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Researchers at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy uncovered that a handful of landlords accounted for an outsized number of eviction filings in D.C. Superior Court. 

They found 10 landlords filed more than 37 percent of all evictions in 2018, despite owning just 16 percent of the city’s rental housing units. The kind of detailed data these researchers were able to get from D.C. meant they agreed not to name the landlords in their report titled “Eviction in Washington, DC: Racial and Geographic Disparities in Housing Instability.” The report offered some eye-popping statistics: Just 5.5 percent of filed evictions resulted in executed evictions in 2018; 11 out of every 100 tenants citywide received an eviction filing against them; and 20 out of every 100 and 25 out of every 100 in Wards 7 and 8, respectively, received one.    

The researchers got approval this week to release the names of the landlords to press.     

“They own a lot of the properties that are affordable properties,” says Georgetown researcher, Eva Rosen, of the top filers by volume. “So they are the people who are renting to the most vulnerable tenants who are therefore the most likely to be facing eviction.” 

City Paper interviewed some of the property owners and managers named, along with tenant advocates to get their perspective of the landlords. Some of the top filers in 2018 are still the top filers today, according to City Paper’s own analysis of 2020 court filings.  

Read the story online or bookmark it for later. Consider it your longread for the weekend.

—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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