Complain to a Neighbor or a Landlord • Letter Templates and Guides

How to write this letter:

1State the relevant facts concerning the problem.
2Include any receipts, invoices, canceled checks, copies of contracts, or other proof that will support your complaint.
3Tell how you feel the situation should be corrected. Include any actions you intend to take.
4Close on a positive note, expressing confidence that the reader will correct the problem.


Since you will continue to associate with these people, your letter needs to accomplish its purpose without destroying the relationship. Tact is important. Be direct, but respectful. If you feel you must take legal action, do not mention it until other measures appear to be failing.

Example Letter #1


I am writing to remind you of the leak in our roof that needs to be repaired. As you will remember, when the last storm hit we had water coming through the light fixtures, causing part of the ceiling to break loose. Fortunately, we were able to contain most of the water in pans and buckets, so the floor was not damaged. I am worried because another storm is forecast for this next weekend. We will be out of town, so we won't be able to handle the buckets.

I am sure you must be as eager as we are to ensure that no more damage is done. If nothing else, perhaps a sheet of plastic could be put over the roof until permanent repairs can be made. I would be willing to help some evening, if you would call to arrange a time.

Example Letter #2


This winter has been harsh, and I understand how difficult it must be for you to keep the walkways clear of snow and ice, but this morning I slipped down the stairs and narrowly escaped serious injury. The problem is that the rain gutter drips on the stairs when the snow melts, causing ice to build up on them when it freezes.

I hope you will correct the problem immediately, so no one else will slip on those cement steps. We were lucky that I didn't get hurt this morning. We may not have the same luck the next time. I trust that you will remedy the situation quickly. Thank you for your help.

Example Letter #3


The things I enjoy most about the trees in my back yard are the chirping birds. I don't know whether you know this, but your boys have been shooting the birds in my trees. I have left the dead birds on my lawn, so you can see the proof.

We've been friends for a long time. Please speak to your boys and ask them to do their shooting elsewhere--a target range comes to mind. I appreciate your doing this for me.

Example Letter #4


I am concerned about the way your dog runs loose in the neighborhood. I understand that it can be difficult to keep an animal confined, but it is also difficult for the neighbors to cope with shredded newspapers and messes on their lawns.

I do not wish to take any official action in this matter. We are neighbors, and I am confident that we can sort the problem out amicably. If you need help reinforcing or mending your fence, I would be happy to assist you.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step


State the relevant facts concerning the problem.

Example Sentences for Step 1

Example Phrases for Step 1


Include any receipts, invoices, canceled checks, copies of contracts, or other proof that will support your complaint.

Example Sentences for Step 2

Example Phrases for Step 2