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IELTS Letter, topic: Complaining about an unsatisfactory rental apartment

This is a model response to a Writing Task 1 topic from High Scorer’s Choice IELTS Practice Tests book series (reprinted with permission). This answer is close to IELTS Band 9.

Set 1 General Training book, Practice Test 3

Writing Task 1

You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.

You and your family have just come back from a holiday staying in a rented apartment overlooking the sea. The apartment was very unsatisfactory.

Write a letter of complaint to the manager of the agency from which you rented the apartment. In your letter,

– give details of the things that were unsatisfactory
– explain the reactions of the members of your family
– ask the manager what he/she is going to do about the situation

You should write at least 150 words.

You do NOT need to write any addresses. Begin your letter as follows:

Dear Sir / Madam,

Sample Band 9 Letter

Dear Sir / Madam,

My family and I have just recently been a guest at Seaside Resort in a rented apartment. Even though the view overlooking the sea was lovely, several things in the apartment were missing or unsatisfactory and I would like to use this opportunity to explain the problems leading to this complaint.

First of all, the wooden steps leading up to the door of the apartment did not meet official security standards: one step broke when my husband carried our luggage up, leaving him with a bruised leg, and two other steps were also dangerously close to breaking apart in the middle. Additionally, when my children wanted to put away their clothes in the available cupboards, one of the planks broke loose, hitting my younger son and scaring both children. Finally, the kitchen did not have enough cutlery, let alone cups, and the sink in the bathroom only worked after my husband worked on it.

As you can see, the condition of the apartment was unsatisfactory in many ways, and I would therefore like to ask for a discount of thirty per cent of the price we paid for the rent.

I hope this feedback was useful to you and will help to make Seaside Resort a better place for tourists in the future. Please report back to me regarding your plans of how to deal with this situation!

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. Angela Driftwood

Go here for more IELTS Band 9 Letters

2 thoughts on “IELTS Letter, topic: Complaining about an unsatisfactory rental apartment”

  1. The email is very accurate and shows good lingustic abilities.

    Only doubt I have is, use of same words as in the question. Most of the teachers and material stresses on paraphrasing the question with some synonyms.

    I sounds like a myth is a above email scored a perfect 9.

    I would really appreciate if someone can clarify this.

  2. Hi Leo, the letter was written by a former IELTS examiner and would indeed score Band 9 in IELTS. The myth is that people need to substitute every single word from the task statement with a synonym. You can use words from the task statement, just don’t copy the entire sentences – paraphrase. It does more harm than good when someone starts purposely using synonyms to avoid repeating words, because it creates forced, unnatural writing and many synonyms aren’t being used appropriately.

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