August 14th, 1996
C/O Shirley Yee
880 Vallejo Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
Dear Mrs. Yee,
I am in receipt of your letter dated August 8th, 1996, wherein you dispute, in rather unfriendly and menacing words, my $60.96 deduction on my rent for the repair of the front door lock at 864 Union St.
You state, most vehemently, that no notice of the lock's malfunctioning was given. That is not true. We both know that. Therefore, let us examine the history of this lock issue and bring out all the salient facts--and you shall see that I did--indeed-make several complaints about the lock--all of which were met with indifference.
The front door lock was broken. I could not lock my door, and the door would not stay closed by itself. That is the problem simply put.
My action at the time of noticing that the lock was broken was to call Shirley Yee, your agent. Shirley Yee arrived at my residence at 7:00 P.M. with an alleged locksmith or lock repairman; I don't know which. I found it rather odd that a repairman should come at such an hour--seeing that my call to Shirley gave her ample time to get a repairman to my door during normal business hours. This told me immediately that your alleged locksmith was no locksmith.
On the surface your so-called locksmith seemed to have fixed the front door lock; the reality of the situation is the complete opposite; for when he was finished allegedly fixing the front door lock, this so-called repair resulted in other problems which caused the door to lock when it should not lock, and prevented the door from staying closed when it was shut! In short:--
Your alleged locksmith did not repair the lock but, instead, caused other problems--problems that need not have arisen had you sent a competent, licensed, locksmith instead of some common handyman, as a responsible property owner should have done
When I realized that the lock had not been fixed, I then called Shirley and explained that the lock was not working; again she and your handyman showed up at my flat at 7:00 P.M. Your handyman examined the lock and declared there was nothing wrong with the lock--even though I explained and demonstrated what the problem was, i.e. that the door would not lock properly and when the door was closed the door would open by itself--yet your handyman said there was nothing wrong with the door, that he had fixed the lock--but the lock was not fixed and the door would not lock and the door would not stay closed. I find it incredible that such a man would declare to me and in front of a witness, Shirley Yee, that there was nothing wrong with the door, that he had fixed the lock and so on. Don't you also find it incredible that your handyman would say the lock was fixed even though it was demonstrated in front of him that the lock was not fixed?
Many weeks passed and the lock still was not working properly. Therefore, I called Shirley again and she and your handyman came to examine the lock 2 or 3 more times--each time he saying the lock was working--which in fact it was not. Would you like such a man to "fix" your locks? I dare say you would not.
The lock being still unworkable, and since Shirley and the handyman seemed to believe that all was well when it was not, I, therefore, took it upon myself to call a legitimate locksmith, from North Beach Safe and Lock, who came and took the lock apart and discovered to his amazement that two (2) important pieces of the lock were worn and should have been replaced originally.
The questions that need to be asked, and answered now are these: How is it that your handyman did not see that lock parts were worn out and should have been replaced? Why did he not see the problem? Can you answer that? I would like to hear your answer to these questions.
After the lock was repaired by North Beach Lock and Safe, I had no further problems with the lock or the door: it locked when it was suppose to lock and the door stayed closed after it had been closed. How is it that this did not happen after your handyman allegedly "fixed" the lock?
Because you sent someone obviously unable to deal with the original problem, you left me with no choice but to seek competent relief from this worrying problem. I was not able to lock my door in a normal manner, thereby leaving my front door vulnerable to anyone who might want to seek illegal entry. Don't you like a secure front door? I believe you do.
I am 78 years old, a widow, I am not in good health and I live alone. How can you be so adamantly opposed to my safety?
You stated in your letter of August 8th that--and I quote you: "If you don't like my house rule...move out of my property."
You really have no call to use such strong language with me--considering the circumstances of this situation and further that I have lived in this flat for 37 years and I have always respected and taken care of this property. Now you claim that I have, somehow, disregarded your "house rule," which in fact is not the case. Why do you use such strong language against an old woman?
Therefore, considering the facts, as I have truthfully stated them in this letter, I am holding you responsible for the shoddy workmanship of your handyman, which workmanship I call into question and which workmanship has caused me much grief and anxiety, which workmanship caused me to engage the services of a competent locksmith and have the front door lock fixed as it should have been fixed in the first place. You are, therefore, liable for the $60.96 because I did give you prior notice that the lock was broken; and, further, I gave your agent and your handyman ample time and opportunity to fix the lock.
It is ever my wish to settle things in a friendly manner. I hope you are, also, of a mind to settle this issue in a friendly manner. There is no reason why you should not accept the facts as they stand and let us bring this matter to a conclusion.
Let this issue be at an end for the sake of peace.
cc to: Shirley Yee