I was caught in a classic bait-and-switch rent scheme at 3003 Van Ness apartments. The apt was advertised for $1800.00 a month online -- no mention of "concessions." When I came in to sign the lease, James, the leasing agent, told me to (and I am NOT making this up), "pay no attention to the other $3200.00 a month rent numbers and language about concessions, you don't need to worry about that. We have a rent deal with the city to keep our prices affordable."
The next year, my rent shot up to $3400.00 per month, OR I could sign another lease for $2300.00 a month for 12 months. TRAPPED! I could not afford to move, so I had to go in debt for a year to pay the 2300.00, then sell most of my household belongings in order to afford the move.
I am still paying off that debt two years later, and it hurt my credit score. I moved into 3003 with a 800 credit score, and left with a 597 score because I was trapped and had to pay rent on a credit card ....
I took Equity to court, but their big lawyers won in mediation. I could not afford a lawyer, and the DC Office of the Tenant Advocacy refused to help me after the said they would.
Mary from Northwest DC, age late 40s