Fair Rent DC provides more evidence of rent scam to DC Mayor Bowser

Founder Harry Gural sent a second letter to DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, providing additional evidence that a major DC housing provider is filing false rent figures to the city and using those as the basis of what likely are illegal rent increases. An attachment to the letter includes screen shots of web pages advertising apartments at market rents, followed by official rent filings obtained by FOIA that report rents many hundreds of dollars per month higher than those advertised rates.

Fair Rent DC believes that tens of thousands of DC residents may be paying rents that substantially exceed legal limits, costing them tens of millions of dollars.

October 21, 2017

Mayor Muriel Bowser
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Dear Mayor Bowser,

I am writing to follow-up the letter I sent two days ago on Oct. 21. I sent the letter as an attachment to an email to eom@dc.gov but I did not receive an auto-reply. I also sent the letter to DHCD Director Polly Donaldson (polly.donaldson@dc.gov), Rent Administrator Lauren Pair (lauren.pair@dc.gov) and Chief of Staff John Falcicchio (John.Falcicchio@dc.gov) but haven’t received an acknowledgement from them either. Your office was unable to provide a fax number so I am resending my original letter and this one via USPS Priority Mail to ensure delivery.

I provided to you with my first letter information obtained by FOIA revealing that Equity Residential is filing with the Rent Administrator “rent” amounts that far exceed market rents advertised for the same building. I realized after sending you the letter that you may not be closely familiar with average market prices in Van Ness in 2016 when those rents were filed with the RAD, so I am enclosing a screen shot of Equity Residential’s advertised prices for June 26, 2016 – which falls within the dates covered by the RAD filings. This clearly demonstrates that many of the “rent” amounts filed with the RAD are vastly inflated. The RAD-8 forms provided with my last letter show that Equity Residential uses these falsified filings as the basis for extremely large rent increases that far exceed what is allowed under DC law.

I would look forward to the opportunity to discuss this further at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely yours,


Harry Gural
President, Van Ness South Tenants Association
Founder, Fair Rent DC

cc: Members of the Van Ness South Tenants Association, Members of Fair Rent DC