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Still, A Really Sad Sight

by Prince Of Petworth November 3, 2010 at 11:30 am 30 Comments

A reader sends in word and the photo from the 1300 block of Monroe St, NW. The reader writes that this is the third attempt at an eviction.

It is not as crazy a scene as the one we saw at the end of Sept. at 11th and Otis St, NW but it is still heartbreaking. I know the tenant has responsibilities and of course needs to meet their financial obligations but I wish there was a less humiliating way to do an eviction. And I also respect the frustration that the landlord must feel. I’m not saying I have the answer, I’m just saying these scenes are always a sad sight.

  • Brian

    Very sad for the tenants. But, I’m sure the property owners are clicking thier heels. Takes up to 3 months to go through the courts and get an eviction in DC. That’s enough time to put a major dent in a small time landlords credit and finances as well. Its unfortunate that the small time landlords have to deal with the huge slumlords oversight.

  • mphs

    It’s worth noting, it could be a homeowner being evicted, not a tenant.

  • Truth

    Indeed, this person had not paid a dime of their mortgage in 2 years. Nor had they paid condo dues.

    • C.C.

      Can concur that this was an abuser of the system – not a dime in over 18 months in a luxury residence, breaking in to her own home, using power from the facility outlets, etc. This kind of case highlights the flaw in the system not makes us feel sympathy for the less fortunate.

  • I hope that my life never leads me into a situation like this. Always I am reminded of the importance of family and friends one can turn to.

    After watching this sad scene play out for the past 30 years in DC, I do however believe there might be too much lenience. I am not sure people should be given months without paying.

    Perhaps the system should be reviewed.

  • Native American JD

    What is an attempt at an eviction? Either you have the DC Police remove them or you don’t.

    • DCMom

      Actually the US Marshalls

  • Truth

    DC requires 25 person crew plus a US marshal to evict. That’s very hard to do. In one failed attempt last may, they were 2 people short and the marshal never showed. This person lived scotfree for 2 years and refused to work with lender to work out a plan.

    There is no evil landlord here. This person is the sole reason their own situation.

    There are laws to protect homeowners but this person abused them.

    • TaylorStreetMan

      do you literally mean that the law requires exactly (or at least, I assume) 25 people and a marshal? So, if 24 people and the marshal show up, they can’t evict?

      If so, then that’s the kind of BS law that needs to get ripped out of the book. Ridiculous.

      • Truth

        yes that is what’s required. DC is world reknowned for having the most lenient tenant/homeowner laws in the U.S. and possibly the world. It’s people like this that take advantage of it. We all pay for the cost of eviction.

        • the gup

          that just doesn’t pass the smell test for me. I agree dc is very tenant friendly, but seriously 25+1????
          what if it is the 450 sq ft studio that i used to live in on Rhode island (which caught fire yesterday)?

          do you have a resource or citation on this?

          • rumorsaretrue

            Though I am not going looking for a citation, I have heard of this and even seen evictions in NE stop because they were “short some people” and it looke like me that they had an entire moving company outside. I don’t think its a wive’s tale but the reality of the situation. who knows though.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think that this is part of DC Landlord/Tenant law, but a policy of the US Marshal. From the Marshal’s office website for DC:

      “House 25 person
      1 bedroom apartment 10 person
      2 bedroom apartment 15 person
      3 bedroom apartment 20 person
      (The minimum numbers apply to those on the site and available to work. Persons present in only supervisory capacities will not count toward the required total)”

      I think the reasoning is that the Marshal Service doesn’t want to post an officer on site all day, but instead get in and out as quickly as possible

      • victoria

        Usually they pick up a van-load of guys from a homeless shelter (I’ve seen at least 20 piling into one van) to do the work.

  • Angry Parakeet

    I am interested in hearing about the status of the woman from the Otis eviction. Clearly she has a hoarding problem – where is she now? And what of the space JK Moving and Storage provided? What of her 5 vanloads of belongings?

    • DCMom

      My boss actually called up JK Moving after she saw this woman on the news and payed for a few months of storage for that woman out of her own pocket. There are good people in the world.

  • Inquiring Minds

    Okay my last comment got deleted so I’ll class it up. Does anyone know what news team the blonde on left works for?


    • TaylorStreetMan

      ha! I can only imagine your original comment that got yanked!

