Greg Carlsen, owner of Carlsen Construction, was my landlord in 2013-2014. I can’t overstate how difficult he made our year as tenants, nor can I overstate how disrespectful, callous and rude he was as a landlord. To begin with, Mr. Carlsen advertised his property as a five-person house; only when we were about to sign the lease (and had turned down other housing offers) did he inform us that it was only a four-person house. This required one of our roommates to scramble to find alternate accommodations. Carlsen acknowledged during the year that he had knowingly advertised the property as a five bedroom even though he knew it only fit four; it was by design that he advertised at a lower cost and then pulled the rug out on desperate tenants at the last minute. This practice is clearly against DC landlord-tenant law and is the exact type of unscrupulous behavior that the law seeks to prevent.
Once we moved in, there was a bevy of problems with the house. For example, the kitchen sink didn’t work for the first 2 months of our lease (pretty hard to do dishes without a kitchen sink); we had no heat for 2 weeks in the dead of winter (requiring us to find alternate places to sleep at night); and the A/C was inoperative for 3 weeks in the middle of summer. These were all major issues requiring immediate attention, yet on each occasion, Carlsen was unresponsive, condescending, and generally rude. It was a nightmare dealing with him.
When it finally came time to move out, Carlsen was completely unresponsive in returning our security deposit. After calling and emailing over and over again, we finally had to hire a lawyer to pry the deposit away from him. The whole process took 6 months, and only after several threats of legal action did we finally receive our deposit. We were lucky enough that a family friend was willing to provide legal help, but for those who don’t have access to an affordable lawyer, you may be out of luck when dealing with Carlsen Construction. I can’t speak to the business practices of this construction business, but after dealing with Mr. Carlsen on a personal level as a landlord, I would strongly advise anyone looking for construction services to look elsewhere.