Sunday, April 26, 2015

Horrible neighbors or Horrible me - Part III

For most of twelve years, I lived in the second house on the far left.  During the last three of those years, I have often asked myself if the cause that I have been standing my ground for was worth standing for. The answer does not come easy for me because as with every cause of confrontation, there are always at least two sides of the story.

Some of the neighbors had initiated a door to door campaign to sell the community on the need to replace all of our roofs. They insisted that all of the roofs were dangerous because they had been constructed improperly. What they did not say was that the roofs were of two different design structures. The first design is that of clay tiles hanging at almost 90 degrees, and second (the design of my house) is that of clay tiles sitting at around 30 degrees.

Over the course of about three years, I would sometimes hear the same few neighbors say that the roofs are dangerous, and I often wondered to myself, if they really considered their roofs to be so dangerous, why wouldn't they just go ahead and fix them themselves. If I thought that my roof was in any way risky, especially with the Typhoons and hundreds of earthquakes that Taiwan experiences every year, I would certainly have had someone replace our roof a long time ago. 

In reality, as the neighbor (Homer) who resides next to me finally admitted to my face, only about 11 of the roofs, the 90 degree ones were at risk and needed to be replaced. So, instead of simply replacing or fixing the eleven ninety-degree roofs, a few in the community pushed and pushed until everyone (except for me and my partner) agreed to replace their roofs. 

The real reason (I would say) that a handful of residents were so insistent on having the entire community replace their roofs was solely for the purpose of a few a few in the community getting a cheaper price for the work done on their roofs. These few neighbors swore that the roofs were so dangerous; yet they still waited almost 3 years to actually do anything about it. What were they waiting for? They were waiting for someone else to pay to replace their roofs. They were waiting for a judgment in the lawsuit against the company that built the townhouses. Eventually, a judgment did come down from the city courthouse, but it was not in favor of those who sued the building company. What the legal judgment said was basically what I have been saying all along.

For me, the refusal to comply to the demands of the few bullies has been from a simple question within and as me; why should I spend three months of my salary to replace a perfectly functional roof? It simply does not make sense to me.

My partner on the other hand has always simply insisted that, in considering changing the roofs, all are required to abide by the local building laws. My partner who's an accountant is quite strict when it comes to complying with the laws, and from a legal standpoint, she is certain that the community has not abided by the local building laws, nor have they abided by our community residential contract. 

To be continued!

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