Pro Bono Client Secures Win in Landlord Dispute

August 3, 2021

Cleary Gottlieb successfully represented Ms. S, a resident of Washington, D.C., in a dispute with her landlord in the District of Columbia Superior Court Housing Conditions Calendar and the District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings.

Beginning in late 2019, Ms. S noticed major water leakage and mold growing in her kitchen and under her carpet. The landlord failed to address these and other housing code violations over the next year. These violations prevented her from using her kitchen, which forced Ms. S to leave her house and buy prepared food throughout much of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning in early 2020, Cleary helped Ms. S by documenting housing code violations at her apartment and negotiating with her landlord to secure timely and effective repairs. These repairs included mold abatement, new cabinets, electrical repair, lead paint abatement, and new flooring. Cleary represented Ms. S in monthly status hearings before the D.C. Superior Court and negotiated with her landlord to remedy ongoing housing code violations. Cleary also represented Ms. S in a parallel case seeking a rent refund in the D.C. Office of Administrative Hearings. In May 2021, the D.C. Superior Court issued an order that all outstanding housing code violations had been abated, and the parties consented to dismissal of the case. In June 2021, the District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings issued her a rent refund for the time she spent living in substandard housing conditions.

Ms. S was referred to the firm by Legal Aid of the District of Columbia, a Washington, D.C.-based legal services organization providing legal representation and assistance to tenants and other Washington, D.C. residents in need.