We’ve written extensively at Forest Hills Connection about rent control: How DC apartment buildings built prior to 1976 are generally subject to laws limiting the frequency and amount of rent increases. How to know if you are in a rent-controlled unit. How, regardless of income, anyone aged 62-plus OR the disabled (any age) can apply to receive even smaller rent increases. And how much they can save.
Our stories have happy endings when the system works as intended. But when it doesn’t work? The Washington City Paper writes here about how some landlords exploit rent control laws to jack up rents by more than the official, DC government-set maximum.
The City Paper next covers another way landlords can max out the allowed rent increases – by forcing out existing tenants through intolerable living conditions.
Know your rights
The best protection is to know your rights. Many of these are spelled out in DC’s Tenant Bill of Rights (here in seven languages).
Also, the DC government’s Office of the Tenant Advocate will hold its 9th Annual Tenant and Tenant Association Summit on Saturday, September 24th, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Kellogg Conference Center located on the campus of Gallaudet University (800 Florida Avenue NE).
Here are all the details from OTA:
The summit serves as a forum to bring together tenants, tenant associations, housing attorneys and advocates, policy experts, community leaders, and District officials to discuss matters of concern to the District’s tenant community.
This year’s theme is “Don’t Complain… Organize.” The day’s events will include a plenary session as well as workshops, which will provide participants with information and tools to effectively advocate for themselves and other renters. Workshop topics will include effective advocacy, federal funding for subsidized housing, housing provider petitions, rent concessions, budget and oversight processes, tenant association governance, utilities, housing and veterans, social security and long term health care insurance, renters insurance, renters 101, housing discrimination and consumer protection.
There will be two clinics. The legal clinic will provide attendees with an opportunity to meet one-on-one with an attorney to discuss their housing issues. The elderly and persons with disabilities registration clinic will allow eligible tenants to register their status to qualify for lower rent increases under rent control. Numerous exhibitors will be present to share information. There will be a shuttle bus to and from the NOMA-Gallaudet U Metro Station (Red Line).
Requests for accommodations must be received by September 16, 2016.
Exhibitors can email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on exhibitor registration.
Advance registration is required. There will be no on-site registration. There are three ways to register:
Online: Through EventBrite (free).
In person: Office of the Tenant Advocate, The Reeves Center, 2000 14th Street NW, Suite 300-North
Attendees can pick up their materials beginning at 8:00 a.m. The program starts at 9:00 a.m.
For additional information contact the Office of the Tenant Advocate at 202-719-6560.