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by Prince Of Petworth May 18, 2017 at 1:15 pm 30 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin

“Dear PoPville,

Is there a recourse when your landlord keeps your deposit?

Background: We’re a professional couple in our mid forties who’ve rented a Mt Pleasant row house for three years. We’ve treated it like our own, have made small upgrades (with the permission of the landlord) and have had no incidents during our time here.

Now that we’ve finished our lease to move back overseas, the landlord has kept half of our deposit (and this is Mt Pleasant, so that’s a lot). She’s given no explaination other than this is for repainting and cleaning.

We had the house deep cleaned before we left. There is no structural or cosmetic damage to the house other than what would constitute normal wear and tear (we have no kids, no pets and frankly the house is in better shape than when we rented it). But as all this is subjective. Do we have any avenues to challenge her to get our deposit back?”

by Prince Of Petworth March 29, 2017 at 1:30 pm 55 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Jim Havard

“I live in a group house and my landlord is renewing the one-year leases for all of our roommates with the exception of one because he wants his friend to move into her room. She hasn’t violated any house rules so there’s no retaliatory action involved. Does he have the right to refuse her lease renewal?”

You can see all forum topics and add your own here. If you are having trouble uploading your question please email me at princeofpetworth(at)gmail Please Note this is NOT an events calendar.

by Prince Of Petworth March 20, 2017 at 1:30 pm 59 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user brunofish

“I understand that in general with joint several liability in a group house lease agreement, the landlord can hold any or all of the tenants responsible for unpaid rent.

In our current situation, 3 of us are moving out of a 4-bedroom house, leaving the 4th responsible for filling the rooms. We’ve been helping to fill the rooms, but it looks like some may not get filled with viable tenants by the end of the month. The landlord already said he’d be holding the remaining tenant responsible if that’s the case. Is there any recourse here?

Everything I read about joint and several liability deals with cases of other tenants not paying rent, not cases of multiple roommates who’d been on a month-to-month basis leaving. It just seems unreasonable to expect someone to be responsible for filling 3 rooms regardless of circumstances. Any help would be appreciated.”

You can see all forum topics and add your own here. If you are having trouble uploading your question please email me at princeofpetworth(at)gmail Please Note this is NOT an events calendar.

by Prince Of Petworth March 14, 2017 at 3:00 pm 32 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user LaTur

“Dear PoPville,

I wonder if anyone in the community has had a similar experience to advise on a situation I have encountered as a tenant. We lease a row house to a property management company that oversees our space (in addition to others) owned by a landlord living outside the country. We have been living here for about 2 years and have never been directly billed for our water use. The first several months of our residence we were continually receiving bills and delinquent payment notices addressed to homeowner, some of which included DC Water. After notifying the property manager several times, including expressively inquiring the status of the DC Water account, we were assured that it would be taken care of.

Our lease states that we are responsible for ‘individually metered’ water utility charges but the bills have since sopped arriving in our post box. However, we’ve just received a call from the property manager that the landlord has (only now) realized that he has had the water account setup to automatically debit the full bill amount from his personal credit card/bank account each month and has unknowingly paid for our collective water usage for over 24 months. (more…)

by Prince Of Petworth December 28, 2016 at 1:25 pm 28 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Shamila Chaudhary

“Hi there! I’m really hoping for some advice. I recently moved into a new apartment. I was living with a roommate in another apartment previously and we were both on the same month-to-month lease. In terms of moving out, I did everything I needed to: I informed my roommate months in advance, I gave 30 days notice to building management, ensured the rent was paid through my notice period, moved out at the end of the period, and left the keys. The remaining roommate had already identified a friend to move in (J). The landlord decided that he wanted to shift to a brand new, year long lease with J and the old remaining roommate. J applied for this lease and was approved. We all signed and executed the roommate addendum, which stated his official move-in date as December 1. Management said the next step was receiving his security deposit and fees, at which point I would have my deposit refunded to me.

