Friday, April 27, 2007

What to do about "The Spot?"

The age gap continues. I am so not 21 anymore.

If you'll recall, my next door neighbors are in college and like to party. Unfortunately, the police are too busy most nights to deal with a noise complaint (thank heavens, honestly). The main problem remains that they don't actually give citations for noise complaints. Thus, breaking up the party is hard to do.

More problematic for the 4 mid-20s professional girls who live in the two apartments in my townhouse, we have no way to control the situation. I love my apartment, but this is getting to a point where I might have to move. My landlord is considering suing the owners who moved out of the country, had these kids sign a two year lease, and have not responded to my landlords complaints about them.

What is a property owner supposed to do in DC to ensure that their purchase is secure? It seems like DC isn't particularly concerned with monitoring this type of behavior. One would think that a purchase in Virginia might be more worthwhile. Taxes are lower anyways.

Here's the most recent update in email form:

I received your message from some colleagues of mine here at GW about some recent disturbances that have been taking place. Naturally, I wish we were hearing from you under other circumstances, but hopefully we can address your concerns to the best of our ability. At your convenience, I was hoping to be able to speak with you so that I can get a better understanding of the nature of the problems at hand,frequency, details, etc. I can be reached at...

I will look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Director, Office of Off-Campus Student Affairs
Director, Center for Alcohol & other Drug Education
The George Washington University

From my landlord back:

When we last spoke in mid-February you were planning to speak to my neighbors about their loud late-night activities. Did this meeting take place? I've recently learned from my tenants that, although things are calmer on the weekdays, they are still loud late into the night on weekends. It seems that every other weekend, they are hosting parties that only quiet down with police intervention. Perhaps you could have another word with them? There were four students living there last year. Two moved out for Junior year abroad. The current residents are...

Thank you. This will be very helpful.

From GW Director back:

Thank you very much for your email. While I cannot give you specifics about any student or any student meetings due to federal student privacy laws, you can rest assured that we follow our protocol which is that if we receive reports through our Community Concern Policy, we follow-up with every single student in some way, whether that be a judicial case or face to face warning meeting. If you would, I have a favor to ask. Please encourage anyone who has complaint about a specific property to contact the GW Community Concern Hotline at (202) 994-6110. It is essential for our follow-up purposes that we have a report to work from, and furthermore, local residents should also utilize the Metropolitan Police Department as we are able to work with them as well based on the reports they take and citations they write. Thank you for keeping me informed on the occurrences taking place. We will continue to address all situations that we receive reports on.

My landord back:

As it turns out, this situation is much worse than I had been led to believe. I am concerned that these students' behavior are going to jeopardize my ability to continue to place tenants in my apartments.

I will also advise my tenants to call your hotline in the future, but I trust that the details below will give you enough to work with. It is clear to me that the police have other priorities to deal with and cannot be expected to respond to every student nuisance complaint. I did file a"Special Attention Request" with the police about the location, but they made clear to me that they had more pressing issues to deal with.

Also,when my tenants have called the police with noise complaints, the police have consistently refused to file a police report or citation. Here are the notes that I received after letting my tenants know that I had contacted you again:

"Thanks. About three weeks ago, I had to go over there at 11:30 on a Monday night in my PJ's because I couldn't sleep and my wall is next to theirs. They did turn the music down (and stopped jumping down the stairs or whatever it is they were also doing). I forgot to tell you that."

and [my issues]

"Yeah, last week they woke me up 4 times. I yelled at them all 4 times.They didn't quiet down. The first was on a Tuesday. People were on the steps at 2am talking as loud as they possibly could. I came outside and yelled at them that it was a Tuesday and people pay high rent in the area,blah blah blah. I heard them laughing and then finally after about 30 minutes, they went inside. Then on Thursday, I was woken up at 3am b/c they were playing lacrosse in the streets. They apologized and quieted down enough for me to fall back asleep. On Friday night, they had a party. I called the police who couldn't come. Then, they all ended up on the stoops again. I came outside and told them that the police were on there way and they needed to be quiet. That we were calling GW. That we were hosting a charity even the next night at it was 1:30am. They didn't shut up. In fact,they got louder. Finally, at 2:00am I went back out and said "I don't even know what to do anymore. Can't you just go on the roof or to a bar?" They said they were going out to a Georgetown bar in the next couple minutes. It took them 30 minutes of loudness where I called the police several more times. Finally they left. It's getting to a point where I don't actually know that we can live in the apartment. It would definitely be worth looking into how to resolve the problem."

From my landlord to The Spot's landlords:

At this point, I believe that eviction is appropriate.

From my landlord to us:

Please note the hotline number provided by the GW official below. Please encourage anyone who has complaint about a specific property to contact the GW Community Concern Hotline at (202) 994-6110. Please also continue to call the police and send me an email. Documentation will help if I have to file a law suit. I am also engaging with a DC City Council representative.

From my upstairs neighbor to my landlord last night:

It's a little after 12, and I went over to ask the neighbors to lower their music and voices. They have a small, but very loud group of guests. I reminded them that this time of year, people leave their windows open at night. They said that'd close theirs. Just an update. Thanks again for all your help regarding this issue.

From my roommate to my landlord this morning:

Hi. I also called the GW community concern hotline last night about the noise per your recommendation. I left my name so they should have a record of it. However, I'll be honest, I wasn't particularly impressed by the person I spoke with - they seemed disorganized and didn't take the students' names though I tried to give them.

2 Comments:

  • At April 27, 2007, Blogger LJ said…

    That really sucks. Their landlord needs to sell the place if they don't want to be more actively engaged.

    Guess that means you'll need a little extra umph to rally for tonight, huh?

     
  • At April 27, 2007, Blogger GreenEggsSamDC said…

    Yeah, right? Nope, I was so exhausted last night I went to bed at 9pm!

     

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