I need NS lawyer legal advice.
I'm thinking of filing suit against my homeowners association for promissory estoppel. I know the elements of this doctrine, but I want J.D's advice (or anyone else's that knows) on whether or not I have a solid case for this or not.
Small background: bought a condo in 2008. moved in. read the house rules which state that "cats need to be contained to the unit"-- but the house rules also state that "enforcement will be based on the effect the pets have on the community," and that the board can require some animals to stay off the premises while allowing others to remain. I adopted two cats and was told based on the fact that I said they were well behaved and that I would be home when doing so, that I could let them outside. I did. Since then--several issues have come up with other pets around the complex (a dog crapping in the courtyard, dog barking, and another cat going to the bathroom in someone's garden)-- I am on the HOA board and during the discussions regarding all of these complaints I brought up the facts that my pets are well behaved and in all situations the board agreed and they were allowed to maintain their outside privileges. These other cases were also given several warnings without official action taken toward them.
Over this time (5 years) we've had two cats pass, and have adopted 3-- so we have a total of three cats. We would not have acquired additional animals if we weren't relying on the ability to let them outside.
So out of the blue, with no warnings or attempt to rectify any problems I received a letter from the new property manager that just says "I received three complaints this weekend about your cats, they can never leave your unit again." If I knew what the complaints were (crapping outside, out too late, chasing birds, wandering, etc.) I could take measures to mitigate the complaints. However, he wont tell me what the complaints were, and will not allow me an opportunity to compromise or solve whatever problem there apparently is.
So here's my promissory estoppel case: 1.) I made an agreement with the board, although not officially-- so a quasi-contract I guess-- that my cats could go outside under my general supervision. The board had the initial right to say no, but did not exercise this right, and in several documented (email/video) conversations okay'd my pets to go outside. 2.) I relied on this agreement, or "promise" and have since acquired additional cats. The board could have reasonably anticipated that I would rely on it, as before I acquired additional pets I stated that keeping cats inside my small unit would be cruel in the summer heat. 3.) Without the ability to let me cats outside in any way, I need to relocate from the condo that is my home that I own. I don't have the financial means to do this, nor do I want to leave my home, and I'm not even sure that relocating for us is a feasible option (with our pets and our current finances). 4.) The only way to prevent this injustice is to allow our cats to go outside--even if it needs to be under a wireless electric containment system that keeps them within our general area.