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Dear PoPville – My Landlord is a Slumlord

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Photo by PoPville flickr user number7cloud

“Dear PoPville,

I am currently living in an apartment managed by a slumlord in northwest DC. In less than a year I’ve experienced numerous housing code violations, multiple rodent infestations (including a raccoon), and a ceiling that caved in at one point. I’ve talked to neighbors who have the same landlord and they have had similar issues with their units.

I am worried about retaliation but want to stand up to the landlord. The landlord preys on people who don’t have the means, financial or time, to challenge him.

What steps have people taken against negligent landlords in DC? I’ve looked into DCRA housing inspections — what comes next? I know there are also tenant petitions and small claims court. I’d be interested to know what your readers have done to stand up for their legal rights as tenants and how they succeeded.”

Be sure to check with the Office of the Tenant Advocate.

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