Problems Related to Guests

Residents have the right to invite anyone they want to their suite or townhouse. Receiving guests is easier in townhouses because all that guests have to do is knock on your door. But if a townhouse belongs to a gated development, guests may have to be announced by the gatekeeper, just as is the case in a high rise: The gatekeeper may phone to have confirmation that the persons arriving are guests. 

These are simply measures of security that prevent all kinds of people from disturbing residents’ privacy.

Unexpected and Unwanted Guests

Residents often complain that their guests arrive at their door sooner than expected or are not even invited.

One family was giving a small party for an aunt’s birthday. One distant cousin who had not been invited made his way to their suite unannounced and found the women in the middle of a cooking and baking frenzy, all wearing bathing suits! He had arrived on the wrong day. In the lobby, he had told the concierge that he was the XXXs’ cousin and, “by the way, I forgot their suite number.” The nice young man at the security desk gave it to him. The residents were mortified and justifiably upset, considering their religious beliefs about women’s proper attire in men’s presence.

Concierge and security personnel should never give a resident’s phone or suite number to anyone. In fact, they should not even acknowledge that X or Y is a resident of the complex, unless warranted.

What should the security staff have done? Simply ask the guest to give the name of the residents he was visiting. At that point, the security person can phone the resident to ask about this guest; but the “guest” should not see the phone number.

One woman in her mid fifties had a new male friend who had visited her during afternoons. The security lady had by then become familiar with the friend’s appearance and could recognize him. One day, the gentleman arrived, did not buzz the unit, but followed in behind a resident. The lady at the desk intercepted him and he chided her, using his considerable charm, “You know me.” So, blushing, she let him go.

Five minutes later, a resident phoned to say that there were screams on that floor. The superintendent was dispatched only to find the lady trying to throw the man out of her suite and into the elevator with the help of another gentleman. As it turns out, she had broken up with the first man and he had been harassing her to such an extent that she had had to change her phone number. Now, she feared for her safety.

The above situation could have ended tragically.

In other words, not all guests are expected nor are all guests wanted.

Guests and Parking

Some condos have a fairly small area for visitors’ parking while others can accommodate 30 cars. When expecting a visitor who will need a parking permit, a resident may go to the desk and obtain one ahead of time if the plate number, the color and make of the car are known. Or guests can provide this information when they arrive. At that point, the desk should phone the unit to authenticate the guest.

In other words, the concierge does not give parking permits to anyone who claims to be a guest. Guests have to prove that they “belong” to a unit.  “Guests” just can’t be anyone off the street who is in need of a parking spot.

Day and overnight parking may require different parking permits, each with its own colour. Overnight stays of more than 3 days may have to be approved by the manager. Furthermore, many condos set a limit of 9 to 11 night parking permits per car per suite or per guest per suite.

This procedure prevents residents who are not registered with management from passing as guests. This is particularly important for condos that have an occupancy standard by-law or insufficient guest parking.