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Question
Posted by: qwerty | 2013-02-22

Problems with the neighbours

I am so angry right now.

Our cat went missing on Monday, and didn''t come home all night. My husband and I were frantic, patrolling the streets calling for him, went to speak to the guards at the gates, etc. We eventually made up some posters and put them up at the entrance to the estate.

Next day the guards contacted us to say a neighbour has found a cat (presumable ours) trapped in their house. We assume because there was a big storm on Monday he was frightened and ran in there by accident. The guard said that the woman was furious as she is afraid of cats.

We went to speak to them after work, and found the husband there. We apologised profusely, and also took them a generous cash gift as a thank you for finding the cat. (we had offered a reward) We asked if there was any damage, and he said no, and we said if they do find anything that needs to be replaced or cleaned or repaired they must let us know immediately and we''ll sort it out. He said he understood the situation and it was OK.

Now, 3 days later, they''ve laid an official complaint against us with the estate manager because our cat went into their house! And within the estate rules, if your pet is a nuisance to other residents, you can be forced to get rid of it. I am so unhappy!! Our cats are part of our family, I could no less get rid of them than you could ask someone to get rid of their children. I don''t know how to smooth things over with the neighbours now. I''m just so furious that they would accept our gift, and then turn around and lay a complaint against us. I''m assuming there must be some deep-seated superstitious fear of cats with the woman for them to have reacted this strongly, I just don''t know how we deal with it??

Best of all these are neighbours who regularly create a lot of noise disturbance which we''ve been very tolerant of, in the spirit of being " good neighbours" .

I''m at a loss. :(

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Our expert says:
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Such estate rules should be reviewed legally. As I understand it the ordinary law gives an owner much more responsibility for thatever their Dog gets up to, on the assumption that dogs are fairly easily trained to behave well ; and that the ordinary law gives one very little responsibility for anything your cat may do, considering cats untrainable and in essence still wild, so it would be unreasonable for the law to expect a car to avoid inconvenient acts. If the estate folks were foolish enough to accept this ridiculous and cruel complaint and try to act on it, I suggest you get good legal advice and consider a counter-suit.
If this silly woman is so pathologically scared of cats she should have sought and received treatment for this condition, rather than taking it out on your poor frightened cat. Neither you nor your cat should be held responsible if she has an unreasonable superstition.
Maybe even get legal advice to point such things out in responding to the complaint, pointing out that at the time the people made no complaints, accepted a reward and turned down your exceedingly generous offer to pay any costs. And suggest that the extent to which these people cause noise nuisance to others should also be investigated.
as Anon says, one emergency created by a severe storm does NOT add up to the cat constituting a nuisance. And this should NEVER count as "a strike" against you in terms of the estate agreements

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Our users say:
Posted by: Jenna | 2013-02-22

I''ve always wondered why people move into pet friendly complexes when they don''t like / are scared of animals. Makes no sense.

Firstly, I''d email the BC back and tell them that you did go and speak to the neighbor, you apologies, offered to repair any damage by the cat and from what you understand, it was sorted out but thank them for the correspondence (so they don''t think you are being funny in any way).

Then go to your neighbor and just say that you''ve received a notification from the BC, you were under the impression that all was sorted and do they have any issues they''d like to discuss with you?

A nicer way is to actually get their email address and get it all in writing. That way you can think about what you are saying and are less likely to make a blunder.

If you are both owners in the complex you have the right to get their email addy.

Reply to Jenna
Posted by: Tracey | 2013-02-22

Show them all these posts.

And the neighbor sounds " malicious"  you can lay a charge at the police station.

Meow

Reply to Tracey
Posted by: Just Me | 2013-02-22

They can''t do much...I''m in an estate and it takes way more than a single complaint to get things changed... OR where do you stay that you get strikes against your household for misdoings/complaints..huh?
Just ignore them... I have people over the road that often make our estate seem like a cheap block of flats - my hair stands on end, but not much one can do.

Reply to Just Me
Posted by: Kelly | 2013-02-22

At this point why would you care about alienating them... They have already showed their standing so I doubt they would really care.

Reply to Kelly
Posted by: Kelly | 2013-02-22

Ignore them trolls, I''m sure if you explain the whole situation to the board they will totally understand. They would also realise the trolls you have for neighbours are just trying to stir trouble.
If not then tell them you have put measures in place for your cat not to escape and hope the cat dsnt do it again.

Reply to Kelly
Posted by: qwerty | 2013-02-22

At this point we''ve just been " informed"  of the complaint, it doesn''t sound like the estate is taking any action yet. But now we basically have one strike against us already! We did try to explain the situation to the manager, we''ll see what they say.

I''d very much like to discuss this with our neighbours, I just don''t know how to approach it without alienating them even further.

Reply to qwerty
Posted by: Anon | 2013-02-22

It''s very sad indeed that people can''t show each other the same kindness and understanding and to be so jerky about it to accept a gift and then still complain!

Can''t you fight or discuss the complaint with the estate manager? Surely ONE occurance of a scared and confused cat doesn''t qualify a pet as being a nuisance?! Or perhaps head over to your neighbors when you know both are around to discuss what has happenend calmly.

Reply to Anon

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