Tenant Eviction in Columbia Heights

tenant eviction

Now this is some cold-ass eviction. This is the street outside 2918 Sherman Avenue NW last night in Columbia Heights.

That mess on the street isn’t garbage, it’s the combined possessions of the tenants, or now ex-tenants, of what was their communal rooming house. Neighbours say that a contractor came by yesterday and had his workers toss the residents’ belongings out the building’s windows, with no regard for the lives destroyed or the street trashed.

And so we now see the result. Chaos and sadness for the former occupants, a hazard for city dwellers, and a lawsuit waiting to happen because the building owner couldn’t follow DC eviction rules or even decent street etiquette.

Good luck to the tenants, that shit ain’t right.

21 Comments so far

  1. busybee (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 9:50 am

    Thats just WRONG!

  2. Max (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 9:52 am

    Damn, that is cold. I thought that only happened in the movies. Did anyone stop by to do some casual looting?

  3. Wayan (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 10:17 am

    Wild. As I passed this block this morning, the street was sparky clean, as if nothing happened. I wonder who the midnight cleaning crew was?

  4. Bill (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 11:33 am

    Do you know how hard it is to evict a tenant in DC? This situation is probably the result of several months (6 or more) of unpaid rent.

    Lesson: Don’t pay rent = (eventual) eviction

  5. EdTheRed (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 11:53 am

    Yeah, that must have been some serious unpaid rent in order for them to get evicted, but tossing people’s stuff out of windows is cold-blooded like Rick James.

  6. poo poo (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 12:43 pm

    in dc, it’s so hard to get evicted! i believe it’s a lot more than just six months of paying rent. you can go six months without paying rent, and then pay half of one month’s rent to ensure another six month stay in your rental unit.

    folks can keep doing that, and stay in places for YEARS.

    it’s ‘a bit’ easier to evict when the owner decides to make the rental unit his/her primary residence.

    believe me. it may not be as cold of an act as you think. i’ve had the dis-leasure of having to evict in dc. sometimes, there’s only one way to go…

  7. Don (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 1:08 pm

    It’s hard to get legally evicted. This may well be a legal eviction but just because the stuff ended up on the street doesn’t mean this was all on the up and up. Just because you see someone in a uniform beating up someone in plainclothes doesn’t mean it’s a cop acting lawfully and just because you see people’s shit out on the curb doesn’t mean the landlord followed the legal process.

    Unfortunately the DC gov website on landlord-tenant issues and eviction doesn’t say squat about how property must be handled when it’s removed.

  8. David (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 5:59 pm

    I’m sorry for all you sensitivos out there, but this is what happens when you DON’T PAY YOUR RENT. You know how many notices the District has to post and confirm receipt of before they can evict you. Here’s a hint. It’s higher than three. Again, this is what happens when you don’t pay your rent. I feel sad too, but since the world economy has suffered lately since Americans can’t pay their mortgages, we probably should go ahead and not let people off when they don’t pay their rent. Cool?

  9. shelley (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 6:05 pm

    There was a group of squatters in a house a few doors down from me. the owner of the house (an out-of-state resident sitting on the house as investment property) discovered that people were illegally living there. it took her 9 months to obtain an eviction judgment and the people still wouldn’t leave. Finally about 4 months later she came by at 7 in the morning with a group of private `security guards’ threw everything, and everyone, on the street, changed all the locks and nailed a for sale sign into the front yard. Despite the chaos and litter I had much more sympathy for the owner than I did the people evicted once I learned the whole story.

  10. DC1974 (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 8:49 pm

    Here’s a tip for all you budding slumlords lurking in this post: if you have your tenants on month to month — it pretty much negates all of the rental laws. That’s why your last lease was only for a year and then month to month after that. It’s a loophole so big you could throw an apartment’s worth of belongings to the street through.

  11. DCer (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 8:51 pm

    In all seriousness people, if this is the first such eviction you’ve ever seen: WELCOME TO WASHINGTON, DC I hope you like it here.

    I see one eviction like this, with belongings in trash bags on the street every single month. That’s what an eviction looks like when the people refuse to move out.

    We had a squatter house in Mt Pleasant and it took a year for them to get thrown out. I mean, they weren’t tenants, they were breaking and entering / home invasoin, but once they changed the locks and moved their stuff in a strange law takes place and you aren’t allowed to throw them out.

