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Added Nov 20 2014

My husband & I own a condo in a courtyard building & have a large garden patio we frequently use. Our complex is mostly owner-occupied, but there is 1 rental in our building & an agent getting ready to show the unit threatened to call the cops on me today.

Could someone really report me to the police for setting out a tiny birdbath & a small handful of nuts & seeds on my patio while I am sitting outside watching the wildlife with my pets? I completely understand that just tossing out scraps attracts pests, but the food & water is only set out for as long as I am out there & then I promptly clean up any leftovers. This is also done on my very own property & there are no rules against it in my association by-laws, nor have any neighbors complained.

If this is truly against the law, I guess I'll stop, but I just don't know the extent to which this is an issue. I've been doing this for months & didn't think anything of it. There's a tree right outside our kitchen window that the sparrows & squirrels always hang out in & my pets really enjoy watching them, so I figured offering them a little treat while we're outside would be OK as long as I wasn't making a mess.

  • No, bird feeders are not illegal. I have 4 of them in my yard, and two birdbaths. I'd call the agency and complain about the rental agent.

  • DaveP been around

    I would have laughed at him. I would have than contacted the current owner of the rental property, and complained about their agent.

  • Seems like that'd be a code enforcement thing, not a police matter. In situations like this I've found that its generally best to call the bluff and say "fine, call the cops." I'd second calling the agency to complain about the agent, I'd also complain to your condo board as theres a decent chance your bylaws have a means of punishing the unit owner for the behavior of their agents.

  • slk long-time rogers parker

    Unless it is in some bylaws of the condominium association, no. File a complaint with the realty agency and the sellers. That is ridiculous.

  • I totally agree with calling their bluff. I would love to hear what that 911 or 311 operator would say to that person.

  • jenna! love is the law

    Emily, that agent could have been having a rotten day/life. I'd just write him/her off as a negative person and forget about it. Btw, if you have any friends looking to rent an apartment, get them to move in there!

  • slk long-time rogers parker

    Hmmm. A rental agent comes on to property that you own and tries to tell you what you can and can't do and then threatens to call the police on you. I don't think any type of day justifies that kind of unprofessional and rude behavior.

  • Check your condo bylaws. I know that we have a rule in ours that says no bird feeders or birdbath. To discourage rodent issues. If your association has a similar rule, could be fined by association, if the complainer follows reporting rules, but not ticketed by police.

  • eagledrc Farwell and Ashland

    Even if it is against the association, calling the cops wouldn't be the right solution. It's none of their business as long as it's legal.

  • Helen NoH North of Howard for 55 + years

    Hey folks, Emily said in her original post that "This is also done on my very own property & there are no rules against it in my association by-laws, nor have any neighbors complained." See, she already checked the By-laws.

    Emily, thank you for feeding the wildlife.

  • Leelee Dog lady, cat lady, juicer extraordinaire

    I second (or fourth or fifth!) calling the cops. "Please do, you are trespassing on my property."

  • Leelee Dog lady, cat lady, juicer extraordinaire

    i mean i second calling the bluff... and about the cops, "please do etc"
    sheesh. sorry .. slurping down more coffee....

  • The first time, I'd say the correct response is "Go *u** yourself".
    The second time, "Do you know the legal penalties for filing a false police report?"

  • EPD Rather than love...money...fame, give me truth.

    Thanks, everyone. I double-checked the association by-laws & talked to a few of my neighbors to confirm this will not be an issue. I just didn't know if it was specifically against the law to feed/water wildlife in Chicago.

    The agent even went so far as to take pictures, so that's what got me worried. I'm due with our first baby next month & the thought of having to deal with some silly citation is the last thing I want to be worrying about!

    A few other residents expressed concerns over the antics of this particular agency, so we're all gonna file a complaint. I guess one agent was harassing another neighbor for refusing to buzz in potential clients when the agent has been running late. There's also been concerns about another agent excessively peering into other units & encouraging potential clients to do the same. I think there's just a high level of unprofessionalism with these people.

    I really appreciate the peace of mind! My pets & I will go back to our usual routine of enjoying our patio & treating our little wildlife friends : )

  • I live in a 20-unit condo. I'd suggest having the board and/or your property manager contact both the rental agency and the owner of the unit, in writing. Our building had a problem with owners blindly buzzing in anyone who rang a bell, without checking to see who it was. It took a mom coming home with her toddler, and interrupting a burglar in her unit, to make everyone realize how dangerous that can be. That, and the 'peeping Tom' behavior, are inappropriate and unprofessional, IMHO. (Our board has since included the not-buzzing-in-random-people thing in our rules & regulations.)

  • Also, as an aside, you don't know that this agent has a right to be on the property. I would think that you'd be well within your rights to ask the agent for a copy of their agency agreement with the unit owner or something else to prove they have a right to be on the property. If they couldn't produce something in writing from the owner you'd be well within your rights to ask them (and their client) to leave the property. If they refused that could be seen as trespassing, and in that case its best to let the police sort the whole thing out.

  • Julia Z-N Andersonville Dog Mama

    Definitely report her to the owner of the unit and her boss at the rental agency. You are an owner and shouldn't have to take that BS from anyone. If she was just a local loony on the street I'd blow it off,but this is business and people in real estate need to be business people. Earning your commission is a process that involves courtesy.

  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff because it contains inappropriate content.
  • john early ave resident for 10+ years

    Hi - I believe that although the bird feeder is not an issue, placing food on the ground may be since it can attract rats and other rodents. If I get a chance I will see if I can find the ordinance.

  • Reid Hyams X-Art Entertainment / Commercial Affiliated

    You can call the agent's managing broker at the real estate company to complain about his actions. The managing broker is the person who actually has the authority to tell him to back off.

  • I'm an agent and would never have even thought to speak to you that way!

  • Reid Hyams X-Art Entertainment / Commercial Affiliated

    I'm also a real estate agent and totally agree with Laura, which is why I told you to contact the agents managing broker.

  • As a longtime agent I am often amazed by the actions of some agents (a very small percentage) who think a license gives them a right to be demanding and invasive. Absolutely be firm on reporting this person immediately to those people and agency who have already been mentioned. I am sad to think a member of my profession was so blatantly obnoxious and unprofessional. I truly hope you get some satisfactory response to your complaint.

  • Rus

    When a guy like this wants to play hard ball with me (for no reason), I think of my potential response and repercussions.
    1) Do nothing and “hope” he calms down.
    2) Get his name (a good agent will already have given you his card by then). Even if you don’t have his name, ask to see his wallet card (a copy of his Real Estate license that he is required, by law, to carry while engaging in licensed activity). If he shows it to you, he’ll probably calm down real fast. If he doesn’t have one on his person, not in the office or in some file (that’s why they call it a wallet card), or refuses to show it to you, notify the Department of Professional Regulation (the department that is charged with policing Real Estate and other licensees), let them deal win this guy.
    Regarding complaining to the guy’s manager, don’t waste your time, professional regulation will do that for you, that’s what they do.

  • Reid Hyams X-Art Entertainment / Commercial Affiliated

    I think doing both is appropriate, complaining to his managing broker (you need an immediate cease & desist) and the IDPFR. Yes, ask for his agent pocket card as well.

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Posted to Rogers Park

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