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"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."

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[ Quiz Script | Explanation of Answers | Text Completion ]

Housing Complaints
1. Pre-Listening Exercises
2. Listening Exercises
3. Vocabulary
4. Post-Listening Exercises
5. Online Investigations

difficultapartments for rentconversationman - man01:40

1. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

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 you came up with.

HELPFUL TIP: If there is a problem with your housing, contact your landlord immediately so you can resolve the issue. You might even be liable for damages (e.g., water damage from a leaking pipe) if you don't report it.


2. Listening Exercises [Top]
Listen to the conversation by pressing the "Play Audio" button and answer the questions. Press the "Final Score" button to check your quiz.

Loading the player ...
[ What are these different audio choices? ]

1. Mr. Burton asks the manager to tell the man in apartment 4B to:
A. turn off the music after 10:00 PM
B. turn down the volume to his stereo
C. use headphones when listening to music

2. Why is the manager hesitant about carrying out this request?
A. He says the matter is the owner's responsibility, not his.
B. He is not on talking terms with his son who lives there.
C. He is afraid of what the man might say or do.

3. What is Mr. Burton's second complaint?
A. There is an awful smell coming from the farm next door.
B. The property owners next door are illegally disposing of waste.
C. The neighbors are burning leaves which are drifting his way.

4. How does the manager respond to this second request?
A. He cannot do anything because the people are within their rights as landowners.
B. He has discussed this with the landowners, but his request has fallen on deaf ears.
C. He has livestock as well, so he can sympathize with the neighbor's situation.

5. What is the source of Mr. Burton's third complaint?
A. The military is flying high-altitude jets overhead causing supersonic booms.
B. A coal company has resumed its mining operations using explosive devices.
C. The armed forces are carrying out artillery training exercises nearby.

Score =
Correct answers:

Listen to the conversation again as you read the Quiz Script.

Review the Explanation of Answers.

3. Vocabulary Activities [Top]
Review the key vocabulary from the conversation: [ Why do these? ]

4. Post-Listening Exercises [Top]

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

5. Online Investigations - [ What's This? ] [Top]
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

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