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Emilie M Fairbanks

Emilie Fairbanks’s Answers

101 total


  • Eviction for nonpayment of holdover rent

    My landlord sent me a notice to vacate and notice of nonpayment of rent. I was supposed to pay a certain amount and move by a now passed date. Under pressure from them, I agreed to try to do both--pay and move by that date. I paid the past due amo...

    Emilie’s Answer

    When you get the papers look at them carefully. You said the landlord filed against you for nonpayment of rent. If so, you may have the right to redeem, I.e. pay everything that's due and stay. However, you said you agreed to move out. Therefore the landlord could also sue you for giving notice you intend to move and then not doing so. That's a different kind of suit and you can't pay money to resolve it.

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  • I received a 30-Day Notice to Quit. Was served 11/11/14(vet day), notice dated 11/6/14. What is my true time to cure?

    Simple matter of being behind rent due to a financial problem. I was served by hand by a process server on November 11, 2014 (Veteran's Day). The Notice is dated November 6, 2014. The language in the Notice states that I am given (30) full day...

    Emilie’s Answer

    In order to cure a nonpayment notice you must pay everything that's due at the time you cure. So if you now owe November and December you must pay both in order to cure. The notice is usually dated the date the attorney writes it but the process sever can't serve it that day so the attorney shouldn't sue you until thirty days from the day you were served has passed. If you can become current in everything you owe before that you will be ok. It often helps to communicate with the landlord. Tell him or her when you will be making a payment, but be certain you can make a payment on the date you promise. They may be willing to work with you if you keep them informed. Even after you are sued you can pay everything that's due and stay in most cases.

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  • Can a new owner of the house put you out when you already paid the rent in advance??

    I leased a home for 1 year and paid rent 1 year in advance and a deposit but a couple months later it was sold in foreclose. The new owners asked me to send my lease and any receipts I paid towards rent. I sent them and then their lawyer send me a...

    Emilie’s Answer

    I'm so sorry this happened to you. Marc is right, they have to take you to court so unless a writ has been issued you can't be evicted. But if this was a scam and the person you paid rent to wasn't the owner of the house when you paid the rent, which unfortunately does happen, you may have to go after that person for your money. Whatever the situation it sounds like you will be going to court soon so prepare your records, watch your mail for a summons, and no matter what go to court on the day of the hearing. Given that it's possible this was a scam you may want to consider starting to look for another place to live. The new owners may want to avoid court so they may be willing to work out an agreement with you to stay for a certain period of time if you agree to move after that. There are free legal resources for tenants at the landlord/tenant courthouse and at some organizations around the city. Take advantage of those. This is a great starting place but you will likely need more advice and perhaps an attorney.

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  • My management company has not been open/responsive and now my rent is late. What can I do in the meantime so I am not at fault?

    I set up my rent for auto payment for the 1st of the month but it never came out. I did not notice until I finally checked my actual bank account and noticed my statement was artificially inflated. When I tried to pay online I received an err...

    Emilie’s Answer

    They probably won't get back to you until Monday or Tuesday, as Monday is a bank holiday, but you have documented what happened. You could also email customer service at the bank. If you have proof the money was in the bank account get that ready too. You can't be evicted if you pay the rent so just get it paid right away next week, clear up with management why it wasn't paid, and make sure to check next month on the 2nd so you know the don't make the same mistake again.

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  • I'm a tenant in a basement apartment in DC with a rent increase question.

    I've lived in a basement apartment (2 bedrooms in the bottom of a row house) in DC for the last 3.5 years and have been a flawless tenant. My former roommate moved out a few months ago and my landlord (who lives upstairs) is having a hard time fi...

    Emilie’s Answer

    If he isn't under rent control he can raise the rent by any amount, assuming he's registered as exempt. But take a step back. He probably doesn't want to lose another tenant and he certainly doesn't want to end up in a long legal battle with you about the rent level. He wants to get back the income he lost. Why not talk to him and see if you can help him find a tenant? This person will be your roommate so some input would be good anyway and it would likely be easier for you to find a roommate than for him to find a tenant for a half occupied basement. Perhaps you even know a friend looking for cheaper housing. Be creative and offer solutions instead of spending a year in administrative hearings.

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  • Can I give my tenant a 30 Day Notice to Vacate without giving a reason.

    I am not under rent control and do not want to rent to this tenant any longer. Property is in Washington DC

    Emilie’s Answer

    No, you need a reason like non-payment of rent, a lease violation, or the need to move back into your property. DC has unique landlord/tenant laws.

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  • Holdover Clause and going Month-to-Month

    What are the implications of this portion of a holdover clause on going month-to-month after the end of a lease's term? (Missing some earlier text re. rent increases - not enough space for it all) "Tenant shall keep and fulfill all the other c...

    Emilie’s Answer

    I'm not sure what you mean by the implications of the clause but here are some important things to know:
    1) A landlord can't terminate a residential lease in DC just because the lease has ended, no matter what the lease says, the lease becomes month to month and unless the tenant stops paying the rent or violates a lease lease provision, they can stay in the property. There are a few exceptions but a landlord can never just terminate a residential lease because it expires. The rent can be increased when permitted by rent control laws.
    2) A landlord cannot force a tenant in a residential tenancy in DC to sign a new lease. They can ask and they can give an incentive but they can't evict a tenant for failing to sign a new lease unless it is part of an outside agreement, like a court settlement.
    3) DC has very complicated and unique landlord/tenant law. Get specific advice for your situation before you send any notices or make any decisions.
    Best of luck!

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  • I filed a harassment suit against my landlord's attorney in dc and in all of the lawsuits she is trying to make an appearance??

    in every case that I have been involved in she lies and sometimes uses false documentation plus the staff of the complex to win her cases I had a rental case and a civil case against the complex where I live and right after I dropped the cases she...

    Emilie’s Answer

    As the judge states at the beginning of every L&T court day, the landlord's attorney is there to represent the interests of the landlord alone. It would be against their ethical duty to do anything else. If you want the advice of an attorney you need an attorney who represents you. It wasn't the attorney's job to help you, in fact it would have been wrong for her to do so.

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  • Can a landlord arbitrarily withhold consent to a sublease or assignment in D.C.?

    I live in an apartment with one other roommate. We are both on the lease. He wants to move out, but I want to stay. Can the landlord force us to break the lease and pay a fee for that? Then, force me to sign an entirely new one-year lease with a n...

    Emilie’s Answer

    If the lease doesn't allow subletting or requires consent, the landlord doesn't have to permit you to sublet. More importantly, he doesn't have to allow you to break the lease at all. It isn't as obvious as you think that getting a subtenant is the better option. By signing a new lease, you keep the same relationship with the landlord and the new tenant. If you took on a subtenant you would be that person's landlord, with all the responsibilities and liability associated with that job. While it may sound easier and cheaper to get a subtenant, becoming a landlord has serious risks and you can't just pass those on to your landlord.

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