Be Sure To Check Out Washington Post’s Series – “Forced Out”

The Post is doing a series on the condo boom called “forced out”. The first article in the series was published on Sunday and can be found here. Two other articles in the series will be published on Monday and Tuesday. According to the Post’s Web site they say a key finding is: “Landlords have emptied more than 200 apartment buildings in the District in the past four years and asked the city for permission to convert them to condominiums, sidestepping a law requiring tenant approval and avoiding millions of dollars in conversion fees.”

Anyone read Sunday’s article?

9 Comment

  • Disgusting on the part of the landlords and on the city for not closing the loophole for vacant buildings. I can’t stand hearing about landlords whining about tenant rights. when they get into this business they should educate themselves on the strong housing rights afforded to tenants. It’s just like any other business- you have to follow the law. You can’t get in it and then say it’s unfair. The sub-human conditions that have existed in dozens of buildings in the past five years is sickening. I

  • Funny how this garners one comment in the first 16.5 hours of it being posted.

    Clearly readers of this blog care more about when the next $75/meal restaurant will open in their neighborhood rather than the very real human impact these neighborhood changes are causing.


  • I have a question though about leases in general- which applies to the situation here. I’m assuming that most people sign a one year (or two?) lease for a place that they are renting. So, if a landlord wanted to convert a building, couldn’t they just refuse to initiate a new lease with a tenant when the current lease runs up? Isn’t it the landlords decision too if they want to re-lease a place? Or are they required by law to rent out to the tenant as long as they want to stay there? If the former is true, why don’t landlords just wait a year or two for everyones leases to run up and then just refuse to re-initiate a lease?

  • Ah Shawn, and here I am, biting on your bait.

    Not at all accurate about our priorities. Yes, I read it. And yes, I have thoughts on it. And no, I don’t have the time and the energy to post all of them here.

    There’s SO much wrong with the housing situation in this city right now that it’s impossible for me to even begin commenting. It would require months, days, YEARS to sensibly discuss it. And so, let the Post stories stand. One more bit of information, out there, in peoples’ hands, to let them think about it.

    I bet I am not the only one who feels that way.

  • whats that saying? stop bitching and start a revolution? maybe the lack of comments on this shows that the community is actually doing something real about the situation and not just leaving empty ‘oh thats sad’ comments for the sake of making themselves feel like thay care… maybe not… either way, geez… how many of us own buildings with tenents and have a position to change these practices, as opposed to how many of us eat?

  • I wonder if there’s one thing I’m allowed to like in my sadly pathetic life, or am I just a worthless waste because I’m not devoting every last second of my life to the poor, as Shawn obviously does. Oh well — since I’m so pathetic, I might as well just go out to dinner!

    Shawn — you don’t know me. I don’t know you. So put down that overly broad brush and stop insulting everyone who doesn’t think and post EXACTLY the way you do.

  • as far as the lease question goes, a lease for term of years? (one year etc.) automatically converts to a month to month after it ends. tenants are said to have a “life estate” in a property once they are in. that’s why i said at the first comment that landlords need to educate themselves before buying/renting in the city. it is true it is difficult for a landlord to “evict” a tenant but the laws are in place to protect the working class in the city. unfort. instead of changing the laws landlords become vigilantes and disregard the fact that there are HUMANS living in their building. they are not just stocks that you buy and sell. the landlord business should be run by moral individuals becasue it goes to the heart of human existence- the quality of the home. but our laws haven’t gotten to the point where we screen landlords for their morals or family values.

  • All I know is when my husband and I were renting, we did everything we could, including putting a couple of our kids in our bed, to save money to buy a house. Renting sucks. And I hope the arsonist of that building (and I read about it about a year ago when it happened) gets caught and punished. I remember the story because the tenants were moslty from Bangladesh and worked at nearby hotels. They were almost murdered.

  • Does the conversion to a Month to Month lease apply to people who rent houses? Or only for condo/apt. buildings?

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