General Listening Quiz

"Home Complaints"

Level: Topic: Speakers: Length:
difficult apartments for rent man - man 01:40

Pre-Listening Exercise

Finding a good apartment for rent sometimes takes time, but things always come up. What kinds of complaints or problems do tenants experience when renting a home or apartment? Briefly discuss these ideas with a partner. Explain one solution for each problem.

Idioms

"teed off" = upset, angry
"She was really teed off because the landlord wouldn't fix her toilet."

"go ballistic" = become very angry suddenly
"The landlord went ballistic when he found out the tenants destroyed the apartment."

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.

The manager wants the man in apartment 4B to ____.

Tenant: Well Mr. Nelson. That's what I would like to talk to you about. (What?) Well, I want to talk to you about that noise! (Oh) You see. Would you mind talking to the tenant in 4B and ask him to keep his music down, especially after 10:00 o'clock at night?

The manager is hesitant to talk to the neighbor because _____.

Apartment Manager: Hey, I just collect the rent. Besides, the man living there is the owner's son, and he's a walking refrigerator. (Well . . .) Hey, I'll see what I can do. Anything else?

The second complaint deals with ____.

Tenant: Well, yes. Could you talk to the owners of the property next door about the pungent odor drifting this way. Apartment Manager: Well, the area is zoned for agricultural and livestock use, so there's nothing much I can do about that.

Mr. Burton can't do anything about the second complaint because the property owners ____.

Tenant: Well, yes. Could you talk to the owners of the property next door about the pungent odor drifting this way. Apartment Manager: Well, the area is zoned for agricultural and livestock use, so there's nothing much I can do about that.

The final complaint has to do with _____.

Apartment Manager: Oh, that noise. I guess the military has resumed its exercises on the artillery range.

Post-Listening Exercise

What would you do if you were Mr. Burton at the end of this conversation? For each of these situations, what request would you use and how would you respond to possible objections on the part of the individual(s) you are talking to:

  • you decide to speak to the man in 4B by yourself
  • you call up the landowners next door to complain
  • you visit the owner's office to vent your frustrations

Online Investigation

Imagine that you need to make the following improvements and repairs to your home. The cost of the service or product is important to you, but you are equally concerned about the quality of service and any guarantees on the work. Use the Internet to compare two or more companies that can do the work. Then, make recommendations on which company you would do the best job.

  • a leaky and cracked toilet
  • an old and inefficient water heater
  • a broken window
  • a new air conditioning system