Moved to DC into The Albemarle (4501 Connecticut under Avalon) expecting a normal rent controlled apartment and naive to the concept of a concession lease. The next year, instead of my rent going up 3.5%, it went up 11%, because Avalon upped the reported rent but decreased my concession. Moved into rent controlled 3003 Van Ness where Equity leasing said that everyone does concessions, but that I'd always get mine each year and I believed it. Learned my tenant rights, and at my lease renewal I went month-to-month and got my 3.5% fair rent increase. Equity changed tactics the following year and said my rent was going up 9% even if I signed a new lease, and 22% if it did not despite the legal rent control increase of 2%. They did all of this by manipulating my concession amounts. After convincing me to move into cheaper apartment in the building, they advertised my original apartment on their website with a rent nearly 6% less than what I currently even before I moved out! How is that for fair rent?
Thank goodness I eventually moved out to a Bozzuto property that honors the rent control laws with fair increases and no lease renewal negotiations. Partly to blame is DC government, who only tracks what companies report as the rent-controlled unit price, and not what the residents are actually paying for rent and the concessions received. They also allow management companies to continue setting so-called market prices for rent-controlled units that cannot actually be sustained by the market. Make concession leases illegal and fix this issue that is haunting DC residents.
Shawn, age 30