Mon. Afternoon Rental Option – Mt. Pleasant (reader request)

by Prince Of Petworth July 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm 45 Comments

This rental is located at 1844 Park Road, NW:

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The Craigslist ad says:

“There is an OPEN HOUSE tomorrow Monday 25 July at 6PM sharp…arrive on time if you are interested!
the entrance is from the new alley behind Park Road…the numbers are visible 1844 PARK Road ( you can do it, keep your eyes alert)

Great separate space in shared house, you have your own entrance
new wahser and dryer, new microwave/convection oven, new fridge new cooktop, cabinets- tons of storage
hard wood floors, large closet in bedroom, and small bathroom with shower
NO COUPLES, NO DRUGS, NO PETS, NO SMOKING…(that’s non-negotiable)

So, you should check it out..great house, great deck for BBQs and nice garden in the best part of DC
near red and green lines, shopping restaurants, movies and more
there is an application and security deposit and rent due at signing
email with ???”

The reader who requested this one noted that a previous ad mentioned six foot ceilings. If that’s the case does $1300 sound realistic for this 1 bedroom?

  • greent

    NOT WORTH IT (that’s non negotiable)

  • Amanda

    The tone of this ad is extremely demeaning. Horrible.

    • Molly

      surriously. I feel like 10x dumber now.

    • textdoc

      What Amanda said.

      Maybe the landlord _meant_ it to sound clever or playful or whatever, but if so, it was a total failure; the ad comes across as very patronizing.

    • TEM

      Yeah, it definitely makes them sound obnoxious and difficult to work with, which would make me think twice about the place even if it was a good deal (which it isn’t!)

    • Veronika

      so obnoxious… “you can do it, keep your eyes alert”??? seriously? NOT WORTH IT due to the fact that the writer of this ad is high strung, condescending and rude… good luck finding a tenant

    • MtP

      I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who thought the tone was really alienating. Maybe they thought it was funny, but if so, they missed the mark totally.

  • Molly

    I saw this earlier on Craigslist and I don’t get it (waaaahhhhh). it’s a shared house, but you have all of that stuff to yourself? but NO COUPLES?!

    us couples need a place to live too, you know!

    (btw my boyfriend and I NEED an apartment ASP for $1300 or under… so uh… anyone? anyone?)

    • Meg

      Yeah I was wondering the same thing about the group house vs. one bedroom, but I felt too stupid to ask. :(

      • katesmash

        I think “separate space” is code for “basement apartment”

  • Another guy named Chris

    6 foot ceilings? is that even legal?

    • Scott

      The space under my deck is taller than that. I should rent that out.

    • Anononymous

      Nope. According to a number of places on the interweb, 7′ is the minimum legal height:

    • A

      I think it’s okay if it’s not a separate apartment, which from this language, “Great separate space in shared house, you have your own entrance” – I’m assuming it’s not. Ie the person who rents it has access to the rest of the house.

      • textdoc

        I was wondering if the idea was that it’s basically a separate apartment, but not “legal” (i.e., not separately metered, ceilings not regulation height), and thus the person is advertising it as a houseshare instead.

        • A

          That was my interpretation of the ad, but who knows..

      • Ryan

        Based on both a friend’s personal experience and the link above, this is not right. A room has to be at least 7 feet high or it cannot be used as a bedroom. This is true even if the person living in the bedroom has access to the rest of the house.

        • A

          Interesting, I had thought those rules didn’t matter for a BR in a shared house. But I’ll take your word for it. Of course, what the law dictates and what happens in actuality are often different things.

  • textdoc

    Hmm, it’s now showing up as “Flagged for removal” on Craigslist.

  • Kenyon Street

    Absolutely not worth it. And what is up with the “no couples”? Two people are more likely to make rent each month than just one.

    • Veronika

      the writer is jealous because said writer has no one to hold at night… taking it out on everyone else

    • Girl named Liz

      Maybe because they might split up and have to break the lease? I guess that’s a legitimate concern. If there’s domestic abuse involved the landlord legally must let the victim leave without repercussions.

    • Mike

      I lived in a house with a separate apt downstairs (still had stairs connecting them, but with the door closed we sub-leased it as a separate space like this ad is. We didn’t want a couple because the hot water heater couldn’t produce enough hot water for showers for everyone. It could be as simple as that.

  • Dan

    What everyone else said. Also that’s nowhere near the Red Line. Or movies. Or shopping restaurants, whatever those are.

    • My2Cents

      There is a lot to do and see in DC that can be found more than 5 blocks from the red line

      • LK

        There certainly is, but that doesn’t change the fact that the ad boasted about proximity to the red line when it isn’t actually true.

        • My2Cents

          You can walk down to Dupont or take the 42 or cut through the zoo. Not that far.

          • ¢hris

            google maps says its 38 minutes to dupont from here walking. I feel like it can be done in 30, but that still is far. It isn’t too far from the green line though. they should have left it at that.

    • John B.

      It’s about a mile from this address to Cleveland Park (Metro red line, movies, shopping), across the park on Klingle & Porter. 25-35 minutes depending on how fast you walk. It’s a pleasant walk, although I wouldn’t want to do it in the rain (or in hot or cold weather). Columbia Heights station (green line) is closer, about 15 minutes on foot. Mt. Pleasant St. business district (shopping, restaurants) is VERY close and Columbia Heights shopping (Giant, Target et al.) would also be a very easy walk.

