(an approximation of what my actual letter might be)
This letter is formal notice that we will be vacating your premises by 23 Apirl 2005, exactly a year and nine days since we moved in. This is written in compliance of our contract of lease, which states that we should give you a month’s notice before we actually say good-riddance.
I write this letter with little regret, as my family is looking forward to living in a place where no one will dictate the hours of when we can safely step out our front door. A place where dogs may live peacefully as dogs, and not as pseudo-grandchildren. A place that we can adorn with safe plants, not ones with big fat thorns that are placed right at our doorstep for a toddler to run into and injure herself. A place where water is a convenience that is paid for as per our actual usage, and not per head as you have so unfairly implemented.
I’m not saying that your premises are far from ideal for a young family to live in. The ceramic tiled floors are easy to maintain and the ventilation design ingeniously allows the cool wind from the mountains to pass through the house. But we will not miss the dog hairballs that blow in through the doors and unscreened windows from the dozen other mutts you keep on the fourth floor terrace, nor will we miss the dog hair in our food, in our drinking water, on our clothes, in our baby’s things.
I hope you will understand how I cannot recommend your premises to friends and colleagues who may be looking for a place to stay in Iligan. I will not wish an ordeal such as what we have been through while living under your roof on any friend. You wonder how we managed to live under such circumstances for an entire year. Wonder instead at our patience, and our lack of choices as most houseowners in Iligan do not advertise their houses for rent.
Please note that we will be leaving you with the full month’s rent for April, as well as enough to cover the electricity and telephone bills, and whatever exhorbitant amount you wish to charge us for the water.
Please note also that we did not bore any holes into your precious concrete walls as per your wishes, which made it impossible for us to adorn them with anything heavier than a calendar on a stickup hook. You may do as you wish with the two month’s deposit that we paid you as we signed the contract of lease. I’m sure you will need the money as I doubt you will have new renters very soon. I am also sure that the local office of the Commission on Human Rights will have something to say about your standing policy of refusing to rent to Muslims.
As my family leaves your roof I find it unnecessary to wish you good luck in the days to come. Luck is the province of those who wish for the good of others as well as themselves. I do wish, perhaps futilely, that you will develop minds that are as open as the mouths of your dogs when we run into them on the way in and out of your gates.