Illegal apartment rental question

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Illegal apartment rental question

Postby itissteeltime on Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:16 am

Long story short:

I moved into an english basement about two months ago, the landlord lives in the townhouse above. We visited it before, and it looked like a great place with a great landlord. After we moved in, things started popping up that the landlord refused to fix. The most annoying thing is probably bugs. We have mosquitos and sometimes cockroaches. The mosquitos are out of control, we kill probably 20 every day, and get bit up. He refuses to have people come out to spray. There are lots of other little problems.

We got fed up with this landlord who refused to help us, and went to the tennant advocacy office in DC. It turns out the place is being rented illegally, it's not registered. Basically I think he's doing it to avoid taxes. He is some sort of lawyer, so maybe he knows something we dont. They told us we could have an inspection done, where I'm sure there would be enough problems to shut the place down. I believe the fire exit is not legal, windows dont open (the need to in DC), and the list goes on.

The question:

Aside from having having it shut down, do I stand anything to gain from having the place inspected? While it would be nice to have it shut down (after learning what a jerk the landlord is), I don't think it's worth taking off work for the inspectors and having to find a new place to live. If the inspectors deem it illegal, could we sue? Could we get some rent money back? Anything? If the only thing that would happen is they shut down the apartment I'm living in, I dont think it's worth it.
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby count2infinity on Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:21 am

I'll have to defer to the lawyers of LGP, but if the apartment is rented to you illegally couldn't you find a new place and just leave? You have a lease, I'd imagine, but wouldn't the fact that it's an illegal apartment void the lease? If I was you, I'd check out to make sure what I'm saying is correct, find a new place, move out, then report it.
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby Idoit40fans on Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:21 am

Where in DC?
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby KennyTheKangaroo on Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:23 am

if the place is as sucky as you make it seem, you might as well report this guy and go find a better spot.
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby itissteeltime on Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:28 am

KennyTheKangaroo wrote:if the place is as sucky as you make it seem, you might as well report this guy and go find a better spot.


I agree I can probably just leave and have the lease voided. My question was more about the inspection, and if it's worth my time to take a day off work so they can inspect. If the only thing that happens is they shut it down, it's not worth it. If I have something to gain (money (return of rent)) then it would be worth it.

The english basement is in the dupont area.
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby mac5155 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:48 am

I would think it's not up to you to be there but up to the owner to be there when it's inspected.
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby newarenanow on Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:51 am

Burn it down. All of it!
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby Sarcastic on Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:19 am

Hire Shyster at a juicy LGP discount.
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby ulf on Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:25 am

Stick it to em.
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby viva la ben on Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:45 am

Better to be in an English basement than a French basement I'd say.
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby Digitalgypsy66 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:49 am

Yeah, you need to report this guy so it doesn't happen to someone else. I would be prepared to move quickly, perhaps before you file the complaint.
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby newarenanow on Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:50 pm

Digitalgypsy66 wrote:Yeah, you need to report this guy so it doesn't happen to someone else. I would be prepared to move quickly, perhaps before you file the complaint.


This is my opinion.
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby jimjom on Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:48 pm

I had an illegal landlord when I lived on Bates St. who is actually a practicing physician.

Apparently, fire code isn't important to her as was the rental income that she was getting out of the house. Six people in slapped together condiions but the rent was cheap and it was sanitary.

I'd say with bugs it's a health risk, report it, get the inspection, and move.
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby She'sTheFastest on Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:11 pm

newarenanow wrote:Burn it down. All of it!


And kill the landlord. It's only fair.
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby Willie Kool on Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:47 pm

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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby PensHckyFan79 on Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:47 pm

