Dear PoPville – Why all the Garbage in 1400 Block of V St, NW?

Photo by @PoPville twitter follower, @edwardaggie98

Dear PoPville,

I noticed this weekend that large piles of furniture and trash were heaped along the 1400 block of V Street in front of the Portner Place Apartments. I’m not sure exactly when it all appeared, but I saw it Saturday, and it was still there this morning. It looks as if they cleared out everything from some apartments and heaped it on the sidewalk. Does anyone know what is going on?

Sadly, looks like it was probably an eviction.

44 Comment

  • Eviction(s). It was on the local news on Friday or Saturday night.

  • I noticed this too as I live at 15th and V. Given the quantify of stuff on the curbside I’d say it was multiple evictions. Sad

  • To make matters worse, I saw people using it as a garbage dump this morning. Literally walking out of the building and dropping off black garbage bags…sad

    • The worst is the pickers, when people start calling their friends to drive on in, sort through it and take stuff, and toss it around all over. It’s horrible.

      It’s hard to believe that the eviction process is not less disruptive.

      • It’s no different than shopping at Marshalls

      • I fully support the “pickers” (and yes, I’ve “picked” myself.) If the evicted owner can’t (or won’t) haul it away within a day or two, they never will. Pickers help erode the pile to a level where city trash workers might consider getting the rest. With a large mound like this, it can sit for a week in the weather, and by then everything is ruined and no good to anyone.

  • I saw the same scene on Columbia Road and 15th…

  • christanel

    So DC doesn’t have the law that says owner must hold onto to the possessions for 30-days like NYC? And how is legal to jump dump the stuff on the sidewalk?

  • So all the stuff is free now, right? Not that any of it looks worth grabbing (to me), but that’s the situation, right? Hopefully a lot of people/organizations find their way to it and anything salvageable stays out of a landfill.

  • PoP— Why do people always call evictions “sad”? Should scofflaws be able to squat in apartments rent free? That is bad for everyone.

    • Because better people realize that those facing eviction are usually at the end-of-their-rope and don’t want to pile on?

      Eviction is one of the worst things that can happen to a person – to be made homeless. Even for the very poor, paying rent is the highest priority.

      People realize how sad it is to lose your home and have all of your personal items strewn about like trash in the street.

    • Do you really not understand why evictions are sad? I don’t mean to be snarky, I am honestly curious.

      Yes, the evictees (most likely) did not pay their rent. That is unfortunate and the eviction is (often, although not always) logical and justified on the part of the landlord. Nonetheless, someone is being kicked out of their home, along with all of their personal belongings, which are unceremoniously dumped onto the street. Even if the evictees saw this coming, imagine how hard it is to look at the contents of your life sitting on the sidewalk and wonder “where to next?”

      • Yes, but if you are at the point where all of your stuff is on the curb, trust me, you have had plently of warning. You could have made alternate arrangements or moved to a cheaper apartment like a responsible person.

        • “Yes, but…” Shoulda just stopped at the yes – that at least would have shown compassion. Some have no where else to go, some have no one to help… but you know best for everyone.

          Trust you? Why? It’s not like I believe you have ever been evicted. Ohhhh…. you have evicted people.. is that why you should be trusted? Is that why you call people scofflaws?

        • …but maybe you are mentally ill, or maybe you’re just a kind of messed up person who’s given up on life, or whatever. To get to this point, you’re clearing NOT the perfectly rational, perfectly responsible person that you think every single person is wired to be.

          Thinking eviction is sad is NOT the same as thinking that landlords should have to put up with people not paying their rent. Of course people who don’t pay should be evicted by law. That doesn’t mean it isn’t sad for it to happen to someone.

        • I actually agree with you. I think it is inconsiderate to squat in lieu of looking for a cheaper place to live (there are plenty of more affordable neighborhoods in DC than U Street). This affects the landlord too.

    • i agree with the sentiment – though probably not worded in the most sensitive way. if people are allowed to stay rent-free then the landlords are the ones to suffer and only worsens the housing market through a domino effect.

      however, anytime someone is evicted and humiliated by having their belongings thrown on the sidewalk is a sad situation.

      • I’ve been on the other side of this in a building that had to evict a resident who was a MAJOR problem. It was a releif for all of us to get him out. BTW, it is my undestanding under DC Code that their possessions have to be left on the sidewalk for 48 hours before it can be hauled away. When our guy was evicted, people carted off just about everything and all we had to do was sweep up a few pieces of paper. It isn’t always sad.

