D.C. Law May Be Rewritten
Reacting to an investigation that appeared in The Washington Post, two District Council members say they want to repeal a provision that has encouraged landlords to force tenants out of apartment buildings. Members Jim Graham and Mary Cheh said they will propose that the city no longer grant "vacancy exemptions," which allow landlords who empty their buildings to convert to condominiums without tenant approval or paying thousands of dollars in fees.
The Post ran a three-day series this week reporting that landlords have emptied more than 200 buildings over the past four years by using exemptions, saving $16 million in conversion fees. Under city law, tenants have the right to approve condominiums and landlords must pay a fee that would be used to help displaced families.
The Post's Debbie Cenziper and Sarah Cohen fielded questions about their series during an online discussion that covered a range of topics, including whether tenants should have taken more responsibility to clean up buildings and whether landlords should be forced to live in rundown buildings.
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