Need a good and fair priced landlord/tenant lawyer in Washington DC.?

I am the tenant. I am due my security deposit, which I would handle myself but I believe I may be due damages. I would like to find a good lawyer that doesn't break the bank that could consult me. This is a run down of what happened...

I vacated my previous rental unit on the 12th day of September, 2006. I provided my landlord with forwarding contact information. He never returned the deposit to me or notified me of valid deduction from my deposit.

I also believe that he unlawfully evicted us, took criminal actions, discriminated against us and interfered with our right to fulfill the lease agreement in peace, all of which I have proof.

When my roommate and I realized we were going to be behind on the rent in June of 2006, I sent a partial payment with a note detailing why I was late and a payment schedule of when I would pay the missing monies, bringing my balance to paid in full by July 15, 2006. Our landlord never contacted us stating that this was not acceptable to him.

Our first inclination that there was a problem was when we received an eviction notice on our door. When we received the eviction notice we realized that he had made a claim for judgment in the incorrect amount. He made a claim for $2520, stating that we owed him for a full two months rent plus an outrageous 10% in late fees, (there is no mention in our lease of charging anything for late fees). He held onto the partial payments we had already sent him. He did not send them back with a written letter stating that he was not accepting partial payment. One of our payments he forged the date on the check and deposited it weeks after receipt.

My roommate and I went to court, (the landlord did not show). On that date we discussed with his lawyer a missing payment we had made to him in the amount of $330. His attorney stated that the landlord told him the check had been returned for insufficient funds. We had no record of this and his attorney did not have the correct balance due so he advised us to hold our payment. We ended up mailing the landlord the remaining payments including the two months of late fees. We sent two letters expressing our desire to resolve this situation and other matters, he never responded to us and kept moving forward with eviction proceeding while holding on to our payments, never communicating with us or responding to our letters or calls. After we received the notice from the US Marshall stating that we could be evicted at any time, we were left with no choice but to pay the stop payment fee and stop payment on our checks (except for the one in question of $330) and move out. After we moved out he cashed the check for $330.

Additionally, he never repaired our air conditioning; we lived in sweltering heat all summer. I woke up with termites hatching out of the walls and going onto my bed. I made him aware immediately and he never exterminated. He made derogatory comments towards my roommate as well as he NEVER referred to her by her correct name. He made a miserable living experience for us and I hope that he does not continue to do this to other unsuspecting renters.

I have…

A. Copy of check with forged date

B. Copy of our lease for verification of handwriting

C. Copy of letter sent dated August 28, 2006

D. Receipt of letter (dated August 28, 2006) sent by certified mail

E. Copy of letter sent on August 6, 2006

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    1. You did not pay your rent in full by the due date. As such the landlord has the right to accept the partial payment made AND to commence eviction proceedings. The amount paid will be applied to rent owed.

    2. The landlord has no obligation to contact you to indicate your actions in violation of the lease agreement are not acceptable. However the landlord did indicate the situation was unacceptable by posting the eviction notice. You had a choice at that time to pay the remainder or leave.

    3. The claim of a "forged" date on the check is a non-issue. The date on the check is irrelevant and unless the landlord changed the date to cash the check after 180 days following the actual date it changes nothing.

    Good luck, however you have a losing case.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Wow, that is messed landlord/tenant lawyer in Washington D.C. it will give you a lot of names and numbers to contact.

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