      • TJ

        From 19th and Park it is 3/4 mile to the Cleveland Park metro entrance, a distance that can be covered in under 20 minutes. It is a fine walk hot/cold dry/wet weather, as the walk beats standing around waiting for an H bus that nevers runs on schedule.

  • Mr. Poon

    This goes to show you what the rental market is like right now. This person will probably have 20 people at his open house.

    • Veronika

      hopefully at around 6:23

      • Girl named Liz


      • A

        …. with boyfriend & dog in tow, smoking a joint.

        • Anonymous

          She sounds like a pretty awesome tenant, actually. :)

          Demanding that prospective tenants be there by 6pm SHARP is shooting yourself in the foot, in my opinion. Their ideal tenant is probably a professionals with normal hours, but it would be tough for most of those people to get to Mt. Pleasant by 6pm.

    • Molly

      it is ridiculous right now. I’ve been to 5 open houses in the past week and ALL of the renters said they’ve had about 50-60 responses.

      it’s also sort of crappy being a 22-year-old recent college grad looking for a place. my boyfriend and I are both fully employed in career-focused jobs, but I can’t shake the feeling that even on paper we look young and therefore not good tenants. especially in comparison to the other, late-20s, early-30s couples we’ve seen at open houses.

      • Anonymous

        I wish I had something to offer you. If you have a particular neighborhood in mind, try walking around to see if anyone has a sign posted. Those places may not be advertised online so the competition will be lower. Also, if you’re comfortable with it, try searching in neighborhoods with mostly immigrant residents.

      • MtP

        Here’s the reality from a landlord: “on paper” you do look young…because you *are* young. The odds of an early-20s relationship being long-term are not in your favor, so when it breaks up (sorry, but the smart money is on “when,” not “if”), you will both leave because you probably can’t afford the place solo, which is not good for a landlord who wants tenant stability.

        FWIW, I’m more interested in a tenant’s level of maturity and independence than his or her age. There are an awful lot of people who think living in a dorm (or a group house) counts as being on their own, but it really doesn’t.

        Have you considered presenting yourself as non-partners? As just friends who are renting? In this market, I doubt anyone would question 2 friends in a 1-bedroom, and it might remove some of the negative perception attached to being a young couple.

      • TEM

        Yeah, I really do not envy anyone who’s apartment-hunting in this city right now.

        I know I’ve seen a few more “reasonably” priced places advertised on Craig’s List in places like Brookland and Hill East, if you’re willing to consider areas outside of NW…but maybe those are the open houses you’ve been to with 50 responses.

        Also, can either of you offer a parent as a guarantor? I had to do that with my first couple of apartments here in DC–it helps reassure the landlord that he’ll still get paid even if you guys bailed for some reason.

        Good luck!

      • common sense

        I’m sorry Molly that sounds tough. As a late-20s renter who recently went through the rental application process in DC for the first time, I can’t imagine what it would be like for a recent college grad (espcially if they lack parents are who are able or willing to act as guarantors). The tenants rights in this city are so strong that landlords are not willing to take many chances at the outset. My advice would to try and understand where the landlord is coming from and stress your desire to build a credit and rental history by always paying on time. I think being genuine can still go a long way, espcially if renting from a smaller landlord.

      • EW

        Molly- another thing that could be helpful is a letter of recommendation from previous landlord(s). Myself and my two roommates (granted not a couple) are all 23, gainfully employed, etc etc, with a pet, and our first place in the city last year was very difficult to find. Having a letter of recommendation from that landlord saying that we kept the house in reasonable shape and paid our rent and utilities on time every month helped us lock down our new place (on H St. NE–you should check out the neighborhood, btw!)with little to no hassle.

      • textdoc

        I thought from Molly’s original post that maybe she and her boyfriend were looking for places separately, not together… but it’s not really clear either way.

  • The posting has been flagged for removal. 6′ ceilings are never okay.

  • John B.

    If entry is from the back, this is almost certainly what is known as an “in-law suite”, which is a euphemism for an illegal rental. Prospective renters should ask to see the C of O (certificate of occupancy) although asking that question will probably mean not getting the “apartment”.

    6 foot ceilings are ridiculously low and that alone would almost certainly not qualify this unit for a legal rental, although older units with slightly less than 7 foot ceilings that predate the existing codes may be grandfathered in (I know because I have one). The laws regarding rental units in your own house, that you occupy (and own no other rentals) are also somewhat different from those for multi-unit rental properties. In a nutshell, landlords who rent from their own home are exempted from many of the laws that otherwise regulate rental units (but you have to apply for such an exemption, and prove that you occupy the house).

    BTW we also exclude couples (or rather, occupancy by more than one person so that would also exclude single parents with children), in part because our small one-bedroom unit is simply too small for two people and also because we have a single water heater for the entire house, so our tenants use our hot water (=cold showers for us).

    • John B.

      Oops, I should have read more carefully. As a shared house, this is obviously not an apartment or even “in-law suite”. But I agree that $1300 for a shared house is awfully expensive.


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