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Neighbour problem

(125 Posts)
Jane10 Sun 12-Jul-20 09:30:10

We live in a block of flats. Most are owner occupied but there are a few long term tenants. We all get on well and there has been lots of friendly interaction especially over the lockdown. However, an invitation has been circulated inviting people to a summer party to which people are asked to contribute financially. This is an annual event organised, we and others had thought, by the residents committee but it turns out that it isn't-the organiser gives the impression that it is. The problem for us is that only owners of flats have been invited. The tenants are excluded from this event which is held in the communal areas and the garden. To access their homes they will have to walk through the party. We have asked that the tenants be invited but have been given a flat no by the organiser. It seems so unfair and so divisive. When we asked why they can't come we were given various unconvincing excuses and we can only conclude that this person objects to tenants on principle as they are perfectly nice, friendly people.
Are we wrong to try to rock the boat on this subject? As it stands we won't be going to this party. Any suggestions as to courses of action?

flopen Sun 12-Jul-20 09:41:47

what a horrible thing to do by the organisers.
I would ask the residents committee why (and if) they have given permission for this.
And I wouldn't go to the party.

Lucca Sun 12-Jul-20 09:43:02

A big party ? At this time ? To be avoided I’d say

Alishka Sun 12-Jul-20 09:49:26

That's dreadful! Contact the Chair of the Residents Committee asap and ask them to come down hard on the organiser?
The tenants will be paying their share of the upkeep of the building and grounds via their rent,btw. and that's a point that needs to be hammered home.
Rock the boat? I'd sink the bugger - and all who sail in her, well, rather, the one at the helm.
Certainly you must boycott the party as it stands.
Let us know how it goes,won't you?

Elegran Sun 12-Jul-20 09:50:41

A dificult one, and potentially divisive. What on earth can the organiser be holding against perfectly nice tenants? Including them in the summer party would cement them as "us" rather than "them" and strengthen their sense of belonging, which can only be good news for the block. Excluding them sows the seeds of future conflict - no-one wants to be a second-class citizen. Very short-sighted and, dare I say it, snobbish.

Have they asked the permission of the tenants to hold this party in the shared grounds? All the inhabitants presumably have a say on this. If I were a tenant and an owner (presumably) wanted to hold a block party to which all other owners were invited, but not me and the other tenants I think I would be tempted to block it, on principle, whether I wanted to go to it or not.

I can't think of any way you or other owners can oppose this peacefully, other than by stating very clearly that you do not approve of this discrimination, and do not plan to go.

Elegran Sun 12-Jul-20 09:52:41

Of course, it may be someone in the Residents Committee who is organising it and excluding the tenants.

Jane10 Sun 12-Jul-20 09:58:42

The organiser is on the residents committee which is why people think it's official. The chairman has just stated that it's not official but doesn't want to get involved. It's silly nasty playground stuff. We're definitely not going and will tell anyone who asks why not. I just wondered if there's more we could do to offer the hand of friendship to the tenants.

Lexisgranny Sun 12-Jul-20 10:11:03

This does seem very divisive. Have you solicited the views of any other owner occupiers? It may well be that others feel similarly. From what you say, it sounds like a unilateral decision taken by a person with his/her own agenda, which may not reflect the views of the majority. If you are being asked to contribute financially it seems odd that the guest list is determined by one person. Does the residents committee normally include Tenants? What has happened in previous years? I think you are quite right in declining to join in. You may well find that others are feeling the same, particularly at a time when inclusivity is so much to the fore. No one should be made to feel excluded, particularly on the whim of one person who appears to be organising his/her private party at the expense of others

ExD Sun 12-Jul-20 10:13:17

Just tell them how you feel when you meet. In fact tell everyone how you feel, it's blatant snobbery and it's everywhere.
Having said that, on VE Day when things were much stricter, the residents of the council houses along the road were very reluctant to join in the garden-gate party we had to celebrate, when I urged them to join in someone actually said words to the effect of "we don't want to join in with you toffs" and actually I was quite hurt and offended.
A kind of reverse snobbery I suppose.
All we did was to decorate our houses and take a drink to our gates and wave to wave to each other.
One person played We'll Meet Again" on a mouth organ which was nice.

ExD Sun 12-Jul-20 10:14:37

I should have added, there's nothing you can do really. It sounds like the party is organised by one person who just doesn't want the tenants to mix.
Not nice.

flopen Sun 12-Jul-20 10:18:49

Whatever happens, there must be a regular meeting of the residents committee. This should be raised at the meeting. It's irrelevant that the chair doesn't want to get involved.

loopyloo Sun 12-Jul-20 10:19:47

Organise another party just for the tenants?

