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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?”

Livingsocial_140921_5529

“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.”

“Dear PoPville,

Head’s up about a potentially dangerous runner in Dupont – Today (9/21) I was walking around 17 and S St. NW at 11 AM when I was assaulted by a jogger. A woman running quickly towards looked me in the face, said “head’s up”, then purposely body slammed me in the shoulder with a lot of force. I yelled loudly but she continued and was gone before we figured out what just happened. It was clearly intentional and she really hurt my shoulder. She was about 5’4″, Caucasian, athletic, mid-30s, with mid length brown hair. The whole experience was bizarre, but clearly an unprovoked assault on a stranger that she will probably repeat.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

“Dear PoPville,

Last week I had my driver’s window smashed and my car rummaged through. Mine was one of three cars that got hit. Unfortunate, but I’m resigned to the fact that this is a reality of having a car in the city.

I was parked overnight in a different zone than I am registered in. I came to my car to move it early in the morning, well within the allowed time. However finding my car as it was, I couldn’t move it and arranged for a glass repair company to come and fix it early that afternoon. When I returned to my car to meet the repair man, I had a parking ticket.

I certainly was parked in that zone beyond when other zones are allowed to park there. I thought, surely if parking enforcement saw a car broken into with a smashed window, they’d give some sort of grace period. Or at least find it in their heart to give me a break. No such luck! Any potential I can challenge this? Any idea if there’s some sort of exception to the zoned rules considering extenuating circumstances?”

Big Ass Satelitte

“Dear PoPville,

Lately, I’ve been noticing satellites in people’s yards. Dish usually puts them on houses in out of the way locations. However, I’ve seen one Dish satellite in the middle of someone’s front yard and I just saw another one being installed like that the other day. The worst case I’ve seen is a huge satellite in Michigan Park. It’s about 8 feet wide and is definitely an eyesore. It looks pretty old and may even be functionally obsolete. I’m curious about whether these are legal and whether people think they should be more regulated. Things like a fence and a shed are regulated so why not satellite dishes? It seems like they should all be mounted out of view from the street unless that’s not possible for some reason.”