Marc A Borbely’s Answers

Marc A Borbely

Washington Landlord / Tenant Lawyer.

Contributor Level 8
  1. Why would a plaintiff "reserve all rights?"

    Answered 7 months ago.

    1. Marc A Borbely
    2. Emilie M Fairbanks
    3. David A Oblon
    3 lawyer answers

    In D.C.: The rule for the landlord is that the protective order -- the amount you may be ordered to pay into the court each month -- is prospective/going-forward only, from the time the landlord first asks for the protective order. By reserving all rights, the landlord is saying, "I want to reserve my right to request a protective order that starts today, even though I'm not really asking for one yet directly." So if a protective order ends up being entered in a month, the landlord can ask that...

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  2. Can LL increase rent on a month to month lease where holdover clause states that rent will be the last effective rate?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Marc A Borbely
    2. Steven Andrew Krieger
    2 lawyer answers

    I would say it depends partly on whether the provision regarding the last effective rate applies to only the subsequent month, or all future months. This will depend on the exact language in the lease, and how that language would be interpreted by a court. The Court of Appeals has said that a landlord may not ask for so much more for a month-to-month lease that you would effectively be forced to sign a longer-term lease. Also, the landlord can ASK for higher rent; doesn't mean you have to agree...

    4 lawyers agreed with this answer

  3. Why Isn't Loud Residential Noise Not a Landlord and Tenant Issue? If I Can Sue, Who Can I Sue?

    Answered 7 months ago.

    1. Marc A Borbely
    1 lawyer answer

    This _is_ a landlord-tenant issue. You may have claims against your landlord if your landlord isn't responding adequately to ensure that you have sufficient peace and quiet in your home, as well as claims against your neighbors for creating a private nuisance. You're not entitled to absolute peace and quiet, but to reasonable peace and quiet; a court would have to decide whether the noise is excessive, and whether the landlord is responding adequately.

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  4. I'm a Tenant at an apartment in DC with a rent increase question!

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Kent Rackett
    2. Marc A Borbely
    3. Emilie M Fairbanks
    4. Cheryl Rivera Smith
    4 lawyer answers

    Is your apartment covered by rent control? If so, it's unlikely they are allowed to raise the rent 10 percent. If the apartment is not covered by rent control, the landlord generally cannot charge more than fair market value unless you agree (or have already agreed, in your lease), to a higher amount. It also sounds like they didn't give you the amount of notice that the lease required -- in which case any increase probably shouldn't take effect for at least 30 days from when they gave you...

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  5. Can our landlord serve us with a "Notice to Vacate in 30 Days" without a reason in DC?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Marc A Borbely
    2. Emilie M Fairbanks
    2 lawyer answers

    No, in the District of Columbia, a notice to vacate is only valid if it provides a lawful reason for terminating a tenancy -- if it lists lawful grounds for eviction, along with a reference to the provisions of the Rental Housing Act authorizing the eviction. Refusing to sign a new lease is not grounds for eviction, and you do not have to leave. (I am assuming, from your question, that the notice to vacate doesn't list any other grounds for terminating the tenancy.) It doesn't matter how many...

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  6. How much to ask for in a familial discrimination law suit?

    Answered 2 months ago.

    1. Marc A Borbely
    2. Christine C McCall
    2 lawyer answers

    In the District of Columbia, landlords are very limited in their ability to evict for purposes of renovations. And "adults-only" buildings generally are not permitted. Sounds like you're talking to some of the right people about your situation -- OTA, Office of Human Rights, HUD. Also sounds like your landlord may need to be educated about the law in the District, to avoid you needless hassles down the road.

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  7. My landlord and I just signed a lease for a room rental in DC on 9/2. Can the landlord come back the next day and rescind the l

    Answered 17 days ago.

    1. Stuart Lewis Peacock
    2. Marc A Borbely
    3. Richard S Sternberg
    3 lawyer answers

    A lease is a binding contract (binding on both parties) and cannot simply be rescinded by the landlord, unless you agree to rescind it. You have a right to rent the property in accordance with the lease.

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  8. New lease ?

    Answered 9 months ago.

    1. Marc A Borbely
    1 lawyer answer

    What your roommate signs probably doesn't affect your rights -- it's what you sign (or otherwise indicate that you agree to) that matters most for you. Unless you are violating your old lease by having a roommate, there is little reason for you to sign or agree to a new lease. If your old lease prohibits you from having a roommate, then you could ask your roommate to leave instead of signing a new lease, if the new lease they want you to sign is unacceptable to you. If you have had a...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  9. Are the repair-related penalty clauses in my DC residential lease enforceable?

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Marc A Borbely
    1 lawyer answer

    I'd think a court would likely determine that at least some of these lease provisions are unenforceable penalty provisions. Here's some language from a 2003 DC Court of Appeals case, Dist. Cablevision Ltd. P'shp v. Bassin, 828 A.2d 714 (D.C. 2003): For a liquidated damages clause to be valid and enforceable, and not void as a penalty, the common law insists that "the liquidated damages must not be disproportionate to the level of damages reasonably foreseeable at the time of the making of...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

  10. How can I get my $1600 security deposit back when I moved out in October 2012

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Marc A Borbely
    1 lawyer answer

    If you decide to take legal action, you can either sue in Small Claims Court, or you can file a tenant petition at the D.C. Office of Administrative Hearings. A letter from a lawyer might also produce some results.

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

We're ready to help. Contact Marc Borbely at the D.C. Tenants' Rights Center today.

202-681-6871