Research and Ye Shall be Rewarded.
The ever-lovable housing discussion and related stressful thought process - to buy or not to buy; personally, it keeps me up at night. For every article one comes across that advises buying is a smart move, there are another dozen articles that talk about the "bubble" or "froth" or the general madness of the DC and its neighboring housing market and related prices. Like most people, I like to have options. Although I am seriously exploring the idea of buying, I may want to renew my current lease, if the condo that I am renting is not sold in the near future.
When my landlord informed me that next year's rent will be increased by 7.5%, it was either sell the cat, buy a house or get out. Determined to find out if this number, called "standard" by my landlord, was indeed legal, I started to do some research. Can't say I have caught onto the Harry Potter craze so I won't be waving my wand "just-so" to rememedy this current situation. I suppose I am taking more of the Law & Order approach and stalking those who can give me fact, proof, and documentation.
Thanks to my roommate, who hunted down the Tenant's Guide to Safe and Decent Housing, I was able to read about the CPI-W or Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. I guess I am an Urban Wage Earner because I do not fit into the Clerical category - who knew? The CPI-W is published in February each year and available by calling the HRA Customer Service Center at 202.442.4610. I made the call. I was directed to call the Office of the Secretary so I could track down the DC Municipal Regulations and Register.
From the DC Municipal Regulations and Register screen, scroll down and click on DCMR & DCR Online. When the next screen loads, click on DCR Online. The interface is not what I would call "user-friendly"; think library research, circa 1990. Your best bet is the Search Form tab.
If you want the PDF that contains the official CPI-W for 2005, drop me an email. I will try and post the PDF, for all to access, sometime this weekend. In the meantime, I am preparing my case so my landlord cannot unjustly rule my land. So sad that Johnny Cochran is no longer among us; he would have made a wonderful addition to my legal team. I guess there is always the freak that represented Michael Jackson...or was it the other way around?