      I doubt even that girl’s mother could 100% identify her from that angle. I share your curiosity, though!

      • another guy named chris

        the girls mother may not but i bet 4/5 men could…

    • the gup

      +1 (to both the deletion and your persistance :)

  • p’worth

    eviction story of yore:
    I once worked with a girl who lived with 3 other people. She and 2 others had no idea that their one roommate was taking their rent and keeping it, not paying the landlord. He was the contact person, and also quickly removed the notice that went up on the door when they were being evicted.
    So she and the others got home one day and the Marshalls had put all their belongings on a street corner. By the time she got home from work, most of it was gone — including her social security card and laptop. She was now the proud owner of one pair of pants.

    Moral of the story: always pay your own rent directly, and also if you’re a landlord, do try and speak to *all* your tenants.

    • Anonymous

      God, that’s horrible. I made the mistake of doing everything through a roomate once, because the landlord wanted it that way, and ended up getting screwed out of my security deposit because she wouldn’t give it back. Never again!

  • anon.

    “I wish there was a less humiliating way to do an eviction”

    As a landlord who has evicted a tenant you should know that the responsibility is totally on the tenant. The tenant has not met his/her contractual agreement. Sad, perhaps, but in no way, absolutely no way is it the landlord’s fault.
    AND there is a less humiliating way to do an eviction.
    The tenant has ample notice of the final date of occupation. Weeks, if not months. It is the tenant who has not moved that causes this situation.

    Do you know how long it takes and at what financial and emotional loss it is to a landlord who has been pushed to this end? Do you know that if on the day of eviction if the whether is bad, rain, snow, too cold that the eviction is postponed? That a new date has to be arranged and that it could be weeks, or months away?

    Do you know that it is the landlord who has to pay movers to carry the stuff out to the street?

    Do you know that the stuff cannot stay on the street for more than a certain amount of time (in Calvert County where I have my property it is 24 hours) and the the landlord is responsible for removing the stuff, i.e. to pay movers again?

    It may be bad for those being evicted but they had some choice. What choice does a landlord have?

    • Brian


      • anon.

        Thank you Brian and thank you for not pointing out that I spelled weather whether.

        I didn’t say but would like to add that if the eviction is called off for weather and the movers show up you have to pay them anyway.
        That if the tenant has the back rent that the process is called off, on the spot. That it can begin again anew the next month. (Very unlikely that a tenant who has not paid the rent will have the means to pay it at the last minute. I will admit that it is sad and true that those who do not pay the rent simply cannot–they don’t have the money)
        And to continue my rant. It took 4 recordings by the court of non-payment to get the eviction. That meant 4 trips to the courthouse to get the summons and 4 trips to the court for the hearings. Then another trip to the court to get the eviction.
        I had to pay for each summons and in addition pay a separate charge to the Marshall to have it served.
        Think long and hard before you become a landlord.

    • Sarah Lindsey

      I’m just curious, what does the landlord/city expect to happen to the items when they are put on the curb? Are the things put there in the expectation that the tenant will remove them, or is it for a trash removal service to come and pick them up?

      If the landlord is responsible for paying the movers again (after 24 hours as stated), where are the movers moving the items to? A dump, goodwill?

      I’ve always wondered about that.

      • anon.

        I don’t believe the landlord has any responsibility for protecting the goods on the street. That is the tenant’s responsibility. If after the legal period of time the stuff is still there the disposition, I believe, is up to the landlord, who has the responsibility of removing it.
        I think it would be sticky to seize it for one’s own. In this litigious society it is possible the tenant could sue you (LOL appropriate here)
        In my case the tenant removed himself 30 minutes before the Marshall arrived. I was lucky. I think I would have had it taken to the dump, where I would have had to pay a dumping charge as well as the movers’ fees.
        I’d like to mention that my real estate agent found this tenant for me and I paid her a month’s rent as a fee.
        This tenant from the very first month did not pay his rent. Needless to say this agent will never my business again.

  • the verbotten one

    Good riddance. You have to be pretty bad to actually get evicted in tenant-friendly DC.

  • Update: As of this evening, all the contents of the home are gone, carted off by who knows to who knows where. Looks like it never happened.

  • Truth


    Evicted tenant spotted trying to break into her place around 9:45 pm.


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