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Viewing 8 topics - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
Public Safety June 29, 2016 at 7:06 pm

Landlord not responding to tenant living in unhealthy unit

My neighbor lives with her toddler grandson and others in the basement unit of a group home. Last night she called the fire department because her living room was flooded by a faulty heating system. When the firefighters left they said her landlord needed to fix the faulty system and address electrical issues in the unit. While I was talking to her she mentioned that loose bricks had also fallen from the ceiling and there was a tree (!!!) growing in her grandson’s room. She said that the unit has repeatedly flooded but the landlord has refused to address the problem. Today the maintenance company came but she said they did nothing to fix the faulty heating system–they just sucked up the water and cut out the wet carpet.

She said that she feels sick every time she walks into the unit and has been throwing up a lot. Sounds like mold.

I’m a landlord (with a C of O and an attorney-provided lease) and everything she describes seems like a major violation of DC tenants’ rights. She has repeatedly tried to get them to fix major problems with the unit and they ignore her or do something to cover the problem but don’t solve it and it reoccurs.

I suggested she call the DC tenant advocate and/or ask the city for an inspection and she called them and many others in the DC government, but all said they couldn’t help her because the unit wasn’t registered with them. But she and I agree that that doesn’t make sense because the trust that owns the house we think gets a major tax break from the city for making low-income housing available in Dupont Circle. My understanding is that even if a unit isn’t registered the city would still investigate violations–and would fine the owner for not registering the unit.

Any suggestions for advising her how to proceed? I’m happy to make calls for her, but she does not have the money to hire a lawyer or other advocate and she is unaware of her rights.

Real Estate March 28, 2016 at 10:18 pm

Large master bedroom & private bath for rent

Hi Popville!

My housemate and I are looking to fill the master bedroom in our lovely 3BR/2.5BA townhouse in the Adams Morgan/U Street area. Check out our Craigslist ad for more info and let us know if you want to come see the place!

$1500/mo + utilities
Available immediately
15-min walk to U Street metro; 20 mins to Dupont or Columbia Heights
Quiet gated community
Balcony overlooking Meridian Hill Park
Working fireplace in living room
In-unit W/D
Pics and more info here:

Many thanks,

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Real Estate August 24, 2015 at 10:53 pm

Landlord trying to start a boarding house – help!


I live in a group house in Petworth, 3br upstairs plus a basement w/ 1 br. Previously (for at least 2+ year) this house was rented to a group and the housemates would find a tenant to fill an open spot. This past May, a tenant moved out of the basement and we began looking for someone to fill her spot. The landlord then decided that she would do some work to the basement so we stopped looking.

Now, instead of doing renovations, she is insisting on finding a tenant for the basement space herself, and keeping us out of the process. This person would share all common spaces with us. We are very concerned about a stranger moving into our home, especially since one of us is a transwoman. Everyone in the house is currently on a separate (identical) lease.

We are a collective group house with norms and collective expectations, shared food and chores etc, we are NOT a boarding house and do not wish to become such.

Has anyone else experienced something like this? Is there a legal route so that we can choose our own housemate?


Real Estate March 9, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Looking for a room to rent in Columbia Heights? $750/mo, utilities included

You: neat, quiet, professional, not whiny, not Little Miss Suburban Prissy Pants.

Us: Opera tenor, Middle East digital media specialist, non-profit workers x2. (four total)

Apartment: four private rooms, one shared with a couple, shared kitchen and bath, great back porch and a private park behind, no other common area. (NOT a group house)

Rent: $750/month (March pro-rated) plus $750 security deposit, utilities included, though cable and/or internet are extra.

Location: 1.5 blocks to Metro. Maybe 1, depends on how you define it.

Email hey (dot) getreal (at) yahoo (dot) com. Available now!

Home and Garden January 8, 2015 at 11:17 am

ANC powers if we have completed DC Permits??

I am trying to figure out if the local ANC’s actually have any real or legal power over residential construction or building permits. We recently got permits to turn our carport into a garage. (It took a while) We are working with a larger area builder/company they did the designs and all the running back and forth for the permits. We have them post on our door.
We do NOT live in a historical area or any special zoning to our knowledge. And none of our neighbors have ever mentioned anything surrounding the topic. We have been open with our construction goals with our neighbors.
After materials were delivered today one of our neighbors called and said she was concerned that we may not have asked out ANC for permission for construction?? I can not find anything that states the ANCs have jurisdiction over approved residential building permits. I also think it is odd that this is the first and only person that have mentioned this to us. Any feed back?

Real Estate February 24, 2014 at 9:50 am

Owner re-occupying my apartment — when does the 90 day clock start?

Hey folks, I have what I think is a quick question. The owner of my unit who I am renting from has sold the unit. The new owner is going to move in themselves, so they are giving me 90 days notice to vacate. (I’ve already waived my right of first refusal, we don’t want to buy the place ourselves.)

