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Forced Out

A series by Debbie Cenziper and Sarah Cohen of The Washington Post looks at the condo boom in the District of Columbia. Tenants are being displaced as landlords convert apartments to condos using "vacancy exemptions" — sidestepping tenants' approval and avoiding conversion fees that would offset renters' relocation costs. Through the analysis of government documents, housing code complaints and assessor's records, Cenziper and Cohen found "landlords emptied more than 200 buildings from Columbia Heights to Southeast, most of them rent-controlled, thwarting the intent of one of the nation's toughest tenant rights laws with the approval of the city government." The landlords involved made over $328 million while avoiding government fees of over $16 million.

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