        • Yeah, can’t they just move back in to one of their parents house in chevy chase or georgetown or even stay at the shore house? That’s what I would do.

  • I thought Ruff N’ Ready had moved back to 14th Street.

  • My understanding is that it takes at least 6 months to evict someone once they have stopped paying rent in DC. I have also heard of cases where it took landlords 2.5 years to evict someone. I can’t say that I feel that sorry for these people; they got to live in a place for free for at least 6 months. To me, that’s the same thing as going into someone’s purse or bank account and stealing $6000 or $12000 from them (however much the rent is; high I’m sure for a location at 15th and V NW).

  • This is always tragic as far as I’m concerned. This was a constant end-of-month phenomenon when I lived on 16th & Park. To see the meager possessions of someone’s life offered up to the chaos of 16th St. was truly depressing and I always felt for the figuratively and literally poor person on the other side of it. Only once did I see someone scrambling to retrieve their possessions and the look of panic and shame on his face was unforgettable. I didn’t offer the man any help and that is equally unforgettable.

  • My neighbors were recently evicted. They had been paying rent to their landlord but he had lost the house to the bank six months before. They claim they had never received any notification of any court dates and had only learned that they would be losing the house the day before the eviction. On the day of the eviction, the federal Marshall showed up with his hired thugs and they stood in an elderly woman’s room and watched her daughter help her out of bed and put a bathrobe on. When I came out of my house later that morning I found the daughter close to diabetic shock sitting on a chair on the sidewalk holding a plastic bag with her lease and rent payment history. I have no idea what the true facts of the situation were, and frankly, her sons were major trouble so we neighbors are relieved they’re gone. I doubt there was a totally innocent victim or a villainously evil landlord, but I was profoundly moved. I don’t know how anyone can look at someone’s life strewn on the sidewalk and not be saddened.

  • Excuse my anal side, but it is spelled marshal, not marshall.

  • A really thoughtless exchange, and I say this having served on condo and coop boards and having done this when we had to remove people from their units. Nonpayment is not the only reason people are evicted and regardless, the people involved have troubles beyond violating some greedhead’s standard of morality. Moreover, there continue to be real slumlords for whom withholding payment is a last resort, as well as landlords who look for other pretexts to push out tenants landlord’s who will look for any pretext to push out people who stand between them and being the next Donald Trump.

  • I hope some organizations come and sort through their belongings. I walked by yesterday and saw plenty of things (phones, coffee table, kitchenware) that someone less fortunate can use. I’d rather someone pick it up than it randomly get destroyed or ruined (weather).

    • Pretty sure the evicted person(s) ARE the less fortunate in this situation. Isn’t it adding insult to injury to rummage through an evictee’s belongings for the purpose of giving it away? Maybe someone can help THEM organize their stuff and set them up with proper housing.

      (I mean, not me, but someone should do it)

  • If this eviction was due to someone unable to pay their rent, in some ways this can be blamed on gentrification. Not that I’m against gentrification, but it definitely has its downside.

  • I think the brunt of the compassion here should be directed at the poor tenant who had their belongings dumped onto the street unceremoniously after what was probably a long, painful eviction process. Yes, the landlord probably lost some money in the process, but that’s a risk all landlords take when renting out to someone. Even if the renter had impeccable credit, things can happen at the drop of a hat (unemployment, illness, etc…) that would make paying rent extremely difficult.

    Who owns Portner Place? If they have a corporate owner (like Archstone) you can bet no time was spared in issuing the eviction notice. A friend of mine was late making rent payment once to Archstone (even though she gave them notice and was told it was OK) and she was issued an eviction notice not even 10 days after the due date. Thankfully she was able to pay the rent, which invalidates the case but it was still an unneeded stress.

  • Sorry, but everything cannot be blamed on gentrification.

    One of the reasons rents are extra high in this town is because a landlord must account for the fact that they can be stuck for at least six months, sometimes longer, in order to evict someone. Not everyone can afford to pay for this out of pocket.

    There is generally plenty of warning as well as programs that offer rental assistance.

  • Plus, “Even for the very poor, paying rent is the highest priority” is not always true. We (property management company) have had to evict people sometimes, and though they had plenty of time to collect money and pay off their debt to cancel the eviction, we often see them at 7-11 buying cases of beer or other non-essential items…

  • How many commenting people criticizing landlords / gentrification in this thread have taken an evicted family into their home and let them live rent-free for several months? Just curious.

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