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“Dear PoPville,

Question – is there anything PoP readers think we can/should do about this? In front of our house this morning, a car pulled up, man and woman in a heated argument, windows down, car moving forward, then stopping, blocking the road. At one point the man got out and the woman tried to drive away. The man managed to get back in while the car was moving. An elderly neighbor and I happened to be outside observing the whole thing, wondering what if anything to do. The car stopped again a couple of car lengths away, and the guy yelled at the woman “If some f*cking old lady [presumably our neighbor] calls the police, I’m going to punish you.” In the moment I wasn’t sure what to do and didn’t have the presence of mind to get a license plate…and not even sure if it’s something I could/should have called the police about anyway. Except for that last comment… I’m just left feeling very unsettled. Thoughts/comments/suggestions appreciated.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr.TinDC

“Dear PoPville,

I live in Adams Morgan and there is a vague notice posted in my building from the City saying that the water will be shut off for 6-8 hours, Tuesday, starting at 7 pm. Is it just me or is this absurd? Our front desk person thought perhaps the work would end at 7 pm, but the notice is kind of unclear. Is nighttime construction work a common practice in the city? If so, is the water usually turned off during the whole window of time?”

Ed. Note: When I lived in an apartment building near the Zoo it was not uncommon to have daytime water cutoffs but we never had one at night. Anyone else ever have one at night?

parking

“Dear PoPville,

Is this person serious?

We got two moving pods delivered. We weren’t there when they were delivered but the driver placed them down with the openings facing each other and enough room between them to easily load large items. And then this jackanape comes along and just parks RIGHT in between them so the doors can’t even open. Do the signs technically say no parking from 7am to 5pm? Yes they do. But where’s the common courtesy?? We got one friend to help move heavy items but now we cant and we have no idea how we’re going to get those items in. Virginia plates for what it’s worth.”

Ed. Note: jackanape is my new favorite word.

Is it possible that the car was there and the moving company placed the pods around it? Still not cool but not quite as jackanapish if that happened. Of course, this is a good reminder to please not park between moving pods.

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3501 13th St, NW

“Dear PoPville,

UIP property mgt Inc. the new owner of 3501 13th St NW, which bought the building in June for $6 million, promptly filed civil suit in July to increase the rents of every tenant in the building for $991.55 (I have attached PDFs of some of the court docs). They want to add another $991.55 to the preexisting rent of every unit in the building. The attached doc that I sent was scanned from the packet the city sent. It outlines the proposed “temporary” surcharge by unit.

UIP rent increase (PDF)

UIP court doc 1 (PDF)

UIP court doc 2 (PDF)

In what would appear to be an attempt to make an end run around various DC laws regarding tenants rights, UIP justifies this “temporary” rent increase in the name of making improvements to the property. Clearly, this doubling of the rents of most tenants would be a defacto eviction for most of the tenants of this section 8 housing.

The tenants (of which I am one) were notified on the 15th of September by the DC Office of Administrative Hearings that they were required to appear in court on Oct 24 at the Office of Administrative Hearings or risk losing the case.

Now, UIP may not succeed in this opening gambit in it’s attempt to force the people who live at 3501 13th from their homes. However, the crass disrespect towards the people who live at 3501 13th is demonstrated by the fact that they filed a suit that will require working people to take a day off and go to court to head off a cynical ploy by their landlord to evict them by other means.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.

“Dear PoPville,

I have been trying to help a friend find an apartment and have been monitoring Craigslist for her.

To several ads that either she or I have responded to, we have gotten the identical response –

Hello,

I hope everything is good. I’m glad to tell you that the apartment is still available. We thought we had the place leased to a couple that we gave a tour to today, but now it seems that they changed their mind, so we need to rent it as soon as possible. You were the second one to show interest about it.

I bet you will want to do a walkthrough of the property, but my husband doesn’t want me to advertise the address as a measure of safety. Last time we did that without being diligent, the empty property was broken into and vandalized. We don’t want that to happen again! You will be responsible for cable, internet, and phone, if you decide to have these services. Just to confirm, we DO allow pets at this property. The rental term is one year, but can be switched into a half year lease if preferred. We require one month notice before moving out, as a courtesy.

