University to help students find housing through lists of good and bad landlords

In effort to improve town-gown relations and to provide information for students sub-letting houses and apartments in surrounding neighborhoods, Georgetown University will be publishing two lists, naming the landlords that they would recommend students to sublet from, and the landlords they would not recommend.

“We’re promoting good landlords to [students] and provide resources to them so they know the rights they have as a tenant and the expectations they should seek,” Vice President of Communications Stacy Kerr said.

Letters are being sent to landlords around the area, encouraging them to pledge their commitment to “maintaining the quality of life in our community to your neighbors publicly.” In return, the University would promote these landlords to students by publishing the names of landlords who sign the pledge on their website.

On the other hand, landlords and properties that receive multiple and unresolved “credible complaints” would be published on the a “List of Properties of Concern.” Credible complaints would include shoveling sidewalks or trash issues, said Kerr, but would not include complaints that a house is too noisy.

The letter to the landlords and pledge are included after the jump!

Dear Landlord,

For more than 222 years, Georgetown University has been proud to be a part of the historic and vibrant neighborhood of Georgetown.  We work hard to maintain the high quality of life in this neighborhood.  This is a goal we share with the businesses, residents and property owners who make up this great community.

As a property owner in Georgetown, we invite you to partner with us to promote this shared value to your neighbors and to those renting your property by signing our Landlord Pledge.  Signing this pledge allows you to declare your commitment to maintaining the quality of life in our community to your neighbors publicly.

In return, the University will feature those landlords who sign the pledge by listing them on our website, promoting these properties to our students and communicating to our entire neighborhood our partnership and our shared goal of maintaining the high quality of life in Georgetown.

The University commits to notify you when it receives a credible report of a problem occurring at your property.   We expect that conditions and incidents reported will be remedied.  Properties with repeated, unresolved complaints will be placed on a List of Properties of Concern, publicly published on the University website.

We are making a number of investments in our neighborhood, which have a direct benefit to property owners:

  • Twice Daily Trash Pick-up on Neighborhood Streets The University has picked up more than 85 tons of trash from neighborhood streets so far this academic year.  This is in addition to the regular DPW trash service.
  • Additional Security The University has increased our partnership with MPD to put 7 officers on neighborhood streets Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, to help deter and prevent crime.
  • Off Campus Support for Students The University employs a staff of four full-time professionals at Off Campus Student Life to provide support to students living off campus, including support for students with landlord challenges.  In addition, a full-time staff member at the University’s Off Campus Housing Resource Services maintains an online listing of rental properties.
  • Enforcing Student Conduct The University holds our students to the highest standards of behavior and responsibility.  As such, we have in place maintenance and conduct policies designed to encourage positive student behavior and systems to discipline students who do not meet these standards.

For more information about the programs and support we offer, please visit,, and

We hope you will join us in our efforts to keep this neighborhood clean and healthy.  We look forward to receiving your signed pledge in the stamped envelope included, and promoting our partnership to our neighbors, students and our entire community.


Anne Koester                                                                                    Margie Bryant

Director                                                                                                Associate Vice-President

Off Campus Student Life                                                              Auxiliary Business Services


Landlord Pledge.10!6!11[1]

5 Comments on “University to help students find housing through lists of good and bad landlords

  1. SHA (Student Housing Association, 2162 Wisconsin Avenue NW) and landlord Joel Mack are terrible. They should absolutely be on the “avoid” list. Do not rent from them, they take advantage of students and skirt tenants’ rights laws. Joel Mack is a dishonest and deceptive individual, do not be fooled.

  2. This is stupid and will only serve to increase the animosity between the students and the surrounding community.
    It makes it appear as if the students cannot negotiate the simple act of renting a property and as such need an intrusive organization that will operate as their guide. In the end it will decrease the amount of available student housing and increase prices. Will the community be able to create a list of problem tenants/students?

  3. Great program. It’s great to see the administration take on a new initiative to protect students. If neighbors react negatively, it’s proof enough that their dislike is based in an irrational distate for students rather than an honest evaluation of the problems the neighborhood faces (hint: it’s slumlords).

  4. I do like the idea, although I wonder how effective their way of determining who these good and bad landlords are. Signing an pledge that looks as nonbinding as can be doesn’t mean much. Certainly a good first step, though.

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