Dear Landlord,

It’s been six years since we moved in. Six years since we asked, “Are you planning on finishing the yard? We don’t even own a lawnmower.” Six years since we remarked that the bathtub was is stained during our walkthrough.

It’s only been four years since we reported the water damage in the bathroom—remember? the toilet wasn’t sealed to the floor and you sent your 17-year-old son, not a plumber, to fix it—and I think about three years since you surprised us with a same-day inspection because you saw the bushes we bought and planted around the exterior of the fence died. You thought we killed your shrubs; imagine what else might we be hiding.

Two years ago you installed a broken sprinkler “system” (hose strewed artfully around edge of yard with malfunctioning timer attached to spigot). In your defense, around the same time, you also fixed a genuine shower leak, so kudos.

We’re no peaches either. Let me tell you a secret—we don’t have one dog, we have two! Though I swear we thought we were just fostering him for at least four months. (Frankly how much can you possibly care, when our next door neighbor, your other tenant, has three dogs, a cat, and a bird?)

Also, one day the wind whooshed through the house and slammed the french door to the kitchen shut, breaking one of the glass panels. We took the panel out and forgot to tell you, and now it’s too late. Speaking of broken things, the front door lock got stuck in ‘unlock’ so we’ve been relying on the deadbolt for three months. We meant to tell you that too, but life has been crazy. Is one more too much? I killed a bug on the cloth blinds and its carcass left a blotch of insect blood that I think will be there forever.

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So, landlord, you’re going to be mad at us. About the door, and the lock, and the blinds. We’re genuinely sorry for the inconvence—I’m sure you’ll call us bad tenants after we’re gone and we feel mild shame about that—but you must admit, you trained us not to depend on you. Nobody wants to hang out with your son and talk about community college while he sort of doesn’t fix something. In fact, the time you got mad at us about the bushes we spent hundreds of dollars of our own money buying and installing taught us not to want to talk to you or even like you.

Luckily for us, we’re moving away to another state, where we’re going to buy a house, and we don’t care if you keep our deposit. Keep it, it’s okay. You can use it to fix the yard, finally.