Dear PoPville – Help with an Agressive Landlord

by Prince Of Petworth June 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm 27 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user johnmcochran2012

Dear PoPville,

My landlord is harassing me with angry, threatening emails and I am concerned he may try to forcibly remove me from my house. I recently asked my landlord to remove trash and belongings in the basement of my house. I did this as last week a torrential rain caused a flood in the basement and soaked these items. It now smells quite awful and I’m worried about mold.

My landlord adamantly refused until I suggested I would contact a housing inspector. He claims he has no responsibility, but the trash and belongings never belonged to me or my other housemates. The items were already there when we started our lease, and some of the items belong to the landlord, and the rest ostensibly belongs to former tenants. In other words, all these soggy, moldy items were there when I arrived. I also notified the landlord before and after signing the lease that these former tenant objects were still in the house. Another housemate also emailed the landlord that the items constitute a pest risk after a pest inspector said they could harbor pests.

The landlord has now agreed to pay for removal, but he continues to harass me and threatens that he will ‘fully resolve’ this situation later. I have tried to contact the DC Office of Tenant Rights, but they haven’t responded to my emails and voice messages. I have also tried to get a housing inspector out to visit the house, but every time I call I am put on hold far longer than I can reasonably wait (as I write I’m on hold going on 55 mins).

What should I do?


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