Disarming Jack & Jill


This is a real letter to a real tenant. Their names are not really Jack and Jill, however. Softening a tenant’s unhappy disposition and bringing them back is a time-honed skill.

Hi Jill.

You may think I am a bad person, without compassion and understanding. One tenant told me that I disgusted him. Another turned me in to Fair Housing because I only gave her a little over ½ of her security deposit. Fair Housing delved into my files, books, policies and procedures, called past tenants and owners, had us complete form after form, submit document upon document for more than a year. Finally, the case worker said ‘No Cause.’ I have done this for years and have never seen a cleaner property manger or one with better documented files”. I tell you this not to brag on our company. It is just a fact and I want you to know. I don’t like it when people are upset, like you are with me. I just want to be as fair as possible. That’s all.

Over and over I have been called to the carpet, to court, and called every name in the book, to my face, by letter, and on the phone. It is always tenants calling me names and taking me to court, never owners. I want you to know that I have never lost a court case and never had a complaint recognized by TREC and we are still A+ with the BBB. I have been in the business for almost 15 years and have never used a lawyer to defend me or my company. I am not telling you this, thinking that if I do, you may not report me or call me names or talk down to me or file a law suit. If you must, you must. I have quit trying to duck punches. I just counter with the lease and documentation and let right prevail. If I lose, I’ll take the hit. But, it’s not about winning. It’s about doing right by my heart, the law, and my experience, even when others think I am wrong.

The owner knows that he stands a chance of losing you and Jack over this and he knows that you have said you would not be doing the electrical work. I hope the former doesn’t happen and the latter is your choice, not chosen out of spite. The owner is being fair and I believe you may think the same way if the situation were reversed.

Please let us know what you will do. The lease ends on January 1, as you know.

Until next time,


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