Fri. Afternoon Rental Option – Furnished 4.5 Room English Basement Apt. with Private Gym (Cleveland Park)

This rental is located at Newark St. NW at Connecticut Ave. NW:


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The Craigslist ad says:

For rent in Cleveland Park Historic District on Newark Street NW in Washington, DC. Available June 1. One year-lease minimum. Monthly rent is $1,800 for one person (plus additional fee if 2nd person shares the same bedroom), plus one-month security deposit. No added charges for utilities, use of owners’ private backyard gym, & high-speed broadband for Internet connectivity.

— L-shaped living room area (see photo below) includes two rosewood & black leather chairs, contemporary Tibetan rug, small dining room table with four chairs, set of three rosewood nesting tables, two standing lamps, teak bookcases, recessed overhead lights, & audio/video equipment, including 5.1 Digital Dolby sound system with high-end M&K speakers, DVD/CD player, large high-definition television (with lots of cable stations), & tape deck.

— Office/den (see photo below). Wired or wireless access to LAN offering high-speed broadband Internet at no extra charge.

— Bedroom has one French mahogany bed with queen-size mattress & ample closet & shelf space. Bedroom also has teak night table, standing lamp, & recessed lights.

— Basement apartment’s kitchen includes stove, microwave, full-size refrigerator, full-size washer & full-size dryer (note: washer & dryer are shared with owners), dishes, pots/pans, utensils, serving dishes, glasses, etc.

— Bathroom has tub with a shower. Medicine cabinet has “make-up” lights.

— Window air conditioner in office/den provides cooling for whole apartment. Modern slider windows in every room. Floors in each room (excluding bathroom) are maintenance-free quarry tile. A sand-blasted brick interior brick wall links living areas to kitchen via short hallway.

— Use of owners’ private gym located on property in separate backyard structure. Our gym is a British-style glass conservatory (22 feet x 25 feet) with views of gardens (see photo below). Aerobic equipment includes Precor elliptical trainer, recumbent bike, treadmill, & 4000 PT Stairmaster. All face 50-inch plasma monitor fed by both gigahertz LAN linking tenant’s & owners’ computers to gym computer (for reading E-mail, Web-surfing, or other computer projects while exercising), as well as cable TV. Gym also has free weights & four anaerobic stations, including linear leg sled, Smith machine, hamstring extension, & Lat pull-down. Thick rubber mat floor, two walls of leaded glass & 2 walls of mirrors & teak wood. Two ceiling fans. Heated & air conditioned.

— All rooms have windows with security bars. Basement apartment entrance (to the basement apartment kitchen) has two doors: one is a storm door with wrought-iron security bars, & immediately in front of the storm door is a wood door with windows.

— Apartment has separate entrance facing our gym & beautiful gardens (featured in the Cleveland Park Historical Society Garden Tour). The house is very quiet.

— Our English-Tudor home – set on a hill about 25 steps up from Newark Street (see photo below of house on the hill in winter) — was built in 1906 & is about 500 feet west of Connecticut Avenue, three minutes from stores, restaurants, & subway/Metro (Cleveland Park stop on Red Line). We have owned & lived in the house since 1974.

— Non-smoking. No dogs (no exceptions), but one cat would be welcome.

$1800 sound right?

22 Comment

  • Extra money for someone sharing the same bedroom?????

    • Sure. Utilities are included, so an extra person would increase water & electricity usage. The concept is reasonable. Don’t know if the fee is.

    • I just noticed that.

      So, if a friend spends the night, do you have to get approval??

      Sounds like landlords that want to basically be your parents. Deal-breaker.

      • that was my first reaction when i read it, but i think stacy gives a good explanation for why its reasonable.

      • You’re new here, right? That is essentially a “if your BF/GF moves in with you, we need more money” thing. Completely reasonable.

        Also, this is a GREAT price.

        • Why is that completely reasonable? Aside from contributing some (probably negligible) amount of wear and tear and/or energy/water usage what burden does having an extra person there have on the landlord?

        • a GREAT price?

