Does anyone know who to contact to apply for Displaced Tenant compensation?
If you're in the process of being displaced, you should have received info from your landlord. I'd give DPD a call. If they don't call you back, keep calling.
I'd like to turn the argument that private businesses operate more efficiently around for a second: in this case, it should be the developer who pays out to the tenants, not the city. Why is the city using our tax dollars to pay off people who have been kicked out of their homes because some developer wants to turn their apartments into condos or knock the building down. If the developers want to operate and displace these people, it should be up to them to pay up and the government should stay out of it.
Why do displaced tenants need money to cover the first month's rent? Wouldn't they have that money anyway or were they living in their old apartments for free? Now, if the new landlord requires first and last, that would be a different story.
Can you clarify if this was a violation or not?
You wrote "in violation of tenant relocation regulations" then later you wrote "exploit a loophole in their own regulations."
Exploiting a loophole is not a violation, it's just shitty behavior. Trying to figure out if DPD is letting someone slide here.
It's very difficult to find an apartment that is ready to move in to on the 1st of the month. So you have to pay at least a portion of the old apartment's rent, plus the new apartment's rent.
Most landlords charge first and last month's rent at signing, plus a security deposit. This can be a major hardship or an impossibility for people who have very little money to begin with and who aren't choosing to move.
In order to evict tenants for the purpose of tearing down a building, developers are required to obtain a "tenant relocation license." They didn't, against the ordinance, which is a violation.
I talked to a really nice guy at DPD, and he confirmed that.
However, many current projects (especially on Capitol Hill) aren't tearing down the buildings. They're remodeling old buildings, adding granite countertops, and selling them off in the "mid 300s". Take that "Vertigo" abomination by the E. Broadway QFC for example. The hornrim glasses of condos, indeed. Hornrims and cold, cold hearts. I digress...
The law includes these instances, but since no actual construction takes place, projects like these slip under the wire. Or that's what I perceive happens. I don't know.
The DPD also told me that there is no time restrictions on how long a displaced tenant can demand their moving costs from their former landlords--so if you're reading this and you're low income ($4000 or below a month for 3 people) and you've been kicked out of your home due to condo development AND your ex-property owner never offered you compensation: Call your old landlord, and let them know that you will file a complaint with the DPD who will cite them for not offering you information. You are entitled to $500, which isn't much considering how much it costs to move, but it's something.
If you're like those guys being pushed prematurely from their apartments in the U-District, you should also call the DPD.
Ugh, I have too much to say and no outlet. Sorry. It's just so outrageous and frustrating that people have to go through this nightmare.
In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 45 days old).