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Dear PoP – Tenant Rights

by Prince Of Petworth April 28, 2010 at 12:30 pm 27 Comments


Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

“Dear PoP,

My DC apartment building has been sliding into deeper and deeper disrepair, yet rent continues to go up. My specific question is about access to water. My building cuts off the water to entire building at least once a month – but usually more than once a month. We get a notice posted outside the front door the day before this happens and we’re told to not expect water from 9:30am-4:30pm while some maintenance is being done. This is seriously inconvenient when you’re on an erratic schedule (like myself being a student about to defend my thesis) and you only know the night before that the water will be turned off the next day and you will now have to change your schedule around to shower, do laundry, and cook and clean.

What rights do I have as a tenant when my water is being turned off during the day with little notice and this is occurring more than once a month?”

I realize this might be better for legal question of the week but I already submitted one for this week. So has anyone dealt with a similar situation? If so how did you deal with it? Does it say anywhere in the lease how often utilities may be disrupted? Obviously in emergencies there is nothing that can be done but does shutting off the water once or more a month sound reasonable?

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