Monday, May 12, 2008
Step 1: File a Complaint to On-Site Manager
Begin by contacting your on-site property manager to file a complaint. Be calm, but insist on documentation of your complaint and immediate action. Let them know you will follow up the next day with a phone call to get an update. If they are unresponsive or make excuses, contact the next step up: the Residential Relations person.
Step 2: Email the Residential Relations Person
The residential relations person is a notch above the on-site property manager and is often located at the corporate office of the property manager. This person's contact information may be in the lease you signed, if not, the corporation's name will be. Do a web search on the corporation's name to find this person's email address. If you can't find it, call the corporation and ask for the residential relations person's email address.
The most important aspect when contacting this person is to do so in a recordable format, such as an email. A sample email is provided below. If this person fails to respond, follow up with a phone call then move up the ladder if needed and contact the CEO or property manager.
Sample Email Letter to the Residential Relations Person (PDF)
Step 3: Email the CEO or Property Manager
Many property and corporation owners hide their contact information. It's always tougher to contact a CEO than it is an underling. But there are ways. To find this contact information, locate the name of the company on your property’s website, then search online for that company and "investor relations." This should result in a mailing address and/or phone for the corporate office, and probably the name of CEOs and other executive officers.
If email addresses are not listed, look to the residential relations person's email address and use the same format for the CEO. In other words, if the manager’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, the CEO is probably their first initial followed by a period and their last name at the same URL.
Send this person an email. A sample email is provided below. Your email should contain as many specifics as possible, along with noting the great "liability and risk to the property owners." Don’t directly threaten to sue. Make this email sufficient for use as evidence in court if the dog(s) in question injure anyone. Be a pest, and be as concise as you can without leaving anything out.
Sample Email Letter to CEO or Property Owner (PDF)
Step 4: Follow Up with A Phone Call
If you do not receive a response within a few hours, follow up by phone. Call the corporate office. Say:
I need help with an urgent legal situation involving a high risk to tenants at the ___ property in (city).This will get you a name. Leave voicemails to this person. If you do not get a response, call the corporate office front desk and ask them to find someone to help you. If you still do not get a response, send a certified letter to corporate headquarters.
Report Incidences to Animal Control
If you see the dog(s) outside and off-leash, call your local animal control and report it. Most cities have leash laws. If you can’t find a number for animal control, call your police or sheriff’s department and ask how to reach them. Be prepared to give your name and number, as they may not take anonymous calls. Ours will not give an address to the reported party, but does give a name when asked.
Throughout this process, if you have neighbors that you trust, let them know what’s going on. They may complain as well. Several complaints always weigh heavier than a single complaint.
| 5/12/2008 4:42 AM |
THANK YOU super citizen! Your piece will help thousands! I particularly like this language: "While it is reasonable to allow a tenant the opportunity to prove his dog is not a restricted breed, it is also reasonable to expect your company to have documented guidelines in place stating what constitutes proof. I am requesting a copy of your restricted breed guidelines and dispute resolution process, and would appreciate this being treated as a serious, legitimate concern that warrants immediate and appropriate attention by your office. "