My question is, when does that 90 day clock start? When the sale closes and is final, or some time before? The new owner has said I have until May 31 to leave, but he doesn’t expect the sale to close until March 31, which would seem to indicate I have until the end of June, not end of May, for my 90 days.

So, when does the clock start on this? Thanks!

Real Estate January 16, 2014 at 1:18 am

To buy or not to buy in Trinidad?

I’m a prospective first-time buyer with a fairly limited budget by D.C. standards. At this point in my search, I’ve turned up a few leads in Trinidad that are within my budget and that are renovated and nicely presented. My plan is to use a second (or third) bedroom to generate some rental income to help offset costs.

My gut check tells me that the neighborhood is only getting better, that the new Whole Foods and streetcar will add to the area’s appeal and that buying relatively cheap now will probably mean a decent return on investment in 5-10 years. I also like what I’ve seen of the neighborhood in general; it seems like it has a good community vibe. I go to NoMa and Union Market frequently, as well as H Street, and those areas are no sweat.

The only thing really keeping me out of Trinidad is, fairly or unfairly: Trinidad. I know that it’s not nearly as bad now as it used to be, but I’m still a little skittish. Then again, I have a feeling that I might look back in a few years and kick myself for not buying there. I’ve been in D.C. for a while now but not long enough to have been able to buy in any neighborhood when it was still on the way up.

So, what say you, PoPville? Is it worth getting a nice-priced property with rental potential in a neighborhood that’s still developing and overcoming its, well, reputation?

Announcements November 10, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Seeking advice on dealing with my rental company

Dear All,

I’m reaching out to the blog users in an effort to seek advice on how to deal with my new rental company.

I recently moved into a studio apartment in the Petworth area. I’m renting a newly renovated English basement unit which is part of a medium size apartment complex currently undergoing renovations. I wasn’t originally looking for a basement unit as light is important to me, but this place has a full wall of windows with wide window wells. When I looked out the windows, the grass line of the small backyard was at eye level and there was quite a bit of natural light. This seemed like a big advantage for me as opposed to most basement apartments.

However, this Friday during a rare work from home day I heard the construction crew drive up to my window area with a large truck. When I looked outside to see what was going I saw them dump a truck load of gravel over the entire back yard area and realized they had started building a partial brick wall right up from the window wells, blocking my view and sunlight. I went out and inquired and they told me they were making a parking lot. I just moved into the apartment complex one month ago and the rental company never mentioned their plans to build up a wall and make a parking lot. Today I came home to my apartment for the first time since Friday morning since I haven’t wanted to be there.  It was a beautiful day, but instead of adequate light coming through like previously the apartment was much darker. I feel very mislead by the company. I’m sure they had this plan in the works longer than just the month I have lived there.

The brick wall and parking lot will drastically change the comfort level of the apartment. The amount of light in the apartment is a major concern as a dark apartment is depressing and makes it harder to be productive. Furthermore, I will no longer be able to look out to green space at eye level. Instead, I will have to look at the bricks and deal with the noise of cars, slamming doors and headlights shining through my window at night. This parking lot is being made right at the edge of my window well, just a few feet from my windows. I feel the rental company should have shared this information with me prior to be entering into a yearlong lease. This intrinsically changes the quality of space I agreed to rent and I’m not sure I would have chosen this apartment had I known they were planning to make these changes. I feel like the value of the apartment has decreased just a month after I made a legal agreement to rent.

When I asked about this construction on Friday they tried to say that I knew there was renovations being made and that they had the right to make any renovations they saw fit. When I asked why they hadn’t informed me they just said I had had the opportunity to ask any questions I wanted to during the viewing. I’m not a real estate agent. I wouldn’t have known to ask if by any chance they had plans to make a parking lot in the yard right outside my window. I do remember commenting on the large windows, light and view during the viewing but nothing was ever told to me about how this would soon change.

Does anyone have any suggestions of what to do? I am very frustrated with the rental company as they didn’t ever mention this to me beforehand. I feel like the purposefully withheld this information and put off making this change until after someone had moved into the apartment.

I have had many issues with the rental company in the past month. I have tried to be very understanding and patient and have often had to follow up many time before move-in issues were addressed and resolved. For instance, the refrigerator wasn’t working when I moved in and I didn’t have a working fridge for the first 2 weeks. It took them a full month to get all the items in the furniture package to me (which was agreed to in the lease and I am paying for on a monthly basis in addition to the rent). It’s been over a month and I am still waiting for them to fix an issue with the shower. These are just a few of the many move in issues that I’ve dealt with, some they have addressed right away and others I’ve had to consistently follow-up on. We have also had continuous renovations being made so I spent each weekend trying to stay away from the apartment so I don’t have to listen to all the construction noise. All of these other issues are temporary and things I can deal with. But building up a brick wall, blocking off the light and building a parking lot just a few feet away is something that is permanent.

Thanks for any advice you may have to share!

Viewing 8 topics - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)