July 23, 2010
Dear Ms. Browning:
Thank you for letting me respond to your letter dated July 21, 2010.
The day I moved in here, June 26, I had my dad's funeral. At the signing of my rental agreement, I was told of a "no animals" policy. I was not given a written copy of the rules until Lori emailed them to me. Had I been told in advance that I cannot have a dog visit my home, I would not have moved in here. There were not any signs posted stating such a policy and I was not told anything in advance of signing and receiving my key, at which point I was committed.
The dog is Chewey, a friendly, trained black lab mix. He only visits with his owner, my guest. Since the dog, Chewey, hasn't been accused of any wrong doing or of living here, I wonder what all the fuss is about. The essence of your communication seems to be that I cannot have a guest who is a dog owner. I have a problem believing you have that much control over what I do in my home. I can understand a leash requirement, or to have to clean up after any mess, which we of course do. To say I cannot have a guest visit my home who owns a dog is difficult to accept. The majority of people in this community are dog owners. I am not a dog owner; however I am friends with dog owners. They don't typically leave their dogs at home and they do not leave them in the car, especially in summer.
I live on the Wells Acres side of the complex. My exterior facing unit makes the front door hidden from view. I believe the information given to you is based on wrong assumptions. The dog is not always present when the guest's truck is here.
The next door neighbors are nice and their children enjoy playing with the Chewey. The other residences of this complex are friendly. However the woman in #39 has shouted and yelled at me and even though I gave her my number to speak with me directly, insists on going behind my back and "turning me in." This seems not only an overreaction, but immature. She admitted to me she yelled at me in anger, assuming I knew the rules, which I did not. She also admitted she yells at other people in the complex. This behavior gives your complex an extremely hostile vibe.
"The Association has the authority to levy fines to Owners and Residents for actual damages." Since the dog in question has not barked, left a mess, been out of control, chased a cat, or damaged anything, I fail to see what "actual damages" can be assessed. There have been no complaints about the dog, excepting the woman who has a personal vendetta against dogs. Her only complaint is that the dog entered my residence.
"Dogs are not allowed to be kept by either Owner of Non-Owner occupied residents."
The definition of keep:
Main Entry: 1keep
Inflected Form(s): kept \ˈkept\; keep·ing
Etymology: Middle English kepen, from Old English cēpan; perhaps akin to Old High German chapfēn to look
Date: before 12th century
: to take notice of by appropriate conduct :
fulfill: as a
: to be faithful to <keep a promise> b
: to act fittingly in relation to <keep the Sabbath> c
: to conform to in habits or conduct <keep late hours> d
: to stay in accord with (a beat) <keep time>
preserve, maintain: as a
: to watch over and defend <keep us from harm> b (1)
: to take care of :
tend <keep a garden> (2)
: to maintain in a good, fitting, or orderly condition —usually used with up
: to continue to maintain <keep watch> d (1)
: to cause to remain in a given place, situation, or condition <keep him waiting> (2)
: to preserve (food) in an unspoiled condition e (1)
: to have or maintain in an established position or relationship <keep a mistress> —often used with on <kept the cook on> (2)
: to lodge or feed for pay <keep boarders> f (1)
: to maintain a record in <keep a diary> (2)
: to enter in a book <keep records> g
: to have customarily in stock for sale
: to restrain from departure or removal :
detain <keep children after school> b
hold back, restrain <keep them from going> <kept him back with difficulty> c
save, reserve <keep some for later> <kept some out for a friend> d
: to refrain from revealing <keep a secret>
So I believe by the definition of your language, I am not keeping a dog here. The only issue the dog raises is that he causes a line of harassment stemming from Unit 39, through the Lori Browning, to me. Ms. Browning supposes to believe one side of the story before my side is even asked. I have not felt the "highest level of harmony" since I moved here. I will be seeking other residence unless these threats on my peaceful enjoyment cease.
The dog does visit, with his owner. The definition of visit:
Main Entry: 1vis·it
Inflected Form(s): vis·it·ed \ˈvi-zə-təd, ˈviz-təd\; vis·it·ing \ˈvi-zə-tiŋ, ˈviz-tiŋ\
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French visiter, from Latin visitare, frequentative of visere to go to see, frequentative of vidēre to see
Date: 13th century
comfort —used of the Deity <visit us with Thy salvation — Charles Wesley> b (1)
afflict <visited his people with distempers — Tobias Smollett> (2)
inflict, impose <visited his wrath upon them> c
avenge <visited the sins of the fathers upon the children> d
: to present itself to or come over momentarily <was visited by a strange notion>
: to go to see in order to comfort or help
: to pay a call on as an act of friendship or courtesy b
: to reside with temporarily as a guest c
: to go to see or stay at (a place) for a particular purpose (as business or sightseeing) d
: to go or come officially to inspect or oversee <a bishop visiting his parishes>intransitive verb
: to make a visit; also
: to make frequent or regular visits
Burning Tree Village has several conflicting signs on the property, with the dog policy only printed 8x11 fliers (2) posted near the mail and laundry. Only one permanent sign has "dogs" noted in the rule list, and it is small writing which is impossible to read while driving by. The signs on the walking paths, which can be read, don't address dogs at all. The big sign in the laundry room says to keep pets outside. The language of your rules is no more clear than the signs. There is no wording specifically restricting dogs from the premises.
I have a right to quiet enjoyment of my rental unit. I feel watched, judged and tattled on, and finally threatened. I am enrolled in full time college and my frazzled state of mind due to this situation is making it difficult for me to study and learn new information. It's distracting to say the least.
Tenant Unit 60
Cc: property manager
Main Entry: ha·rass
Pronunciation: \hə-ˈras; ˈher-əs, ˈha-rəs\
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: French harasser, from Middle French, from harer to set a dog on, from Old French hare, interjection used to incite dogs, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German hier here — more at here
: to annoy persistently (2)
: to create an unpleasant or hostile situation for especially by uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct
: to worry and impede by repeated raids <harassed the enemy>