I really like these renters and didn't want to kick them out even though they violated the rental contract. Renters who pay with cash on time and keep the place neat and clean are hard to find. I set about writing a strongly worded letter informing them of my disdain and the fact that I will be adding a monthly pet fee to offset the inevitable costs of pets in the rental unit. Please read the following sentence:
"Because I feel you are contentious people and will do your best to minimize any damage caused by your cats I will charge only a minimal pet fee."
Oh, how I wish I would have had someone proof read the letter. My husband read the letter after it was already sent and said, "What does 'contentious' mean?" A slow steady burn of embarrassment crept over me as I realized my mistake. It was supposed to me "conscientious" people.
1 : likely to cause contention
2 : exhibiting an often perverse and wearisome tendency to quarrels and disputes
And the word I meant to use:
1 : governed by or conforming to the dictates of conscience : scrupulous
2 : meticulous, careful
My only hope is that the renters don't look up the meaning of "contentious." If they do, they will think their property manager believes them to be perverse and wearisome and then stop taking care of their cats' messes. No, really, I think you are conscientious people and would never, ever let your cat defile the new carpet. Conscientious. Really, truly.