not as bad as your story, but my current apartments walls are so thin it is ridiculous. Just for reference it is an apartment complex there are 7-8 buildings (so not just renting someones basement or something). The building has 8 apartments 4 on each floor basement is a large garage 2 spots per apartment, the floors are split by a common area so 2 per side. In our apartment the master bedroom walls are common with the neighbor, we can hear the guy snoring next door as well as the fan in the bathroom and if he decides to pee at 2:00 in the morning. When we first moved in there was a disabled child next door that liked to scream like he was being killed for about an hour around 3:30 in the morning. New next door neighbor has a new born, not quite as bad but can still hear the baby cry. We moved out of the master bedroom and into the spare which is across the hall which helps but can still hear them if they are loud. Now we are on the top floor so we get to hear the neighbor below us as well. Its an old lady who likes to have her def friend over and play the TV loud enough that we can hear it over our TV and she gets calls every day from her children who check in on her and we get to hear the conversation. She told us she had to move her bedroom as her neighbors are noisy as well so she is below our bedroom now and when she coughs at night its like she is in our bedroom coughing. Other than the nice amount of space and garage parking this apartment sucks and I would not wish having to live there on an enemy. The police have been to the complex numerous times and there is nothing anyone can do about it because the buildings were built to code. So glad we are moving into our house next month!!
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby newarenanow on Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:52 pm

Wow, that would suck.

The only issues I've ever had living in an apartment back in the day was every morning, the lady above me would walk into her kitchen with heels on and you'd hear it. And it was like she was walking in circles for like 15 minutes. Kinda sucked, to wake up to that all the time because it seemed to travel through the ceiling.

And then there was a flag pole right outside my bedroom window and at night when the wind blew, you just heard the clanging of the clips onto the pole all night. I eventually slept with a fan on.

Nothing major, just crap living in an apartment.
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby PensHckyFan79 on Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:57 pm

my wife and I have lived in 4 apartments and rented a town-home and this is by fare the worst of our experience. Just sucks people are out to make money and don't care about the product or people. How much would it have cost to put in some insulation when it was built. They would deal with less complaints and probably keep tenants longer. Just doesn't make sense to me.
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby tifosi77 on Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:33 pm

PensHckyFan79 wrote:[tale of thin wall-related woe]

I can totally sympathize. My last single guy apartment was terrible for the thin walls. Downstairs neighbor was a middle-aged guy (I think from South Africa) who lived in this delusional world where I was a 'government agent' causing his mother all manner of terrible harm. He even openly challenged me to a fight once because I was ordering collection agencies to hound his mom. I could hear him yelling on the phone (at least I think he was on the phone...) about the terrible state his mother was in. For all I know, his mom died in the 80s.

And then there was my neighbor on the same floor. My living room and kitchen shared a common wall with her apartment. She was a very religious woman, and she did not like it when I............ had a lady friend over. She would bang her fist on the wall in an effort to get us to quit having, erm, our special hug. It was annoying at first, then it became a game ("how quiet can we be and still get the wall knock"), then it became annoying again. She even wrote me a letter once, told me I was going to hell because I was a fornicator (or, as she clarified, a "f**ker"), and why couldn't I just let her live her life in peace.

When I moved from there, seriously, it was one of the four or five happiest days of my life.
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby TheHammer24 on Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:35 pm

I feel like somewhere there are people complaining about "their terrible neighbors" and I'm the subject.
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby Shyster on Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:10 pm

If you like the place and want to keep living there, here's what I would do:

1. Send a letter to the landlord (yes, I know he's upstairs) via certified letter with return receipt that says that unless he hires an exterminator to spray for bugs within the next seven days, you will do so and then deduct the cost of that from your next rent payment. You want to use certified mail so that you have the receipt as proof that he received it.

2. If he refuses to spray, then hire the exterminator and deduct the cost from your next rent check.

3. If he gives you crap about doing so, point out that the apartment is illegal and a court would laugh in his face if he tries to sue you for that rent.

4. Enjoy bug-free apartment.
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Re: Illegal apartment rental question

Postby Shyster on Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:14 pm

tifosi77 wrote:And then there was my neighbor on the same floor. My living room and kitchen shared a common wall with her apartment. She was a very religious woman, and she did not like it when I............ had a lady friend over. She would bang her fist on the wall in an effort to get us to quit having, erm, our special hug. It was annoying at first, then it became a game ("how quiet can we be and still get the wall knock"), then it became annoying again. She even wrote me a letter once, told me I was going to hell because I was a fornicator (or, as she clarified, a "f**ker"), and why couldn't I just let her live her life in peace.

You have admirable restraint. If I had been in the same place, I would have tried to convince my lady friend to yell increasingly interesting things during special-hug time (as LPG is family friendly, use your imagination to the most perverted extent you are able) just to horrify the neighbor.
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