Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–3509.08. Inspection of rental housing.

(a) Notwithstanding any other law or rule to the contrary, for the purpose of determining whether any housing accommodation is in compliance with applicable housing rules or construction code rules, the Mayor may enter upon and into any housing accommodation in the District, during all reasonable hours, to inspect the same; provided, that if a tenant of a housing accommodation does not give permission to inspect that portion of the premises under the tenant’s exclusive control, the Mayor shall not enter that portion of the premises unless the Mayor has:

(1) A valid administrative search warrant pursuant to subsection (d) of this section which permits the inspection; or

(2) A reasonable basis to believe that exigent circumstances require immediate entry into that portion of the premises to prevent an imminent danger to the public health or welfare.

(b) Any person who shall hinder, interfere with, or prevent any inspection authorized by this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding $100, by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 months, or both.

(c) The Mayor may apply to a judge of the District of Columbia for an administrative search warrant to enter any premises to conduct any inspection authorized by subsection (a) of this section.

(d) A judge may issue the warrant if the judge finds that:

(1) The applicant is authorized or required by law to make the inspection;

(2) The applicant has demonstrated that the inspection of the premises is sought as a result of:

(A) Evidence of an existing violation of the housing regulations, codified in Title 14 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, the construction codes, codified in Title 12 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, or other law; or

(B) A general and neutral administrative plan to conduct periodic inspections relating to issuance or renewal of housing business licenses or for conducting fire or life safety inspections;

(3) The owner, tenant, or other individual in charge of the property has denied access to the property, or, after making a reasonable effort, the applicant has been unable to contact any of these individuals; and

(4) The inspection is sought for health or safety-related purposes.

(e) Not Funded.

(f) Not Funded.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 908; as added Mar. 21, 2009, D.C. Law 17-319, § 4(b), 56 DCR 214; Apr. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 22-287, § 5, 66 DCR 1650.)

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-287: § 8 of D.C. Law 22-287 provided that the change made to this section by § 5 of D.C. Law 22-287 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 4(b) of Abatement of Nuisance Properties and Tenant Receivership Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-420, July 8, 2008, 55 DCR 7703).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 4(b) of Abatement of Nuisance Properties and Tenant Receivership Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-563, October 27, 2008, 55 DCR 12019).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition, see § 4(b) of Abatement of Nuisance Properties and Tenant Receivership Temporary amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Law 17-237, October 21, 2008, law notification 55 DCR 11700).