Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–3131.12. Vacant building maintenance standard.

A building shall be adequately maintained if:

(1) Doors, windows, areaways, and other openings are weather-tight and secured against entry by birds, vermin, and trespassers, and missing or broken doors, windows, and other openings are covered with 1/2 inch CDX plywood that is weather protected, tightly fitted to the opening, and secured by screws or bolts;

(2) The roof and flashing are sound and tight, will not admit moisture, and are drained to prevent dampness or deterioration in the walls or interior;

(3) The building storm drainage system is adequately sized and installed in an approved manner and functional;

(4) The interior and exterior is maintained in good repair, structurally sound, free from debris, rubbish, and garbage, and sanitary so as not to threaten public health or safety;

(5) The structural members are free of deterioration and capable of safely bearing imposed dead and live loads;

(6) The foundation walls are plumb, free from open cracks and breaks, and vermin-proof;

(7) The exterior walls are free of holes, graffiti, breaks, and loose or rotting materials, and exposed metal and wood surfaces are protected from the elements and against decay or rust by periodic application of weather-coating materials, such as paint;

(8) The cornices, belt courses, corbels, terra cotta trim, wall facings, and similar decorative features are safe, anchored, and in good repair, and exposed metal and wood surfaces are protected from the elements and against decay or rust by periodic application of weather-coating materials, such as paint;

(9) All balconies, canopies, marquees, signs, metal awnings, stairways, fire escapes, standpipes, exhaust ducts, and similar features are in good repair, anchored, safe and sound, and exposed metal and wood surfaces are protected from the elements and against decay or rust by periodic application of weather-coating materials, such as paint;

(10) Chimneys, cooling towers, smokestacks, and similar appurtenances are structurally safe, sound, and in good repair, and exposed metal and wood surfaces are protected from the elements and against decay or rust by periodic application of weather-coating materials, such as paint;

(11) Openings in sidewalks are safe for pedestrian travel;

(12) Accessory and appurtenant structures such as garages, sheds, and fences are free from safety, health, and fire hazards; and

(13) The property on which a structure is located is clean, safe, and sanitary and does not threaten the public health or safety.


(Apr. 14, 1906, 34 Stat. 115, ch. 1626, § 12; as added Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-281, § 101, 48 DCR 1888; Mar. 3, 2010, D.C. Law 18-111, § 7101, 57 DCR 181.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3131.01, § 42-3131.06, § 42-3131.07, and § 42-3131.10.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-111, in par. (7), substituted “holes, graffiti, breaks,” for “holes, breaks,”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 7101 of Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Support Second Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-207, October 15, 2009, 56 DCR 8234).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 7101 of Fiscal Year Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-260, January 4, 2010, 57 DCR 345).

Short Title

Short title: Section 7100 of D.C. Law 18-111 provided that subtitle H of title VII of the act may be cited as the “Real Property Tax Reform Classification Amendment Act of 2009”.