The guy next door is working on his engine at 1 a.m. again. The couple down the block hasn't mowed their lawn in 64 days--and it's August in Florida! The kids across the cul-de-sac have erected a basketball hoop in front of your house without asking you because your property has the most street frontage. What do you do? If your neighbourhood has a homeowner's association, one option may be to write a letter of complaint to the association.
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Format your letter as a standard business letter. Include a section for your name and address, followed by the date, followed by the name and mailing address of the homeowner's association. If you are addressing an individual, such as the president or the chair of the rules committee, include the person's name and title above the association name.
Begin with a greeting such as "Dear (recipient's name here)," and end with a standard closing, such as "Sincerely," followed by your signature and typed name.
State your complaint clearly. State your case objectively and avoid accusations and inflammatory statements. For example, write: "I'm writing to complain about the quantity of non-running vehicles parked in the front yard of 123 Mystreet," rather than "123 Mystreet looks like a junkyard!"
Cite the governing rule if the issue about which you are complaining is covered by homeowner's association bylaws or rules, or by local ordinance. For example, "Our town ordinance 3.1 states that all vehicles must be parked on pavement and that non-running vehicles may not be visible from the street."
Provide additional factual information, if you have it. For example, you could tell the association how many cars are parked in the yard, how you know they are not running and about how long the vehicles have been there.
Explain why you are complaining. Again, use language that is clear, but not inflammatory. Say, for example: "Besides being a violation of town ordinance, the vehicles detract from the appearance of the neighbourhood, are a safety hazard for children and may make selling a home on this street more difficult."
Tell the association what you want it to do. For example, "Please implement the procedure to warn this homeowner of the violation and notify the authorities if necessary so that this situation is resolved."
Thank the recipient for his time. Those that serve on homeowner's association boards and committees are usually unpaid volunteers who deal with difficult situations so homeowners don't have to. They deserve your appreciation.
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