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Her neighbor feeds the birds, this tenant from Caen is desperate

On a daily basis, Jeannine spends her time washing the droppings of birds fed by her neighbor, near Avenue de Courseulles in Caen (Calvados). ©Christophe Jacquet

This resident of Caen (Calvados) can’t take it anymore. It’s been at least 4 years since she got out of a neighborhood dispute. “I’m always with my water jet, all the time cleaning,” she complains.

We see it in her outfit, her hairstyle, at 72, Jeannine always takes care of her appearance. It is the same for his house and his garden. But, since 2018 and the arrival of a new neighbor, it is much more difficult.

The tenant of this pretty 1950s pavilion, behind the University of Caen, near the Avenue de Courseulles, spends her time washing away bird droppings its gate, garden tables, its slatted terrace or the mosquito net at the bedroom window.

“I take it all”

At the back or the front of the house on one level, the birds do not populate its vast garden too much. They prefer that of its neighbor. So it’s been 4 years since she “started to feed them every day”, remarks Jeannine.

With a peak of overflight and landing on Friday, when “she brings bags of bread from her mother’s”. According to her, “there is everything: lots of pigeons, crows, magpies, gulls”. Several photos attest to this. On one of them, the pigeons are massed on the roof next door. Jeannine quips:

They are waiting for four o’clock.

The well-dressed, soft-spoken lady doesn’t like to make waves. She doesn’t want to “be a hassle”, nor complain repeatedly, “but it’s me closest, it’s me who takes everything”, she laments, visibly at the end of her tether.

And complaints, appeals. In this small street which turns on itself, Jeannine like her neighbor are tenants of Caen la mer Habitat, in houses belonging to the City of Caen.

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At 1er April, “she has been living there for 25 years. She knows her home is threatened. “We were assured that we could stay there until our death,” she recalls, shrugging her shoulders. But after the pavilions will be “shot down”, and other housing, cubic, larger but with less green spaces, will be built. As in other districts of Caen, for example on the boulevard de Rethel. Near Jeannine’s, two pavilions have already “gone”.

If she suffers the situation with her neighbor, she does not let it go, and multiplies the emails to different services of Caen la mer Habitat. “Nothing to do,” she says. According to his interlocutors at the management, “the droppings should not be cleaned, they should be left as observations, and photos constantly taken”. There, Jeannine protests:

I’m not going to live in droppings. I want to try to make him understand, it has to stop.

“Without direct proof”, no recourse

Faced with this neighborhood problem, Caen la mer Habitat seems helpless. “We have indeed received requests from [la locataire] concerning this problem, and we intervened with her neighbour”, replies the social landlord. “Unfortunately, it’s about pavilions and inconvenience in the garden of [Jeannine] cannot be directly attributable to its neighbour. ” Why ? For lack of “proof”, he still advances.

The responsible neighbors charter, which Caen la mer Habitat has its tenants countersign, is however clear on this subject. In the paragraph reserved for animals, we find this commandment:

I do not feed wild or stray animals in accordance with article 120 of the Departmental Health Regulations.

And Jeannine adds: “With the rent receipt, we are sent a booklet, where it is said that feeding the birds is a bad idea. »

Jeannine’s neighbor ignores it. What penalties does she face? So far, not much. Caen la mer Habitat confirms: “We have no means of initiating litigation without direct proof, and as a lessor we cannot issue a ‘fine’. »

Until the mayor of Caen

In the meantime, Jeannine must live among the droppings. And the hostility of its neighbour. “When I told her about it, she was aggressive, she told me that I didn’t like animals,” she recalls. Before moping:

What a pretext… While I cried for six months when my Briard died.

In desperation, the former City employee, who retired in 2013, went up to the mayor of Caen, Joël Bruneau.

By mail, he certified to him, at the beginning of December, that he alerted Valérie Mespoulhès, the general manager of Caen la mer Habitat, of his situation. Since then, nothing has changed, Jeannine still grabs her water jet.

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