Response from Sara:
Nicole alleges that I lied about the listing because she calls it a basement apartment and I call it a garden apartment. The distinction of basement / english basement / garden apartment is one of regional semantics only. My listing is clear. It is two steps down from the street, and has nine foot ceilings and access to both front and rear gardens. Since the house is new and not 100% finished, as soon as she left I was able to work with my contractor to have the soundproofing evaluated and beefed up and also add handles to the drawers to eliminate that "inconvenience". As for her comments about excessive dog barking, just read every other review and you'll see that no one else has been bothered by the dog in the five years I've been a host.
And now let's move on to Nicole. From the second she arrived, she was sending long complaining emails to me and demands to Airbnb at all hours of the day. She tried to stay for free, get a refund, etc and caused me to spend a ton of time dealing with Airbnb. She admitted that she had broken up with her boyfriend (her reason for visiting DC) shortly before her arrival, so I doubt she would have found any accommodation acceptable. She "worked" from the apartment, barely ever left, and claimed that she needed total silence and anything else was "unprofessional". I'm not sure what noise levels she's used to, but it seems like its probably not townhouse city living. She left a tremendous mess in the apartment which included hairballs, used personal hygiene products, rotting food, and a funky smell and piles of ashes from some sort of incense or plants she burned in the apartment. She is hardly an arbiter of any standards.
In summation, I believe the apartment is great if you're anyone other than Nicole. If you're a crazy slob going through relationship drama, don't ask to rent from me. I am screening much more carefully now.