Today’s Rental is a “Newly Renovated English Basement Apartment”

by Prince Of Petworth July 27, 2016 at 2:35 pm 20 Comments

1619 Independence Avenue Southeast

This rental is located at 1619 Independence Avenue, Southeast. The listing says:

“Newly Renovated English Basement Apartment with all utilities included. Separate entrance. Kitchen includes stainless refrigerator, microwave and cooktop. Washer/Dryer in the unit. Maximum of one occupant. Short walk to Stadium-Armory Metro Station. Sorry, no pets.”


You can see more photos here.

This 1 bed/1 bath is going for $1,750/Mo.

  • joel

    “Maximum of one occupant”

    Is that even legal to discriminate against people with kids?

    Either way $1750 seems insane for a basement with no windows in that part of town.

    • anon

      and why couldn’t a couple occupy? I don’t get it.

  • Kingman Park

    So, are there no windows besides the door?

    • Nathan

      2 Doors!

    • ***

      hard to tell – doesn’t seem to have any photos of the back of the apartment, where I assume the bedroom is.

  • Cleveland Park runner

    No windows and a maximum of one occupant? Is this prison or a rental listing?

    • Anon Spock

      I’m questioning whether either of those 2 things is legal.

    • Not a lawyer

      Doesn’t “maximum of one occupant” violate DC’s fair housing laws too?

      • Anon Spock

        Yup. You can’t really limit occupants in the listing when there aren’t shared spaces.

    • anon

      I thought the one occupant thing was really odd. Also, that prices seems high for the location and the apartment.

    • ***

      I would guess that the owner probably lives upstairs and wants to limit the amount of people/noise coming from downstairs. Pretty sure when I rented my place, similar language was used.

      • anon

        I think people are allowed to specify number of occupants when it’s a houseshare or roommate-type thing.
        I was in a similar position recently when renting my basement unit. I didn’t put any special language in the ad, but was hoping I wouldn’t get any interest from couples. It was noisy enough with my previous tenant, just with the tenant being on the phone, having friends over, etc.

      • JoDa

        That is certainly the case, but because the owner is renting this as a separate apartment and not sharing common spaces with the tenants, they must follow DC’s regulations. Those regulations set out a minimum amount of living space/adult, but don’t allow a landlord to discriminate beyond those limits. Unspoken discrimination, like finding a reason to not rent to a couple or someone with a child instead of a single, often flies under the radar. When you put it out there like this owner has, you’re opening yourself up to at least criticism, if not legal repercussions (one of the enforcement agencies could easily bust them by having someone with a child inquire and/or apply).
        Illegal clauses in leases are rampant, but still illegal. Are you sure your lease said “only one tenant” and not “only tenants named on the lease may occupy?” The latter is legal. It is perfectly legal for landlords to require all occupants to be on the lease (for minors, named only, but still documented as occupying), and even require that each adult must be screened. It’s not legal to set occupancy limits below those established by the rental code.

        • JoDa

          Let me temper this statement a little. Because we can’t see the bedroom from the pictures, maybe the landlord is 100% correct that only one occupant may occupy this apartment (the bedroom is between 70 and 99 square feet). However, if the bedroom is 100 square feet or larger, or a prospective tenant has a child under 1 year old (or is expecting), here’s the law:
          Space: At least 70 square feet is required for each room used for sleeping by one tenant over 1 year old. For rooms used by 2 or more tenants for sleeping, there must be at least 50 square feet for each tenant. Under the DC Human Rights Act (not the Housing Code), it may be considered unlawful discrimination if a landlord tries to evict a family with children in order to limit the number of tenants living in the apartment. For purposes of the Human Rights Act, in general up to 2 persons are allowed in an efficiency, 3 persons in a one bedroom, 5 persons in a two bedroom, and 7 persons in a three bedroom.

  • ThumbsUp

    and just a quick block walk to such social service amenities as Andromeda Transcultural Health and Community Action Group, as well as the new 7-11 and the open air drug market at 17th/Indy!

  • A

    Sending this to my tenants to brighten up their day; they have a great deal!

    • victoria

      Yeah, I’m not gonna do that, but part of me kinda wants to!

  • Ryan

    This is a perfect example of why I will be leaving DC when my current lease ends.

    • Useless Reply to Useless Comment

      We’ll miss you Ryan!

  • Janie4

    Wow, at first I was feeling bad for my tenants because the living room there is a lot bigger/longer than mine. But I have a much nicer kitchen (with an actual oven and four burner stove), and I have a feeling my bathroom is nicer (plus I have light).

    Technically I think that’s an inlaw suite. The stairs are still there.

    And if they get that price, there’s a sucker born every minute.


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