Washington, DC

“Dear PoPville,

I am writing to see if there is an existing warning list or something similar for terrible landlords We just moved out of a row home where the landlord was excessively rude (calling us “little girls” or a “waste of time” when asking for the landlord to look at issues in the house), was a pain to get to fix defunct heaters in the winter, neglected to fix leaks, or update decades old appliances that damaged our clothes. It ultimately took him a full month to get our security deposit back past the 45 day deadline, because his first check bounced which he blamed on USPS (!?!?). Read More

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“Dear PoPville,

I live in a building on 16th Street, NW. I’ve lived here for the past two years in a studio apartment on the first floor. During my time here, I’ve realized that the landlords are slumlords of a truly spectacular caliber. There are serious problems with many tenants in this building who treat the entire building and surrounding grounds as their personal property, with no concern whatsoever for the general comfort, well-being, or cleanliness of the shared spaces. This is a large building (8 stories) with numerous units, and the management is well aware of these people who do, among other things, the following: Read More

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr.TinDC

“Dear PoPville,

The A/C in my large downtown D.C. apartment building has been out for nearly a week–and it could still be several days before it’s fixed.

While our building is working hard to restore it, this is not the first time we’ve dealt with A/C maintenance issues this summer, and there seems to be little accountability amid rising rents. It may be time to form a tenants’ association. Read More

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin

“Dear PoPville,

I’m curious if any of your readers have knowledge when it comes to tenants’ rights and AC. My apartment building was unable to provide air conditioning for the entire month of May, couldn’t/wouldn’t provide status updates, and inside temperatures reached the high 80s on numerous occasions. During the outage, they said they would provide tenants with information on rent abatement, then recently notified us that they discussed it and would not be providing any rent abatement with no explanation provided. Read More

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14th St. – Washington, DC

Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric P.

“Dear PoPville,

I saw a recent post from a landlord asking for help from the community so I thought I would follow up and ask the community about withheld security deposit from the renter.

Currently in a dispute with my landlord over $300. He is withholding $250 for the basement carpet that he says is damaged and needs a steam clean and sections need to be replaced. Even though I lived in the house for three years and steam cleaned it once a year. So does DC define how often carpet needs to be replaced? I also know the carpet has not been replaced in at least 5 years as a friend lived in the house before me. Read More

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Erinn Shirley

“Dear PoPville,

Tenants recently moved out of my house in DC. I inspected the property two days after they moved out, and everything seemed in order. Because they had just bought a house, I wanted to be nice to them and return their deposit asap, which I did right after the inspection. Three days later, I moved back into the house and discovered the washing machine gasket was covered in mold and hair. I know to expect some mold in the gasket, but this went beyond normal wear and tear. Three days of trying everything (Concorbium, bleach, baking soda paste, etc…) has done nothing to remove the smell or the mold stains. Read More

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Photo by PoPville flickr user VTnardo

“Dear Popville,

I am currently dealing with a gas leak in my apartment building on Scott Circle. Since last Sunday, we have been without the ability to cook (gas oven and stove), no A/C, and no ability to dry clothes. I am a renter, not an owner, so I am not privy to email updates from the building, and have had to find out all this information through third parties. I have already asked my landlord to update me in a timely manner. My question is, is there anything else I can do? It is costing me a lot of money to eat out, travel to do laundry, and is general pain to have no A/C as the District starts to rapidly warm up. Thank for you input!”

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“Dear PoPville,

I’m wondering if readers might have advice regarding a housing situation I find myself in. Late last year, I toured a brand new building in Columbia Heights and applied to rent a place. I was approved for a February 1 move-in date. In December, I found out my move-in date was moved to March 1. I know this was a red flag, but I figured a new building would come with some hiccups and I was month-to-month at my previous place.

So, from December until last Tuesday (February 26) I operated under the assumption I would move in March 1 – I signed the lease, arranged for movers, reserved my new apartment’s loading dock, gave my 30-days notice to my old place, etc., and was in regular contact with my new management company. At this point, it’s important to mention that the new lease includes a clause absolving the management company of all responsibility for move-in delays due to construction of the building (this section made me skeptical, but I went against my better judgment and signed away, which was a big mistake on my part). Then on Tuesday, February 26, I found out my move-in date had been changed to March 5 – 8 because the building doesn’t have its certificate of occupancy. Read More

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“Dear PoPville,

My building received this email from management last night. Two thoughts:

Why is breed discrimination still allowed? Aren’t irresponsible owners the real problem?
How does the management company even know this dog is a pit bull? Who is paying for the genetic testing? Or is this a “pit bull until proven innocent” situation?

Also, who narcs on their neighbor’s puppy….”


Photo by PoPville flick user andy ward

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Tim Brown

“Dear PoPville,

Was hoping somebody in the community could help out here. I am in the middle of moving out of my apartment building (older small building with no onsite building management) and noticed the items in my storage unit are gone. Each apartment gets a space and there is no fee for it and its basically a large wooden shelf with chicken wire so you can lock your stuff up. The kicker here is that I may have used the wrong specific space (because I wasn’t sure which was mine at the time I moved in) – but seeing as there was one available I assumed. At one point the building sent out an email asking if anyone may be using a space that was not theirs and I replied that it was likely me. I never heard back and assumed that meant everything was ok.

Fast forward – I go down for the first time in several months to complete my move out and notice my items are no longer there and have been replaced by someone elses stuff. Read More

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