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Dear PoP – Landlord Not Legally Registered, What Next?

Photo by PoPville flickr user fromcaliw/love

“Dear PoP,

We’ve had a pile of small interactions with our landlord that have added up to a major headache for our basement unit, so I took the advice from the last Griffin&Murphy column featured and checked with the Department of Housing and Community Development Rental Accommodations Division to see if my landlord is properly registered with the city (he’s not).

What’s the process that happens after you report a landlord who is renting illegally to the city? My house is zoned incorrectly, my landlord doesn’t have a Basic Business License, and I’m assuming he hasn’t been paying any taxes from rental income to the city this entire time. I don’t want to move out, or force my roommates to, but I do want my landlord to realize he doesn’t have authority to treat us disrespectfully or ignore our issues with the unit. I’d like to flex what muscle we have and I don’t think it’s fair that some home owners go through tremendous amounts of work to get their units up to code and approved by the DCRA while others simply ignore the law.”

Unfortunately the legal column has gone on hiatus due to time constraints but in the past readers have often been helpful providing advice as well. Does anyone know what next steps should be taken by the reader?

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