Ms. Demeanor's Vertical Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: Management removed our roof deck furniture after it was damaged. I know the dog that caused it. Should I say anything?

By Dianne Ackerman  | February 14, 2020 - 12:00PM

You cannot be the only person who is upset about the lack of furniture on the deck.


I saw my neighbor’s dog destroy some furniture on our roof deck. Afterwards, our management company removed all of the furniture. I want the chairs back, but if I tell management who is responsible for the damage, my neighbor will know it was me, because I was the only one who witnessed it. What should I do? Signed, Just Want a Place to Sit

Dear Place to Sit,

What good is a roof deck without chairs? This is clearly a case of throwing out the baby with the bath water. Of course you should tell—and ask for the furniture to be put back where it clearly belongs.

When you lodge a complaint with management it should be confidential. But, if you are still concerned that your neighbor will deduce it was you who ratted on their dog, organize a posse. You cannot be the only person who is upset about the lack of furniture on the deck. So, get together and ask that it be returned. If management tells you why they removed it, one of you can say that the reason is not as important. It’s more imperative to accommodate shareholders than to punish them.

You could also explain to management what occurred and suggest that, perhaps, dogs be kept off the roof. If there are cameras on the roof, you will have undeniable proof that it was one dog and, hopefully, one incident that will probably never be repeated.

Not being a dog person, I am still aware of how people feel about their dogs. Some like them better than they like their own children. However, every dog owner has an obligation to curtail their dog’s activities so that they do not interfere with the health, wellbeing, and comfort of everyone else.

Signed, Ms. Demeanor

Dianne Ackerman is the new voice of reason behind Ms. Demeanor. She has lived in her Upper East Side co-op for the past 20 years and is the vice president of her co-op board. She is filled with opinions that she gladly shares with all who ask—and some who do not. Have something that needs sorting out? Drop her an email.


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