If you want us to schedule you for a tour, then please visit the link below and get your free score. We recommend this site because all of our tenants used it and never had any problems. All you need to do is fill out the form and you get your score We are not concerned with any negative marks, it’s more of a formality to have it on file, to make sure there are no previous property related issues. You can get it for free at CLICK HERE

Remember, we only need to see the page about the rental history. That’s all we need to see at the showing. We’ll also waive your security deposit if we see that your rating is above 560+.

Once you let me know that you have your credit history ready, then I’ll personally schedule a showing of the place. I know that you’ll love it!

Thank you!

Sometimes the response is signed by Anne Woods, sometimes by Catherine Long. The first time this response came back, my friend did what was requested and then never heard back again. What is it that these people do with this information? . . . . And, what can be done to stop this kind of scam from going on? Notifying Craigslist would not seem to do much as the ads themselves are written so differently in terms of language that it would be hard to tell a valid one from a legitimate one.”

Gotta be using the information gathered for identity theft, right?

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Photo by PoPville flickr user JEO Photography

“Dear PoPville,

I have a question about landlord responsibilities that I would love the community’s response to. I live in an older building and a few weeks ago, my next door neighbor’s apartment flooded, due to a leak in the heating and cooling unit. The leak spread to my apartment through the walls and floors, and the wood flooring in my unit now needs to be replaced. It’s cracked and bubbling- in some places the floor has popped up as high as 6 inches. The walls also show signs of water damage.

We’ve been trying to get them to replace the floors for several weeks – they’ve made appointments and missed them on several occasions, which is relevant in that I need to have my dog out of the apartment and in day care, which gets expensive. This week, they finally came to inspect the floors and decided that they needed to replace the floors entirely, and we’ll need to move out of the apartment for 48 hours (furniture and all!).

What is their responsibility in handling this situation? I’ve asked to be moved to another unit in the building while they do the work, but that may not happen for a while and I’m concerned about mold. And should I expect a rent abatement as a result of this damage / having to move out of the apartment temporarily?”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user NCinDC

“Dear PoPville,

Two of my good female friends in their late 20s are looking for a place in DC. They both have great full-time jobs and excellent references. They went to look at a 2br townhouse apartment yesterday and the landlord weirdly asked them where they were going to sleep, which is totally creepy in its own right. When he realized they are a lesbian couple (neither presents as “stereotypically queer” and he was totally civil until they said they were planning to use the 2nd bedroom as an office) he started talking about charging them all kinds of additional fees and putting on additional restrictions to rent the apartment (a fee for the backyard, unlisted hefty application fee, “for you I’m going to say no pets” when they said they have a small dog even though the listing clearly allowed pets, higher security deposit than what’s allowed by DC code, etc.).

I’ve encouraged them to file a complaint with the DC Office of Human Rights to report the landlord for housing discrimination. The problem is that this isn’t necessarily prima facie housing discrimination, since it’s not like he listed “NO GAYS” in his advertisement and never directly refused to rent to them. Has anyone else had this experience? What did you do about it, if anything? They clearly won’t be living there, but are there other ways to flag this chump so others don’t unwittingly sign a lease and have to deal with his bullshit if they happen to be LGBTQ?”

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“Dear PoPville,

What’s the story with the Living Social building at the corner of 7th & New York? I walked by it tonight and it’s empty now. I thought that corner building was gonna survive the reconstruction of that block – did plans change? I haven’t heard anything about it.”

Back in Jan. we learned Living Social was closing their cool events space on F Street. Anyone know what’s happening with the building at the corner of 7th and New York Ave, NW?

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Photo by PoPville flickr user wolfkann

“Dear PoPville,

I recently bought a house and live in it with one other person. What is an average water bill? I just got one that seemed really expensive. $120 for one month (One house, two people. We have high efficiency everything in terms of water.) Where I used to live, without all the high efficiency stuff, my water bill was about $100 for three months.”