UrbanTurf Reader Asks: $330 a Month in Rent in DC?

by UrbanTurf Staff

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In this installment of UrbanTurf Reader Asks, a reader inquires as to whether or not the type of legendary rent deals that are famous in New York City exist in DC.

This past weekend, I was reading The New York Times real estate section and came across a story about a man who rents a 1,200 square-foot, four-bedroom Greenwich Village apartment for just $331 a month. The apartment is one of 16,000 rent-controlled apartments in New York, and is located in an area where two-bedroom apartments fetch $4,500 a month. I have lived in DC for several years, renting first and then buying, and have never heard of deals this good. Does anything like the New York City apartment deal exists in DC, outside of subsidized or affordable housing? As jealous as I would be, I would love to hear of any stories about people who pay obscenely low rent in the city.

Rent control in DC was established as part of the Rental Housing Act of 1985. Essentially, it restricts the frequency and amount by which owners of housing units covered by rent control can adjust the monthly rents of their tenants. It also requires landlords to give tenants adequate notification of rent increases and provides for an appeals process for tenants who believe that rents have been raised improperly. For housing subject to rent control, adjustments in rent amounts are only permitted once every 12 months and tenants must receive a minimum of 30 days notification of proposed increases.

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A ward-by-ward look at DC properties subject to rent control.

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/urbanturf_reader_asks_330_a_month_in_rent_in_dc/4981

6 Comments

  1. BT said at 4:50 pm on Tuesday January 24, 2012:

    I know of a guy who pays $500 for a two-bedroom east of Logan Circle, but it can’t really hold a candle to that Manhattan rent. Wow!

  1. bear said at 5:04 pm on Tuesday January 24, 2012:

    I found a “steal” on craigslist for a rent-controlled apt on Washington Circle for $1000/mo.  A true one-bedroom with a fireplace and washer/dryer in the unit (not a basement unit).  About the best i’ve ever seen in dc…

  1. meredith said at 5:05 pm on Tuesday January 24, 2012:

    DC has rent control, but I have not heard anything as extreme as nyc where rents seem to stay the same at one apartment for decades.

  1. Alex said at 5:28 pm on Tuesday January 24, 2012:

    8 2011 college grads living in a 6 bedroom house 2 blocks from RI Ave Metro… 4500/mo 8 ways isn’t quite the NY steal but a full backyard and shared living expenses helps beat the system allowing us to live and work in DC at 23 years old.

  1. Kate said at 7:42 pm on Tuesday January 24, 2012:

    I’ve been in the same one bedroom rent controlled apartment on Hill for 10 years now and I pay $1200 a month, which is a couple hundrend a month less than apartments that have turned over a few times go for. 

    In DC there are relatively few large units that qualify for rent control so you generally don’t have people inheriting them from parents and that kind of thing.  It’s just not *that* good a deal.

  1. Chris in Eckington said at 9:34 am on Wednesday January 25, 2012:

    I lived in a rent controled unit in Ward 1 for six years.  My understanding of how it works in DC is that once you move out (or the name on the lease changes), they can charge the next tenant whatever the market rate is at the time, and from that point on it can only be raised the amounts mentioned above.  Also, I believe subletting is illegal, so the only tenants who are getting really good deals are ones that have been in their units for years and years.

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