Cat and Mouse

In DC, the Tenant’s the CAT
and the Landlord’s the MOUSE and

what’s ironic is many Landlords believe they are the cats until they have a rude awakening. Learn how one Landlord lost over $100,000 in roughly 12 months! 



received a call from a distressed Landlord…
not long ago. He told me that one of his tenants at his 4-unit apartment building intentionally damaged his unit and refused to grant access to the Landlord or his vendors so the work could not be completed. He ultimately failed a Section 8 reinspection, his rents were abated meaning he was unable to get paid on that 3 bedroom apartment in NW at $1,800 per month!

You’re probably thinking “Why didn’t he just go in?” He tried. He contacted Section 8 for help. He even tried to get the police involved.

             The reality is that the average Landlord is no match against a professional Tenant.

Section 8 gave an emergency transfer voucher, Catholic Charities assisted with the security deposit and 1st month’s rent and then not only did the other three tenants copy the maneuver under the tutelage of their charismatic example, but all four of them obtained legal counsel and plopped a lawsuit on the landlord all at once.



even (7) pearls of wisdom for Landlords in DC:

  1. Set the ground rules with regards to periodic inspections  – review the periodic inspections addendum below with your attorney but remember it’s more entrepreneurial and psychological than anything else
  2. Learn the signs that let you know that you’re dealing with a professional tenant – if you have an inkling of suspicion then you might be right
  3. Understand their options and processes – and YES they have options and processes as well as resources and that’s why they’re professionals
  4. Render their options null before they consider going on the offensive – you have to beat them to 1st base in order to keep your losses to a minimum
  5. Remember that attorneys are better at legal advice and maybe not too awesome with business advice – in many instances Landlords hire attorneys because there was a business error or lack of vigilance that manifested itself
  6. Join the DC Landlord Unity Group and be in the company of fellow Landlords-United who are VERY experienced and scientific in their approach to managing tenants, attorneys, government agencies and vendors who will help you to circumvent unnecessary losses – click here to get on DC’s Landlords-United email list
  7. Attend the DCLUM’s quarterly “Lunch with Lawyers” event


About the author …

  1. Landlord for 17 years
  2. Real estate broker for 16 years
  3. Former Vice Chairman of the Section 8’s DCHPA, DC Housing Provider’s Association for 5 years
  4. Founder and Chairman of DCLUM, DC Landlord Unity Movement for 5 years
  5. Managing Partner of Housing & Urban Management, tenant placement for Section 8 Landlords and consulting on Landlord infrastructure and perplexing issues associated with managing Section 8 rentals
  6. Inventor of P.U.S.S.H., a service that uses a simple algorithm to score subsidized housing recipients based on their responses to uniquely crafted prescreening questions with scores ranging from 300 to 850 similar to Beacon scores …


Michael T. Kornegay, CVO

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Michael Kornegay

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