Sunday, December 1, 1996

Letter to a bad tenant

 Dec. 1, 1996
Justine:        

This is one letter I regret writing, but we’ve several things to clear up before year’s end: you haven’t contacted me, so I’m sending this via your aunt, Mimi Albert, in the hopes that it will find you—since she assured me against my better judgment that you were “a most reliable and capable young woman.” You’d “leave my place cleaner than I left it.” Sadly, you didn’t come through on either account. I’d like to offer you a chance to clear up the matter so we’ll both feel better.

Justine, for you I cleaned my house, put on fresh sheets, took care of all details to ensure a smooth and pleasant stay—though I didn’t have much time to prepare for your unexpected stay. In return, you were to complete some small tasks which I documented for you: when the MBNA Visa bill arrived mid-June, you were to enclose my check for $165.47 and mail the bill (I even left stamps). You also were to pick up the mail and to water the plants. You did none of the tasks I asked you to do.

I even sent you a reminder card about the Visa bill in June. When I called you in July, you still hadn’t mailed my Visa bill. I asked you to do it ASAP. Then you asked me if you could stay at my cabin through August. I agreed, and said you were welcome to stay on through Labor Day weekend provided you pay me an additional $200 for rent. You assured me you’d do so. I even gave you an option to pay my bills which were Viacom—$25, the now outstanding Visa bill, and your phone bill ($7.75). And I said you could pay me the balance due in Sept. A pretty generous deal.

I arrived home on Sept. 13 to a dirty house and shower, filthy (new) sheets—stained with candle wax, oil and random bleach stains. (The sheets were new, used only a few times.) And you never watered my plants—at least $100 worth of plants that I bought in May, died. Both my next door neighbors Steve, and George, tried to keep my plants alive when they realized they were dying.

The thing is, most of this mishap might have been avoided if you’d only talked to them—as I was writing to them too about the plants & Visa bill. I gave you a very simple responsibility that George, Steve, Laurie (the landlady) would’ve gladly done for me. And through your negligence, you very nearly ruined my credit rating, and it cost me some begging & apologies to MBNA + $41.09 in late charges alone.

To add insult to injury, your one rent check for $200 bounced when I tried to cash it on Sept. 23rd, and you also neglected to leave me a second rent check for $200. I know that you were at my house until at least Aug. 17, because between Aug. 13 thorugh 17 you made 6 long-distance calls on MY phone. I was willing to throw in the last three weeks rent (Aug. 13 Sept 5) free. Instead, you cost me money and effort I would’ve preferred to invest elsewhere.

AS OF DEC 1, 1996, JUSTINE OHTA OWES MAUREEN HURLEY:

RENT: June 13 to July 13 $200

RENT: July 13 to Aug 17 $200

*Bounced check fee $3.

*Long distance phone bill $7.75

*Late fees on MBNA Visa $41.09

TOTAL: $451.84

I would like immediate reimbursement for last three items ($51.84) as they were unexpected out-of-pocket fees. Though I would prefer the $400 at the same time, I realize it might create a hardship for you as you’re going to school. Understand, I’m earning very little money at present, so this represents a large chunk of income denied to me, but I’m willing to work out a payment schedule on the $400 in rent you owe me: say, $100 a month beginning Jan. 1, 1997, ending April 1, 1997. I hope we can resolve this matter in a satisfactory manner as I accepted you in good faith and expect to be treated with equal respect.

P.S. You also left a blue scarf and shampoo items in the shower. Please pick them up or leave instructions before Jan. 1, as I’ll toss them out after that date.

No answer was the loud reply.

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