Free Rent Comes At A Price

In Washington, D.C., some apartment tenants are living without a landlord -- and without a high standard of living.
December 29, 2005, 7am PST | David Gest
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Checcia Durham now understands that free rent isn't as appealing as it might sound. A longtime legal tenant of an abandoned apartment building, Durham has no one to complain to when things go wrong. After the original landlord proved to be a fake and vanished, the only maintenance of the building has been prompted by infrequent requests from tenants to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, which recently "performed a building-wide inspection, finding...'numerous housing violations' ranging from water damage to dangerously unsecured bathroom fixtures to an absence of smoke detectors".

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Published on Friday, December 23, 2005 in Washington City Paper
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