See that picture? Pretty sweet bathroom, right? That’s pretty much what I’ve been dealing with on my apartment hunt. Sure, I’ve seen some OK places, even places that I would kill to occupy—or at least lie about having a pet before signing that lease. But the majority of the places I’ve seen have been dumps.

I’ve realized that I’m not that great at apartment hunting. Or at least not that lucky. I’ve also realized landlords also don’t know what they’re doing. Here are some things they should consider when trying to rent out their one-bedroom apartments:

1) “Near RFK Stadium” —no matter that it’s tucked in parens in your craigslist posting—is not a selling point. Have you been to RFK? It’s an empty bowl surrounded by empty parking lot. Unless you are a soccer fan, it’s useless. It has had over 40 years to turn into the next Chinatown. And I don’t see a Ruby Tuesday opening up anytime soon! Still, “near RFK” is a better selling point than “near the D.C. Jail” or “near the old D.C. General.”

2) If you are showing a roomy one-bedroom near the freeway overpass in Cap Hill, it might be a good idea to shampoo your shitty carpet. Apartments shouldn’t smell like dog.

3) Whether you’ve converted your Dupont row house or Mount Pleasant home into rentals, putting blinds over walls or shelves doesn’t necessarily make one think that counts as a window.

4) If you are posting photos of a bedroom that happens to still be furnished, it would help if you had the current renter make their bed.

5) Can you put on ban the following words and phrases: “charming,” “cozy,” “room to grow,” “classic studio,” and “peaceful urban refuge?”

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