Letter to my Slumlord

July 26, 2007

Shoenberger & Shoenberger
1665 Lakeside Drive Suite 102
Reno, NV. 89509

Dear Sir or Madam,
I just want to thank you for your letter of June 13th advising me that you care enough to raise my rent.
The first sentence of your letter reads as follows:
“We hope that you are enjoying your new air conditioning unit” and continues with “in our effort to provide a pleasant environment with improvements to the property our costs have increased significantly…” etc. etc. etc. 

Jeepers. To think that my rent will increase based upon an AC unit which is too small to cool the room you installed it in, nevermind the entire apartment .

The mind reels. You are true givers.
After all, it’s a GOLDSTAR! The efficiency rating has to be, what? 1?
On a scale of 50 being the most efficient?

I can’t even turn the thing on without calling the fire department to contain the smoke from the whirring of the electric meter. The aesthetics are fascinating though. The remnant piece of unfinished plywood, randomly splashed with paint blotches of varying color, is an unusual addition. As you have installed this air conditioner in a sliding glass window the 3×4 foot board, with the jagged hole cut out to fit the unit,  makes an interesting statement. Both outside and inside my apartment.
I just have a couple of questions if that’s okay?

First, I’d like to know if this building is scheduled to be painted anytime within the next 10 years? It appears as though it was done 15 years ago and the chipping paint has made the purchase of face masks necessary. Can I deduct these from my rent?

Secondly: The parking lot is kind of frightening. I think that it might have been asphalt at one time but it could have been really filthy black dirt and rocks. Hard to tell. My car has suffered some dings from the debris kicking up and I would like to know if I could deduct the cost of these minor body repairs from my rent.

Third: The yellow jacket problem has become a nightmare. There is still a nest right outside my back door. The little fiends have taken up residence inside the phone box and are wreaking havoc on the back patio.
May I deduct the cost of the can of Raid wasp killer and anaphylactic shock kit from my rent? I’m allergic to wasps.

Speaking of the back patio there is still the matter of there not actually being a back patio.
When I moved in last summer I was advised that the old deck had just been torn out and a new one would be built.
It’s been a year and still no deck. Oddly enough there remain piles of crap left from previous tenants including but not limited to:
one used tire, one dilapidated 15 foot ladder, 3 pieces of a metal bed frame, a huge piece of outdoor carpeting which has been rotting in a pile for more than 6 months, and a proliferation of weeds that could start a brush fire of it’s own volition. I began to refer to the back area as Little Tijuana and by golly the neighbors have all taken up the appellation. You really have to see it to believe it. I was considering selling Chicklets and selling stuffed dead road-kill playing toy plastic instruments back there.

Only on the weekends though.

Let’s not forget the piles of leaves, plastic bags, old copies of the RNR and other junk which blow into the patio and which are never cleaned up or leaf-blown.
I would like to offer my services in the area of this clean-up project. If you would be willing to deduct the rake, hefty bags and labor from my rent.

Now about LittleOleMan. I’m not sure of his name but he seems to be the de facto maintenance man around here. You know the guy I’m talking about? Little? Old? Man?
He is trying to kill my flowers with his weekly fire hose jet spray of water at them.
Now I do realize that your company paid to have these few flowers planted. In fact by the end of last summer mine were the only ones still alive.
May I suggest watering 3 times a week? Without a fire hose?
I’d also be willing to take over this task for a slight reduction in my rent. I’ll even pull the proliferating weeds for no charge!

Well, as you said in your letter, I’d like to thank you for your understanding and I AM proud to be part of your ‘rental family’ as you so kindly refer to us.
Enclosed is my rent check in the amount of $17.89 which should cover my rent minus all of the above mentioned maintenance issues, damage and fire hazards.

Thank you again!

R.C. Black-Raven
xxx La Rue Apt. X
Reno, NV 89509


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