Problem with pigeons

I live in a sectional title townhouse complex. My neighbour feeds birds once a day that attracts pigeons that roost in our eaves and mess all over our roof.  Is this a problem I must tackle with my neighbour or can I call upon the body corporate to sort it out?

Roy Bregman responds

Whilst we sympathise with your dilemma, regrettably the body corporate will not become involved in what is essentially a dispute between neighbours.  The responsibility for pest control of any form on common property is borne by the body corporate.  However, it is the responsibility of a section owner to keep his or her section free of pests, including pigeons.

We recommend that you call upon the trustees of your body corporate to circulate a letter to all section owners requesting their cooperation in not feeding birds.  Furthermore, as a general measure, they should take the precaution of screening all down pipes of every section with mesh to prevent roosting and nesting there. In addition, they should see to it that when the staff cleans the outside windows once a month they will also do their best to remove the mess caused by the pigeons.

We suspect that your neighbour will ignore any letter sent by the trustees. If he does so, we can only suggest that you write to him and point out that pigeons are objectionable as they harbour diseases communicable to man, and their nesting and roosting areas are dirty. You should place him on terms by indicating that his action in feeding the birds is interfering with your enjoyment of your property and he must therefore stop acting in that manner. Point out that his actions have created a nuisance that is substantial and continuous and that if he fails to desist, you will have no choice but to instruct your attorneys to apply to court for an interdict, at his expense.

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