However, just today I discovered that this hasn’t happened. (more…)

by Prince Of Petworth November 22, 2016 at 1:40 pm 20 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Jarrett Hendrix

“My husband and I bought a house in DC and wish to sublet or assign our lease. We do not have an early termination clause and are within the first year of our lease. Does anyone know our rights to “assign” or sublet our lease if the lease states the landlord cannot “unreasonably” withhold consent. We informed our landlord we are happy to host an open house, find multiple potential new tenants and pay for their credit and background checks but the say they’re traveling December and January and cannot accommodate our request.

We’re pretty laid back tenants and in the 8mo we’ve been here always paid on time, been responsive to the landlords so their unwillingness to consider the options we’ve presented is disapponting. Thanks for your advice!”

You can see all forum topics and add your own here. If you are having trouble uploading your question please email me at princeofpetworth(at)gmail Please Note this is NOT an events calendar.

by Prince Of Petworth November 21, 2016 at 1:55 pm 33 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user weheaton

“Dear PoPville,

I live in a condo, as the Craigslist-found roommate of the condo owner. I have a lease with terms for paying X amount through June 2017. The condo owner informed me a couple weeks ago that she is going to have the closets and bathrooms renovated (which includes the closet and bathroom that I use exclusively), and that my rent will go up when these capital improvements are completed.

She pointed to a section of the lease that says “The Landlord may increase the Rent for the Property upon providing to the Tenant such notice as required by the Act [DC law].”

She will not give me a break on rent for the time in which I am not able to use the bathroom I am paying for, and this rent increase is taking place during the lease term, when I was obviously not expecting it. It’s a condo, so exempt from rent control.

Is this legal to do to a tenant during a lease? I am having trouble parsing the DC code on exempt housing. Next stop DC Landlord-Tenant Resource Center?”

by Prince Of Petworth November 17, 2016 at 2:45 pm 44 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user District Shots

“Dear PoPville,

We moved to DC on October 28, into an apartment that is owned by a couple overseas and managed by a local real estate services company. Since the day we moved in, our shower has been broken. It only runs at 120+ degrees Fahrenheit or freezing cold. We let them know immediately and the issue is finally being fixed tomorrow, when they can shut the entire building’s water off. It will have been three weeks without us being able to shower in our apartment. We asked for a deduction in our rent ($25 for every day we haven’t been able to shower) and the real estate company said they will have to check with the owner.

We just want to know in case they come back at us with a “no”, do we have any sort of tenant rights here for rent abatement?”

by Prince Of Petworth October 26, 2016 at 1:40 pm 33 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user super b

“I know people have posted before about extermination but I couldn’t find anything that quite fit our situation. My husband and I have been having issues with roaches in our apartment for the past 5 months. In theory the building’s treatment is thorough, but not working. We have to take EVERYTHING out of our kitchen and bathroom cabinets and they spray all of it. We’ve had to do this at least 8 times since June and it’s a huge inconvenience. My husband said someone from maintenance told him one or two of the nearby apartments are not complying with pest control and leave out pet food, which is obviously a huge problem. (more…)

by Prince Of Petworth October 13, 2016 at 1:45 pm 42 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mike Maguire

“I’m hoping someone who went through a similar situation might be able to offer advice or share their experience. Do we have a good chance of winning our case in small claims?

We moved out of our apartment in the middle of August. It was a 1BD/1BA condo, and we had lived there for 20 months. The people we hired to clean the place did a super awesome job, and we left everything in great condition. We had a pretty quick turn around between the moving, cleaning, and walk through because our landlord is currently living in another country, and he was back in the US for a limited time, during which he wanted to do the key exchange. So we didn’t have any time to do additional work, if the landlord pointed anything out.

We did the walk through, and the only things that my landlord pointed out were that there was a bit of pink mildew in the tub grout (like maybe an inch) and there were a couple places where the wall was scuffed; one in the closet and one in the hallway (and possibly the living room). These scuffs were pretty minor. The landlord pointed them out, said something along the lines of, “I’m not sure if I’m going to have to paint that.” Did not directly say he was going to charge us for anything. For what it’s worth, the apartment was NOT freshly painted when we moved in.

Forty four days later, he sent us an email saying that he needed to paint the apartment, and that it cost him $1000, but he was only going to charge us $500 because he realized that they had a part to play in keeping up the apartment. (more…)


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