    What you saw is repeated throughout the city on the 5th of every month. If you really, truly have never seen an eviction before, this is all that they look like.

  12. Wayan (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 9:40 pm

    Tenant evictions are common, I see them all the time, but when was the last time you saw one with that much stuff, spread that far along a street, that late at night?

    This has to be a near-record!

  13. inked (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 10:13 pm

    In a legal eviction the Marshalls come and moe out the tenants’ belongings. If these tenants were in a legal leasing situation you could not legally have a contractor (or his workers remove the belongings). So maybe they were legal tenant and the story is wrong, or maybe the eviction was illegal, or maybe they were squatters.
    Dc has very pro-tenant laws, but illegal evictions definitely do happen.

  14. poo poo (unregistered) on September 20th, 2007 @ 10:42 pm

    ok, ok.
    you folks from omaha or ohio that claim to be washingtonions may be offended by an eviction.

    it happens.

    it has to, based on dc law. if you don’t like it, run for office and change things.

    dc laws are messed up. tossing stuff on the street is pretty much the only way to get rid of folks that drive up your taxes and waste away your property.

    welcome to the big city, midwestern cornhawkers, or whatever you call yourselves….

  15. get real (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 9:24 am

    Marshalls are required to be present at an eviction, but they don’t lift a finger. They are just there to supervise. The landlord is required to hire at least 10 people to remove the personal belongings from the dwelling. DC is VERY tenant friendly and, as this may not have been a legal eviction (I’m sure it was,) I have no sympathy for the tenants. I can almost guarantee they were notified of this eviction prior to Wednesday.

  16. guest (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 10:02 am

    I live 1 block from this place and happened upon the eviction in progress as I was riding my bike to work. I can verify that there was a US Marshal on the scene, indicating it probably was a legal eviction. I don’t know anything else about the circumstances, but it did surprise me that all of their stuff was just thrown out on the street. It took all day, because when I came home in the afternoon, they were still taking stuff out.

  17. Ben (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 11:14 am

    “you folks from omaha or ohio that claim to be washingtonions may be offended by an eviction.”

    Gawrsh, us hayseeds just don’t know much ’bout life, now do we? Ya mean, they actually kick people out and stuff? Dang! I’ve always wondered what life was like in the big city, an now I know. Thanks for da educashun, mistah.

    Oh, and for the record: what’s with this bullshit “claim to be Washingtonians”? Either you are or you aren’t, you live here or you don’t. How about: people who claim to be intelligent posting idiotic comments on message boards?

  18. Moo (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 12:35 pm

    I live right around the corner from where this happened. I went by when they were inititally pulling out the tenants’ things and I, kid you not, the US marshal was yelling at the people removing the items from the home because they were taking the time to organize things on the sidewalk. Then, the US Marshal proceeded to start kicking the objects.

    I called the DCRA and complained but who knows what’s going to happen with that.

  19. Legba (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 12:40 pm

    The worst bit was that when guys from the city showed up that evening to haul away the items in the street, even they were having a hard time understanding how this could happen–particularly with a marshal present.

  20. Wha??? (unregistered) on September 21st, 2007 @ 5:06 pm

    I can not believe the surprise about this. Having lived in DC for a while I have seen this kind of eviction all over the city….stuff on street corners on Capitol Hill, Dupont, Upper NW, even Kalorama.

    As others have pointed out, someone who gets evicted has ignored repeated attempts to get them to pay their rent. When it’s time for the deadbeats to go, their stuff goes too. If nobody is there to take it away, it is put on the street. What is so hard to understand….eviction means it’s time to LEAVE!!!!

  21. Mari (unregistered) on September 25th, 2007 @ 9:22 am

    When you fail to pay your rent, you and your stuff go to the corner.
    These people just had a lot of stuff. Imagine the most cluttered house you’ve ever been in, now imagine all of that clutter out on the street. There are other things that get you kick out besides non-payment of rent. My grandma lives in subsidized housing for the elderly, and she has to keep her unit “clean”. Which means every 2-3 years I and a handful of relatives have to invade her apt, toss out 2 dumpsters worth of crap and make it less of a firetrap so she and the rest of her clutter won’t wind up on the sidewalk.
    From my point of view, it looks like a cluttered house, with decades of stuff that no one bothered to throw out before, the good, the bad, and the trash, all on the sidewalk.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.