Complain About Community Problems • Example Letters, Guides and Samples


Avoid insulting the reader, who may not be responsible for the problem. You can increase the effectiveness of your letter by getting several others to sign it with you.

How to write this complaint letter:

  1. State all the relevant facts concerning the problem.
  2. Suggest any ideas you have for resolving the problem. Assure the reader that you will cooperate. You may wish to express your confidence that the problem can be resolved.

Example Letter #1


During the last three months, five homes in our area have been burglarized. As you can imagine, we are very concerned about this trend and hope you will help us. All of the burglaries have occurred on weekend nights when many of us attend high school ball games or other community activities. It is clear that someone is targeting this neighborhood at specific times.

Several of us have met to organize a neighborhood watch program, but we feel we need more help that we can muster alone. We think that increasing police patrols at these vulnerable times and having volunteers remain in the neighborhood on some nights might help. In any case, we need to learn how to protect our homes better.

We would like to schedule a neighborhood meeting during which you or your representative could discuss what action should be taken. Most of the families could be represented on any weekday evening. Could you please let us know if this is possible? Thank you.

Example Letter #2


I have just learned of the city council's proposal to build a new street connecting 1600 South with Maple Avenue. Many of the residents and small business owners in the area are strongly opposed to such a development. For example, more than one hundred elementary school students would have to cross that road twice each day. Others have equally valid concerns.

We understand that the council has proposed an alternative route in an area where there are no homes or schools. We strongly urge you accept that proposal. I think time will show the wisdom of that choice.

Example Letter #3


The intersection of Main and Center needs a stoplight before someone gets killed. The traffic there is so heavy that it is almost impossible to make a left turn onto either street. I nearly had an accident myself last week, and I can name at least five other friends who have had close calls. Let the garbage go uncollected for a week, close down the library for a day or two, forgo fixing a few potholes, but put a light at that intersection.

Thank you for listening. I'm sure you'll do the right thing.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step

1 State all the relevant facts concerning the problem.

Sample Sentences for Step 1
  • We who own businesses on the 1400 to 1600 blocks of Second Street protest the rezoning of this section of the city. The construction that will result from the rezoning will make it very difficult to provide adequate parking for our patrons and employees.
  • The proposed new runway at the local airport will place low-flying aircraft directly over our elementary school and the county hospital, both of which would be significantly affected by the frequent noise.
  • During the past several months, the alley behind our apartment complex at 1600 Main Street has become a kind of old car graveyard.
  • The restaurant next to my clothing store keeps throwing leftover food onto the hill directly behind us. The free meal, of course, attracts rodents and insects. This illegal practice presents a health risk for the entire neighborhood. I have brought this to the attention of the restaurant owner to no avail.
  • As homeowners along the river, we are becoming increasingly concerned about the amount of trash we see floating in the river and the strong chemical smell that comes from the water.
  • It seems that over the past few weeks the park behind our house has become a popular gathering spot for local gangs. Besides having to listen to loud rock music until late into the night, several of us have had our back yards vandalized. Last night our cat was the object of malicious behavior.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
  • a group of concerned
  • appears that nothing has been done about
  • are worried about
  • are tired of
  • are wondering about
  • as concerned citizens of
  • as homeowners in this
  • business will suffer if
  • feel very strongly about
  • has not been taken into consideration
  • has come to our attention that
  • have become increasingly concerned about
  • is presenting a health risk
  • is not safe for our
  • is causing problems for
  • must point out that
  • must protest the
  • need to provide adequate
  • our rights are being violated
  • speak in behalf of
  • tax-paying citizens
  • the inconsiderate practice of
  • will drastically affect our
  • will make it impossible to
  • will infringe upon our rights to
  • would be significantly disturbed by
  • would like to direct your attention to

2 Suggest any ideas you have for resolving the problem. Assure the reader that you will cooperate. You may wish to express your confidence that the problem can be resolved.

Sample Sentences for Step 2
  • We are sure that there must be a way to clean up the river and are willing to assist in the cleanup effort.
  • We trust that the committee will reconsider their plans. If not, we will have to take this issue up with higher authorities. Surely we can find a satisfactory resolution to this problem.
  • We realize that it may not be possible to completely eradicate the vandalism in the neighborhood, but we do ask that more police patrol this area, especially after dark. Our neighborhood watch committee will also increase its efforts.
  • Please send us information on why our property taxes have been raised so much. We realize that the value of real estate in this area has risen sharply over the last few years, but we feel that the taxes on our homes are excessively high.
  • We request that the speed limit on our street be reduced to 25 mph, because of the number of children who now live here.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
  • are willing to
  • as was promised us in the last election
  • because of the number of children who
  • can be resolved if
  • fear that if no action is taken
  • have confidence that
  • if we could gain your support
  • is surely not unreasonable to
  • is possible that
  • keep an eye out for
  • know this problem is temporary
  • may not be possible to
  • must find a satisfactory resolution to
  • need to deal with this before
  • particularly after dark
  • please send us information on
  • request that you
  • the city needs to
  • this disturbing problem
  • to become involved in
  • to help in any way we can
  • to assist in
  • to help us solve the problem
  • would be an acceptable resolution
  • would like to suggest that