Dear PoPville – Looking for Rental Realtors


“Dear PoPville,

My fiance, cat, and I currently living in an apartment building that requires at least a 60 day notice if you intend to get out of your lease. Since we’re planners and would not like to chance the market, we’d really like to secure a place to rent (ideally a rowhouse or townhouse) before leaving. Since craigslist and most online options are typically showing properties that are available immediately or at most 30 days out, it’s been difficult to find something so far in advance. We’ve tried working with realtors but haven’t had much luck with that either…so now we’re into year two in this apartment that we’d really like to get out.

Do you happen to have any suggestions for good rental realtors who won’t try to pressure us into buying? Or any other suggestions?”

19 Comment

  • Post your own ad on CL under “housing wanted.” Be detailed about what you want and sound not crazy the more information you can give here, the better chance you have. Lots of owners go here first to cut through the swamp. Also

  • If you’re living in DC, a 60 day notice in your lease is not a legal provision. You only need to give 30 days notice, if you’ve been in the apartment for at least one year (which you have).
    If I were you, I’d talk to real estate management companies such as Thomas D Walsh and Frank Emmet. They manage a bunch of buildings and houses around the DC/VA/MD areas for small investors.

    • This..

      A provision in your lease is automatically null if it violates DC law, which this does. Your lease simply transitions to month-to-month at the termination of your lease. Anything that goes against that within the lease is not worth the paper it was printed on.

      • I don’t think this is good advice. Although DC Code 42-3202 requires 30 days notice for a month-to-month tenancy, DC Code 42-3208 states “Nothing herein contained shall be construed as preventing the parties to a lease, by agreement in writing, from substituting a longer or shorter notice to quit than is above provided or to waive all such notice.”.

        Your lease states 60 days notice, that’s what you are required to give.

  • Try looking at condos being offered for rent by the owner. A condo owner tends to have the same not-wanting-to-wait-until-the-last-minute concerns that you do. That’s what I did when I needed to find a place 60 days out, although I did end up paying double rent for a few weeks.

    • A truly helpful response, Tyler!! I was also thinking that there are many PoP-ers here who have rental units in their homes. Perhaps you could put the call out to them and THEIR peers? Good luck to you in your search.

  • Also you might be able to find a larger rental building where the tenants have already given *their* 60 day notice, so you could move in to their unit.

    This does create a risk that the current tenants will decide not to leave, but in that event in big buildings there is usually other unit you could move to.

  • Moving last summer, my work schedule made it very hard to hunt 30-45 days out. We could have easily looked about 75 days out, but not much and nothing remotely interesting to us was listed, so we didn’t waste our time. In a very rapid weekend visit, we were lucky enough to find a great condo to rent in NW, but again only because it was available in about 30 days.

    If you’re that eager to move and can afford it, it might be worth sucking up the cost of an overlap on your leases. If nothing else, it allows time for a leisurely move vice doing the Joad truck drill.

  • When I moved here, a friend pointed me to Long and Foster because they have rental properties available to browse on their website. I am not sure the availability dates were there for all but as others said property owners don’t necesarily like to wait for the last minute. You didn’t mention your budget–I don’t think you will find bottom of the market price-wise there but there were some good options. Since unlike New York, the renter does not pay the fee (owner does), you should be able to find a realtor to do the legwork for you (if your budget is reasonable..whatever that means these days)

  • Yarmouth Management at EM – they cover a lot of CapHill – and John C Formant – good luck!

  • We used Nancy Simmons (apartmentdetectives [at] erols DOT com) with PenFed Realty a few years ago and she was super helpful. Flat fee, friendly, and works with you until you find something.

  • Does anyone know the management companies for some of the apartment properties in the Palisades?

  • I used Urban Igloo when I moved here 4+ years ago. I had a good experience and they’re still around.

  • I have a 2 br, 2 bath row house for rent. It’s on 10th near N St NW.
    Please email if you are interested to see and when you would start lease?

  • I didn’t like John C. Formant at all; demanded the deposit upfront before we’ve even had a draft lease or the ownder agreed. Yarmouth is okay, but I felt that they keep their best properties for their long standing customers and they’ve tried to underprice my condo by 150 bucks when I wanted to rent it out through them. I’ve had the best luck with City Lights and still used them. Smith Brothers/Pen Fed on the Hill were pretty good and worked with us. I would say 60 days is pretty standard and a responsible landlord would be advertising about 60 days out. You can try the Craigslist, but you really need to be in the first 5 to respond/see the property to be considered by many owners. Kind of a rat race if you’re looking to find something decent. People advertise hidden gems on as well.

  • We used City Chic to buy our house and had an amazing time working with them. They have realtors that specifically handle rentals: I would highly recommend contacting them. Good luck!

  • Hi everyone–Thanks so much for you input and assistance (I wrote the original question). This was really helpful and I will definitely give these folks/companies a try.

    Thanks again–Alexis

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