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7 Bumps

Please help me revise this formal complaint

I know I've complained before about my "new" neighbors and their heavy use of marijuana. Well today it's gotten even worse. They're smoking so heavily in THEIR apartment that it has now permeated MY apartment and I've had a sore throat all day. I called the police to get some guidance on how to proceed because the managers are idiots and wouldn't answer my question a month ago.

Here's my letter, with a few edits to keep personal information private:

(formatted to the right alignment) February 24, 2013

Dear Management of [Name of] Apartments,

I am writing to you today to formally complain about the profligate use of marijuana by the occupants of apartment [apartment number] since they assumed occupancy of said apartment. The smell of something dying in the hallway multiple times a week makes me sick to my stomach, and is now affecting my health. As of today, Sunday, February 24, 2013, the smell from their smoking is invading my dwelling.

According to the information on your own website, smoking in the apartments is not permitted. (screenshot taken and will be included with this letter) While it does not concern me what one does behind their own closed doors, is does concern me when those actions begin to affect me and my family. This heavy use of marijuana is now affecting me and my family behind my closed doors.

Before writing this letter I spoke to an officer of the [city I live in] Police Department and was advised by them to treat any and all marijuana use the same as if it were cigarettes. Therefore, I am choosing to write you this letter of complaint.

I would like a written response with a plan of action for what you plan to do about this violation of policy within 30 days of the date above.

Thank you for your time,




[my name]
[my apartment number]
[my phone number]
[my email]

What should be added/edited to make this as effective as I can make it?

 
Rosehawk

Asked by Rosehawk at 4:13 PM on Feb. 24, 2013 in Home & Garden

Level 40 (116,044 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • I think it looks pretty good... maybe CC a copy to the Board of Health??
    Crafty26

    Answer by Crafty26 at 4:22 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • First, don't use big words if he's an idiot. He won't understand them plus profligate isn't the word you want to use here. Keep it simple. Use something like "constant". He'll understand that. Next, get rid of the dying in the hallway sentence. It breaks up the thought and makes a reader ask "huh"? Get rid of the sentence about not caring what they do inside their apt because you are telling him you DO care what they do inside their apt, if it affects you. I'd also nix the sentence about the Police. You need the threat of calling the police and getting them involved as a future threat. Don't play that card now especially since they will do nothing. I'd reduce the contact back time to 7 working days after receipt of (certified mail) notice. If after that time there is no response I'd send another giving 7 days or threaten to sue the apartments claiming they are liable but hold on to that...it may not be necessary.
    admckenzie

    Answer by admckenzie at 4:23 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • I would be talking with a landlord/tenant attorney. SInce smoking in the apartments is not legal, your neighbors are violating their rental agreement. Are the managers also the owners? If not, then you need to go up a level to the ownership of the building. You may likely find you have new neighbors and new managers as a result.

    Focus on the SMOKING itself, not on the substance. The SMOKING is the violation.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 7:49 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • First, don't use big words if he's an idiot. He won't understand them plus profligate isn't the word you want to use here. Keep it simple. Use something like "constant". He'll understand that. Next, get rid of the dying in the hallway sentence. It breaks up the thought and makes a reader ask "huh"? Get rid of the sentence about not caring what they do inside their apt because you are telling him you DO care what they do inside their apt, if it affects you. I'd also nix the sentence about the Police. You need the threat of calling the police and getting them involved as a future threat. Don't play that card now especially since they will do nothing.


    I agree but keep the police info.
    3libras

    Answer by 3libras at 4:40 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • While it does not concern me what one does behind their own closed doors, is does concern me when those actions begin to affect me and my family.

    Consider changing to: While it does not concern me what *people do* behind their own closed doors, *it* does concern me when those actions begin to affect me and my family.

    I would like a written response with a plan of action for what you plan to do about this violation of policy within 30 days of the date above.

    Consider changing to: *Please provide* (sounds less like a request) a written statement outlining what you plan to do about this violation of policy no later than March 24, 2013.

    I'd leave in the police info. Good luck!
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 5:25 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • I have no real suggestions other than those already offered for the complaint. I do, however, have one further suggestion if they don't do anything to resolve it. Talk to a lawyer. If there is a written policy that there is no smoking in the apartments, and they don't do anything to enforce that policy, I would think that could be grounds for you to terminate your lease without penalty.

    If they don't do anything, obviously you wouldn't want to stay there under the circumstances. So I'd talk with a lawyer now, and get it lined up if you are allowed to terminate the lease because of this, that way if they don't do anything - you can act immediately (or as immediately as possible, depending on your financial situation), and you'll already have what you need to show them that you can terminate the lease.
    wendythewriter

    Answer by wendythewriter at 5:07 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • I don't agree with being polite in the request for a letter. If she says please they will think that it is optional. I would consider replacing profligate with "excessive" only because I am well read and have a large vocabulary and had to look that one up and by making the letter hard to read you are decreasing the changes that they will read it and comply with your response.
    amandajoy21

    Answer by amandajoy21 at 6:07 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • I have a better idea, slip the note under the neighbor's door as well, I mean how much pot can a person smoke?
    jerseydiva

    Answer by jerseydiva at 4:28 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • Hugs. :-) Sorry, I did post and recant. I hate not being able to edit.
    I did not realize that you were in a state that has legalized it. This changed my opinion on how to handle it. I am busy with grandbaby this weekend so I have not had time to change my response until now.
    Getting legal advice would be my 1st option if I were in this situation. If your landlord gets a letter from an attorney he might start to take it seriously. It sounds like your landlord is not concerned. Who knows, he might be one who tokes as well.
    Sometimes the fight is not worth it. If you have ample lodging around, I would check into something better for yourselves.
    LeJane

    Answer by LeJane at 9:43 PM on Feb. 24, 2013

  • admckenzie, I'm not writing this to the jerk in the apartment next to me, I'm writing this the the Apartment Managers. I've seen the guy that lives there, he's NEVER in a position to be coherent. I'm not even bothering with that.

    I've talked to the managers already about their use and they're claiming they don't know WHAT they can do because marijuana use is now legal.

    About a year ago we were helping a friend move out of here and wanted the chain across an alternate exit dropped so we would have an easier time getting the 20 foot trailer in to load it up. The managers said they couldn't do anything because the cops had told them that the chain had to be up 100% of the time due to the school next door. Went to the cops and they looked at me like I was crazy. Went to the city and they said it was private property, the managers had to make the decision.

    They're THAT annoying.
    Rosehawk

    Comment by Rosehawk (original poster) at 4:34 PM on Feb. 24, 2013