“Dear PoPville,

I currently live and have my car registered in Zone 1 and recently renewed my parking permit for 2 years. I now unexpectedly have to move. Until I figure out where I am going long term, I have secured a sublet/temporary housing for 3 months which is in a different zone. How do I get a temporary parking permit for this zone for this period? The DC Gov website says that visitor parking is valid for only 15 days and regardless, it does not sound like I even qualify for their definition of a “visitor” . The rent I am paying to the owner is inclusive of utilities so I will not have any way to prove residence. Other than looking to rent a spot which I do not want to do, are there any ideas?”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin

“Dear PoPville,

Is there a recourse when your landlord keeps your deposit?

Background: We’re a professional couple in our mid forties who’ve rented a Mt Pleasant row house for three years. We’ve treated it like our own, have made small upgrades (with the permission of the landlord) and have had no incidents during our time here.

Now that we’ve finished our lease to move back overseas, the landlord has kept half of our deposit (and this is Mt Pleasant, so that’s a lot). She’s given no explaination other than this is for repainting and cleaning.

We had the house deep cleaned before we left. There is no structural or cosmetic damage to the house other than what would constitute normal wear and tear (we have no kids, no pets and frankly the house is in better shape than when we rented it). But as all this is subjective. Do we have any avenues to challenge her to get our deposit back?”

friend info
Photo by PoPville flickr user Jim Havard

“Dear PoPville,

Yesterday (5/15) a group of friends were alerted to the fact that one of our close friends we had not heard from this past weekend (unusual, we all keep a close circle of contact). While reaching out to others and his job, we became increasingly concerned. Once realizing that he was not at his home, and none of us were aware of travel plans, we alerted police. The police did some research and broke the news to us that he had been discharged from GW Hospital Friday evening, and transported to the morgue.

They could not give us any more information since none of us are family. Our friend who passed away is estranged from his family and has not spoken to them in years. We called the morgue and gave our contact information to provide to his family to get more information. His father eventually did call and inform us that he was told that our friend had a “medical event” on the sidewalk and got help inside a hotel lobby [Update: It was the Embassy Suites at 900 10th St NW if anyone was there or near (it began on the sidewalk we believe).] where he was transported to the hospital. He passed away shortly after 11am on Friday 5/12/17. (more…)

slate or shingles
Photo by PoPville flickr user Victoria Pickering

“Dear PoPville,

My house has slate roof on the front of my house. My roof started to leak, and a roofer came out to look at it. He says some shingles have fallen off, and the shingles are brittle and failing, and the entire roof should be replaced.. He took pictures and it’s true, some of the shingles are falling off and cracking. The roof is more than 80 years old.

I received an estimate for replacement with regular, architectural shingles for about $4,000, or replace with slate at $6,000.

Does anyone have experience with this? Is it worth replacing with slate, or should I go with regular shingles?”

corner fence
Photo by PoPville flickr user Lorie Shaull

“Dear PoPville,

So I have a question. I own a corner lot that currently has an old chain link fence with various tree sized shrubs grown into it along the side of the property and I was hoping to replace it with a wooden fence around 6ft tall. I have looked at my zoning and it appears that the existing fence exists 30″ beyond my official lot boundary. That is fine, I have no problem building the new fence 2 1/2ft in from the existing one, but there is also a setback line that runs along the edge of the house itself. Does this mean that I need more than a simple postcard permit in order to build this fence?”


“Dear PoPville,

I recently moved to a new condo in DC and the scooter in the picture has been sitting there for weeks. No one in my building owns it, it has no license plate and I havent seen anyone even approach it since I moved in. I called DC 311 and they told me that because its not in the street they cannot ticket or tow it. I have to believe thats not the case as its just sitting on a lawn. Any suggestions who I can reach out to get this removed?

Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin

“Dear PoPville,

My husband and I are under contract for purchasing a 1938 house in need of rehabilitation through a Homestyle Renovation Mortgage (similar to FHA 203k). The house needs a significant amount of work from different trades to become habitable (e.g. all new plumbing and electrical, structural and non-structural masonry work, asbestos tile removal, exterior grading, roofing repair, window and door repair, plaster repair, wood floor repair, etc). Everything in the house is original to 1938, which is what we like about the house and want to keep to the extent possible. Does anyone have experience with a general contractor for a rehabilitation/restoration of an old house that does not include any remodeling or design work? The general contractor needs to have enough experience with jobs similar in scope in order to be approved by the lender.”