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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Jose Sueiro is one of few tenants left in an old huge apartment structure that sits in the middle of the District's thriving Adams Morgan area. He said,"I've lived here for about 35 years."

Because he lives in a rent control unit, the owner, by law, can't raise his rent by more than roughly 4 percent per year. That's the consumer price index plus another 2 percent but once the units are vacant the rent controls are lifted.

"I pay close to $800." But once if he vacates, "They start the base at $3,163."

He lives at Columbia Towers in Foggy Bottom where George Washhington University students and long term tenants vie for rent control apartments.

DC is still far ahead of most big cities, outside of New York, roughly two-thirds of the city's existing rental units are still under rent control. But for how long?

A number of tenants in the Adams Morgan apartment building accepted the landlords buy out package to leave, freeing the units from rent control. The building is undergoing renovation.

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