Guess Who's (Not) Coming to Dinner?

Written By: Scott M. Smiler Michelle P. Quinn

dinner party

Hosting a get-together? Effective Friday, November 13, 2020, at 10:00 pm, indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences will be limited to no more than 10 people. Those traveling from out of state should consult New York State’s latest travel advisories (

Landlords, boards, and management should make residents aware of these new restrictions as soon as possible. Notices should be posted in common areas of the building including the lobby, elevators, laundry room, mailroom, and other high-traffic areas, as well as on all building-wide websites/portals. Residents should be required to provide the doorman or concierge with an advance guest list for all planned gatherings so that admittance to the building can be better managed. Those individuals not on the list or in excess of the 10-person limit should not be admitted.

As with other pandemic-related executive orders, enforcement is challenging. For those buildings that do not have a doorman, monitoring admittance to the building is nearly impossible. For those buildings with a doorman, there are no practical measures that can be taken to prohibit individuals from visiting their neighbors within the same building.

Special COVID-19 house rules may be implemented which carry significant fines for non-compliance. This will set the tone that the building takes these matters seriously and that behavior contrary to the new rules will not be tolerated.

Prohibiting entry to only those individuals properly wearing a mask covering both their nose and mouth, and limiting the number of guests to a specific apartment, are not an infringement of one’s rights, but rather, an exercise in protecting and promoting public safety.

The three W's can make a big difference in controlling the spread of COVID-19: Wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance. Residents should do their part to ensure that the holidays are safe and healthy for all.

For the lucky group of ten, be thankful you made the guest list. For guest #11, gobble-gobble but wobble-wobble all the way home.
Please contact us with any questions.

For more information, please visit our Coronavirus Response Blog and our Cooperative and Condominium Law Blog.

about the authors

Scott M. Smiler


For the past two decades, Scott's practice has focused primarily on transactional real estate matters — Cooperative and Condominium Board Representation; Buying and Selling of Properties; Commercial Leasing and Neighbor Access Agreements.

View Profile

Michelle P. Quinn


Michelle P. Quinn represents cooperative and condominium boards, businesses, and individuals regarding issues with shareholders and owners in commercial and residential landlord-tenant litigation, including summary proceedings, administrative agency hearings, and Supreme Court actions and appeals.  She has substantial experience with Mitchell-Lama cooperatives, redevelopment companies, and tenancies protected by New York State Rent Regulation.

View Profile