Charleston, S.C. – WCBD – As close contact businesses begin to open today like gyms and pools, apartment complexes are having to consider the safety of their residents while making these amenities available.
According to Charleston attorneys, apartment complexes and condos were required by law to close amenities such as pools and gyms per the governors executive order. Although they are allowed to reopen today they don’t have to. Apartment management is allowed to phase in their amenities to tenants.
There are strict guidelines in place to reopen close contact areas such as extra sanitation of equipment, and additional guidance on health checks for employees.
Some Lowcountry residents say their complex management has asked residents to clean chairs or equipment after use.
“It opens up Wednesday and there’s 25 people at the pool at a time, instead of both gates being both ways there’s in one way out the other, 6 feet apart and then the weight room is 2 people in each weight room or pod, there’s 4 pods so 8 people,” said Zack Evans.
While it has been inconvenient, Zack Evans says he is thankful for the steps his complex has taken to protect its residents.
“It is important for these complexes to follow the guidelines that are provided by the CDC to ensure the safety for the residents and mainly themselves to just to keep everybody safe.”
If a resident is looking for compensation over amenities that are paid for but are still unable to use, Nicole Paluzzi Housing Attorney with Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services says you should issue a notice today, preferably through an attorney, since there is no legal order prohibiting close contact areas to be closed.
“If there is a legitimate ground or reason you know ‘we’ve been unable to obtain sanitation services,’ ‘we don’t have enough hand sanitizer,’ ‘our employees are concerned it’s not safe for them,’ those may be legitimate defenses that a courtroom would favor or at least understand to a point that they would not award damages,” said Paluzzi.
There are specific sanitation requirements apartment and condo management must meet before they are allowed to reopen pools and gyms.
Some Lowcountry residents say they haven’t heard much from their management on reopening. Paluzzi says there are descriptions on how notices can be effective, but there is no strict regulation on what has to be communicated.