          I beg to differ — while the location, included utilities, and backyard gym sound great, it’s a *basement* for $1800. More if you share it with someone… which is the only way that price could be somewhat bearable for a person making under 50-55k a year (I’m sure someone here will be all over that statement, but I make close to 40k a year and can’t imagine a scenario where I could afford $1800/month in rent)

          Included furniture could be nice, but many renters have at least some of their own furniture, especially if it’s a longer-term rental (to me, a minimum 1yr lease counts as that).

          I do like that giraffe on top of the dresser, though.

        • Uh, no it is not completely reasonable. If your little sister comes to visit for 2-4 weeks and sleeps on your floor, or if your gf/bf move in, it is none of the landlord’s business. If you sign a lease for a specific amount of time for some amount of money, as long as you keep the place just as clean and safe, the landlord should bug off.

          I’ve lived in several large cities in the US, and I’ve never seen such a stupid request. If the lease said something like “Utilities are included, but it is $50 extra per month for a permanent additional person”, I would understand. But, some sort of vague “extra fee” makes it sound like they can add 50% to your rent just because someone else is brushing their teeth there.

          Bogus BS. Either make the terms more specific, or drop it.

  • a pretty good deal i think. everything is included and the furnishings are not throw aways. you’re right in cleveland park. if it is overpriced it is not by much.

  • Seems like a good deal but also seems like a high-maintenance landlord. They’re probably not at all accustomed to dealing with tenants in their house and the level of detail in that listing–French mahogany bed, rosewood and black leather chairs–makes me think they’re going to keep a close eye on their stuff and the person/people using it.

    • Yeah, all the “mahogany”, “rosewood”, etc. made me think that you are going to have a lawsuit on your hands if they discover so much as a scratch anywhere.

  • Probably better for the landlord to do short-term corp rentals. C

  • WTF about the landlord using the basement washer dryer? As in, they come into your unit every time they wash clothes?

    • Emmaleigh504

      Maybe the washer and dryer are in a shared space, though it doesn’t look like that from the add. Sounds like they would be in your apartment every other day to see that you weren’t leaving your dirty clothes on the floor.

  • Lots of red flags in that ad. Sounds like the landlord would be a handful.

  • Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

    The only drawback is that it sounds like the sole entrance to the apartment is through the back yard. I’d want to know how well-lit it is at night.

    Given that the washer/dryer are listed under “Basement apartment’s kitchen includes…” it sounds like the owners _would_ be coming into the renter’s unit every time they needed to do laundry.

    If the basement kitchen is directly adjacent to the stairs going upstairs, then this might not be that big of a hassle for the renter. However, if the owners have to (say) go through the living room to get to the kitchen, this could be more of a hassle for the renter.

    And it _does_ sound like the owners might be somewhat high-maintenance… but I bet for with the right owner/renter combination, this could work out very nicely.

    (The renter had better plan on not having sex in the kitchen, though!)

  • “The renter had better plan on not having sex in the kitchen”

    Dealbreaker.

  • I lived in Brooklyn years ago with a nosy landlord, and we did have a shared common washer in the basement. It was a complete pain. I was convinced he was inspecting my laundry to make sure there wasn’t boys and girls undies in the wash (hence, someone else staying or doing their laundry). He would also just walk in through the front door at random times to say hello (without knocking, etc.). When I tried discussing it with him, he would explain that he owned the apartment and could come and go as he pleased. Needless to say, I moved out.

    The ad for his place had basically sounded the same as above. Way too needy and way too demanding. NOT worth it.

    I don’t want to share a gym, or washing machine, or basically anything with my landlord. Every now and then, sharing a beer is cool, but it’s a business relationship, not a friendship.

    Dealbreakers everywhere in this post.

  • Cleveland Park, high-strung landlord…no thanks

  • Rentals posted here are always high. Houses for sale are sometimes a good deal.

  • I don’t know, these kind of apartment listings scare me. On one hand I can understand the owner wanting to paint a lovely picture of the cherished paradise they’re renting by naming all the fine amenities and lovely details (although having a private gym in one’s home smells of douchebaggery). At the same time I can also see these owners militantly ensuring their precious space is kept just right, rendering the tenant an emotional basket-case walking on eggshells and secretly scrawling hash marks on the wall to count the days when this ball&chain of a lease ends.

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