
Ironically, the same association will not allow delivery personnel past the front-door of the building for the 5 minute is takes to deliver an item or food to a unit. But they have deemed it an acceptable risk to the lives of residents to allow strangers into each unit for an hour or more.
Some residents say they are left feeling completely violated and powerless, with one saying it is akin to being raped.
Other residents are furious about being forced to tolerate strangers in their space while friends and family have been shut out for a year.
While the ultimate responsibility for these types of pandemic decisions rest with the board of the building, the management company, Associa, usually have a strong voice in these types of decisions. So it is very likely that this is a policy that is being used in hundreds of similar communities across the country.
It is hard to understand why the 33 W Ontario board decided that forcibly entering units now was better than waiting a few months for residents to be vaccinated. But, by the time the law catches up to temper the power that condo associations hold over their residents during emergencies, the 33 W Ontario Condo Association (and other communities managed by Associa) will likely have already actively and knowingly participated in multiple murders and attempted murders of its residents.