Landlord trying to start a boarding house – help!

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Topic: Landlord trying to start a boarding house – help!

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?


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I’d recommend going to the Landlord Tenant Resource Center, located in one of the city court buildings at Judiciary Square:

Definitely get there early, definitely before 9, and be prepared to wait. (Not the most convenient if you have a regular job. But if you get there super early, you’ll be seen close to 9:15, when they open.) Once they reach capacity for the day, they don’t accept any more people. They are amazingly helpful and knowledgeable about a whole range of issues. They would at least be able to point you in the right direction.

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