Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–3303. Appointment of receiver; termination.

(a)(1) Upon nonpayment of a delinquent account by the owner, agent, lessor, or manager of an apartment house who is billed directly by a company, electricity supplier, or gas company (any of which shall be referred to as “company”) for service furnished to such apartment house, such company, or the tenants residing in the affected apartment house, may petition the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for appointment of a receiver of the rents or payments for use and occupancy for such apartment house. The Chief Judge of the Superior Court or such Judge’s designee, upon presentation by the petitioner of a verified petition indicating such nonpayment of a delinquent account, shall immediately issue an order requiring such owner, agent, lessor, or manager, as respondent, to show cause why a receiver should not be appointed.

(2) The order of the Court, together with a copy of the verified petition, shall be served on the owner, agent, lessor, or manager at his last known address or by such other method as the Court may direct and shall be posted in a conspicuous place upon the apartment house in question.

(3) A hearing on the show cause order shall be held no later than 72 hours after its issuance or the first court day thereafter. Upon a prima facie showing by affidavit, testimony or otherwise, that delinquent electric company, electricity supplier, gas company, or natural gas supplier bills on the subject apartment house remain unpaid, the Court shall forthwith appoint a receiver to collect rents or payments for use and occupancy from the tenants thereof and to pay current electric company, electricity supplier, or gas company bills as hereinafter required. Prior to said hearing, respondent may file an answer to the petition raising such grounds of defense as respondent may have; except, that any set-offs, counterclaims, or third-party claims shall not be grounds for refusing to appoint a receiver.

(4) The receiver appointed by the Court shall have the authority to take such action as it deems necessary to collect all rents or payments for use and occupancy from the tenants of the apartment house in question in place of the owner, agent, lessor or manager. Any monies remaining after such payments, fees and costs shall be turned over to the owner, agent, lessor, or manager. The receiver shall pay the electric company, electricity supplier, gas company, or natural gas supplier from the rents and payments for services provided the company on and after the date of his appointment. The owner, agent, lessor, or manager shall be liable for the reasonable fees and costs determined by the Court to be due the receiver, which fees and costs may be recovered from the rents or payments for use and occupancy under the control of the receiver; provided, that no fees or costs shall be turned over until after payment of current electric company, electricity supplier, gas company, or natural gas supplier on the apartment house has been made. Any monies remaining after such payments, fees and costs shall be turned over to the owner, agent, lessor, or manager. Upon order of the Court, the receiver shall become trustee of any escrow accounts or other funds established by the tenants or otherwise into which rents or payments for use and occupancy have been paid or are being held. The Court shall require accountings to be made by the receiver at such times as the Court determines to be just, reasonable and necessary.

(b) Any receivership established pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be terminated by the Court upon its finding that the arrearage which was the subject of the original petition has been satisfied, or that all tenants have agreed to assume liability in their own names for prospective service supplied by the electric company, electricity supplier, gas company, or natural gas supplier, or that the apartment house has been sold and the new owner has assumed liability for prospective service supplied by the electric company, electricity supplier, or gas company.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the electric company, electricity supplier, gas company, or natural gas supplier from pursuing any other action or remedy at law or equity that it may have against the owner, agent, lessor or manager.

(d) Any owner, agent, lessor or manager who collects or attempts to collect any rent or payment for use and occupancy from any tenant of an apartment house subject to an order appointing a receiver pursuant to this section shall be found, after due notice and hearing, to be in contempt of court.


(Sept. 13, 1980, D.C. Law 3-94, § 4, 27 DCR 3500; May 9, 2000, D.C. Law 13-107, § 202(b), 47 DCR 1091; Mar. 16, 2005, D.C. Law 15-227, § 20(b), 51 DCR 10549.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-543.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 34-2304 and § 42-3302.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-107 in subsec. (a)(1) substituted “company, electricity supplier, or gas company (any of which shall be referred to as ‘company’) for service” for “electric or gas company for utility service”; substituted in the second sentence of subsec. (a)(3) “electric company, electricity supplier, or gas company” for “utility”; rewrote the second and third sentences of subsec. (a)(4) which formerly provided: “The receiver shall pay the utility company from such rents and payments for utility services provided by such company on and after the date of his appointment. The owner, agent, lessor or manager shall be liable for such reasonable fees and costs determined by the Court to be due the receiver, which fees and costs may be recovered from the rents or payments for use and occupancy under the control of the receiver; provided, however, that no such fees or costs shall be turned over until after payment of current utility bills on the apartment house has been made.”; substituted in subsec. (b) “electric company, electricity supplier, or gas” for “utility”; and, in subsec. (c) substituted “electric company, electricity supplier, or gas company” for “’utility company”.

D.C. Law 15-227, in subsec. (a), substituted “electric company, electricity supplier, gas company, or natural gas supplier” for “electric company, electricity supplier, or gas company” in the second sentence of par. (3), rewrote the second and third sentences of par. (4), which had read: “The receiver shall pay the electric company, electricity supplier, or gas company from the rents and payments for services provided the company on and after the date of his appointment. The owner, agent, lessor or manager shall be liable for the reasonable fees and costs determined by the Court to be due the receiver, which fees and costs may be recovered from the rents or payments for use and occupancy under the control of the receiver; provided, however, that no fees or costs shall be turned over until after payment of current electric company, electricity supplier, or gas bills on the apartment house has been made.”; and, in subsecs. (b) and (c), substituted “gas company, or natural gas supplier” for “or gas company”.

Cross References

Water and sewer services, receiver for rental property, see § 34-2304.

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 8(b) of Prevention of Unauthorized Switching of Customer Natural Gas Accounts Temporary Act of 2001 (D.C. Law 14-13, July 10, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 6589).