Elegran Sun 12-Jul-20 10:41:29

Better still, organise another a few weeks later, mainly for the tenants but invite owners to, including the original organiser and make it as good as the usual ones. That is inclusive, not a repeat of the exclusivity. It points up the unfairness while giving you the moral high gro

If the organiser of the first one is offended and refuses to come - well, that is their loss.

And the Chair needs to be reminded that they are answerable to ALL the residents, not just those and such of those.

Elegran Sun 12-Jul-20 10:42:42

Gro = ground, and there is a "to" which should be a "too".

Grammaretto Sun 12-Jul-20 10:47:15

It actually sounds like a private party where someone (the organiser) has felt obliged to extend the invitation to everyone she knows, who will still be around when its over so could complain if they had been left out. Are any tenants in the residents' association?

Very uncomfortable situation. I hope it gets resolved.
I thought we could only have 8 people at a party. Or is that indoors? There were 9 of us yesterday and we did turn someone away! She came to deliver a card to DH and hadn't realised we were having a party. Normally we'd have invited her to join in but because DH is shielded, we can't.

Jane10 Sun 12-Jul-20 11:54:55

This event is not until the middle of August. Unfortunately, the committee is supporting the organiser. It will go ahead in its divisive format.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 12-Jul-20 12:06:16

Wait a couple of months and organise a party only for tenants!

BlueBelle Sun 12-Jul-20 12:14:41

Have a party for the tenants, and if you feel benevolent invite the ‘others’ , that’s what I would do do it before theirs

Nasty divisive behaviour really mean

flopen Sun 12-Jul-20 12:39:56

I think that organising a party for tenants in response is pretty passive aggressive. It doesn't solve anything and creates even more of a them and us vibe.
Unfortunately, the only answer is for get together with those who agree with you and attend the next meeting of the residents association, and register your objection. In the end, and I know this sounds extreme, become part of the committee to combat this.

eazybee Sun 12-Jul-20 13:40:42

It is the responsibility of the Chairman of the Residents Association, who doesn't want to get involved, to sort this out,
It seems deliberately unpleasant and divisive, and if it was me I would put my concerns in writing, ask for the reasons, and ask for a meeting. Presumably anyone living in the flats is deemed a resident? I would not have thought it possible to exclude tenants from the communal area, particularly as it is their means of access, and must be covered in their rental agreement.
Is this party an annual event or is it something just dreamed up by the 'organiser'. Are you new to this block of flats?
It all sounds most extraordinary.

Oopsminty Sun 12-Jul-20 13:43:33

I'd not go

ExD Sun 12-Jul-20 15:22:41

I'm not clear as to WHO is organising this event? is it one person, who just happens to be on the Residents Committee, or the whole committee?
If its one person (or family) then I suppose it could be considered to be a private party and they can ask who they want. Have they invited people by word of mouth or sent round individual invitations or just put notices up?
If its just notices - how have they spelled out the fact that tenants are not invited, how is it worded?
If the invitation is a poster for all 'residents' that includes everyone who resides or lives there, whether they own or rent their flat and the tenants are being a bit super sensitive over the wording if they think this excludes them.
If its specified that people who rent their flats are excluded that's discrimination.
If you were invited face to face by word of mouth, - how was it explained to you that some people weren't invited?
If they'd put some kind of poster to advertise a party for all residents except people of colour you could have them on race discrimination grounds, so surely its some kind of discrimination to ask all residents except tenants?
It sounds a bit dodgy - surly someone on here has the legal knowledge to check this.
I'm not sure that alternative parties is a good road to go down, it could make real trouble if someone turned nasty
in the future and you could find yourselves ostracised.

ExD Sun 12-Jul-20 15:27:58

surely NOT surly(!)

AGAA4 Sun 12-Jul-20 15:55:23

If this had happened in the flats I live in I would have been in touch with the other owners to see how they feel. They may feel the same as you and won't go.

This would make the the tenants feel less left out and send a strong message to the organiser that you aren't happy with exclusions.

Jane10 Sun 12-Jul-20 16:01:02

My DH is on the committee. It is apparently nothing to do with the committee, yet the party was always thought to be officially organised. We've lived here for 8 years now.
The other residents don't know that tenants aren't invited. I suppose they just think, as we used to, that the various tenants couldn't come due to holidays or for other reasons.
We can't force a change and we certainly won't attend this event and will make sure that other nieghbours know why not. We might invite the tenants to our flat that evening for a small party. It's awful though. I'd never thought of them as other than just friends and nieghbours not tenants and proprietors.