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Dear PoPville – Is This Legit?

Photo by PoPville flickr user Rukasu1

Dear PoPville,

I moved into a new building last summer on a one-year lease. The management company set the rent at the maximum allowed under DC rent control ($2,009 a month), but as this was significantly higher than the market rate for the apartment, they took a $214 “concession” out of my rent per month. So for the past year, my effective rent has been $1,795 per month. I just received a letter from the management company telling me that to extend the lease another year, they want to raise the rent to $2,122, which is 5% above last year’s maximum rent allowed but a whopping 18% increase over the rent that I actually paid last year.

Is this allowed? I know that DC has regulations on how much rent can be raised year-over-year, which it seems like they are trying to get around by having had an “actual” rent and an “effective” rent for last year. I’d really prefer not to move, and I kinda feel swindled. Really appreciate any advice!

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