Code of the District of Columbia

Part C. Rental of Subsurface Space.


§ 10–1103.01. Permit; conditions; recordation.

The Mayor is authorized to issue a permit for the use of a vault constructed prior to the effective date of this subchapter, or for the construction of a vault after such effective date, only to the owner of the real property abutting the public space in which such vault is or will be located. The issuance of each such permit shall be conditioned on the prior execution by such owner of an agreement acknowledging, for himself, his heirs and assigns: (1) that no right, title, or interest of the public is thereby acquired, waived, or abridged; (2) that the Mayor may inspect such vault during regular business hours; (3) that the Mayor may introduce or authorize the introduction into or through such vault with, right of entry for inspection, maintenance, and repair, of any water pipe, gas pipe, sewer, conduit, other pipe, or other public or public utility underground construction, which the Mayor deems necessary in the public interest to place in or through such vault; (4) that such vault will be changed by the owner, or by the District at the expense of such owner, to conform with any change made in the street, roadway, or sidewalk width or grade; and (5) that rental for such vault will be paid to the District as required by this subchapter. A copy of such agreement shall be recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds by and at the expense of such owner.


(Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1158, Pub. L. 90-596, title III, § 302.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1007.

1973 Ed., § 7-908.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 10-1141.02.

Editor's Notes

Use of public space under Dupont Circle: See Act of May 22, 1975, D.C. Law 1-4, §§ 101 to 104.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority Pursuant to D.C. Law 1-4, an Act to Authorize the Mayor of the District of Columbia to Permit the Use of Public Space Under Dupont Circle in the District of Columbia, see Mayor’s Order 2010-183, December 31, 2010 ( 57 DCR 12644).

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to the District of Columbia Council and to a Commissioner of the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 10–1103.02. Assessment; collection.

(a)(1) The Chief Financial Officer shall assess and collect rent and charges from the owner or owners of abutting property for any vault located in the public space abutting such property, unless such vault has been removed, filled, sealed, or otherwise rendered unusable in a manner satisfactory to the Mayor.

(2) Bills and notices shall be deemed to be properly served when mailed via first class mail to the abutting property owner’s mailing address of record as maintained by the Chief Assessor of the Office of Tax and Revenue.

(b)(1) Notwithstanding § 42-1901.04, or any other provision of law that imposes liability for vault rent that is contrary to this subsection, vault rent shall be assessed against a responsible condominium unit owners’ association.

(2) The responsible condominium unit owners’ association shall be billed for vault rent as a separate and distinct taxable entity with its own vault rent account, as designated by the Chief Financial Officer, and, unless the context requires otherwise, for purposes of this part shall be deemed to be the owner of the property abutting public space in which any vault is located.

(3) A notice of proposed land assessment relating to the vault rent account shall be given to the responsible condominium unit owners’ association by March 1st before the beginning of the applicable vault rent year. Only the land values of comparable multi-family residential properties shall be used in determining land values for vault rent purposes of residential condominiums.

(4) The assessed value of the land derived for purposes of billing the vault rent may be appealed as provided under § 47-825.01a(d), (e), and (g); except, that for the purposes of this section any references in that section to an owner shall be deemed to be references to a responsible condominium unit owners’ association.

(5) The Chief Financial Officer may correct or change any land assessment relating to the vault rent account for which a responsible condominium unit owners’ association is responsible as under the circumstances and subject to the conditions in § 47-825.01a(f); except, that the reference to:

(A) Tax years shall be deemed to be a reference to vault rent years;

(B) Owner shall be deemed to be a reference to a responsible condominium unit owners’ association; and

(C) The owner’s address of record shall be deemed to be a reference to the responsible condominium unit owners’ mailing address of record as maintained by the Chief Assessor of the Office of Tax and Revenue.

(c) Where vault rent is assessed against any owner other than a responsible condominium owners’ association, the Mayor may adjust any utilization factor or area of the vault level under the circumstances, subject to the conditions in § 47-825.01a(f); except, that the reference to tax years shall be deemed to be a reference to vault rent years.


(Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1159, Pub. L. 90-596, title III, § 303; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 6002(c), 61 DCR 9990; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 7028(2), 62 DCR 10905.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1008.

1973 Ed., § 7-909.

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155, effective Feb. 26, 2015, and applicable July 1, 2015, rewrote the section.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 added the last sentence in (b)(3); and deleted “Provided that the land values of comparable multi-family residential properties shall only be used in determining land values for vault rent purposes in residential condominiums” from the beginning of (b)(5).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 6002(c) and 6003(a) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6002(c) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, as amended by D.C. Law 20-155, § 6002(c), see § 2(i)( 2) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-461, November 6, 2014, 61 DCR 11784, 20 STAT 4368).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 6002(c) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(i)( 2) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-587, January 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1294, 21 STAT 758).

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 7016(g)(2) and (y)(1) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(h)( 2) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-179, March 7, 2015, 62 DCR 424).

Editor's Notes

Section 6003 of D.C. Law 20-155 provided that §§ 6002 (a), (c), (d), (e), and (f) of the act shall apply as of July 1, 2015.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-36: Section 7048(a) of D.C. Law 21-36 provided that § 7028 of the act shall apply as of July 1, 2015.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to the District of Columbia Council and to a Commissioner of the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 10–1103.03. Fixed by Council; waiver.

Each owner of property abutting public space in which a vault is located shall pay an annual rent fixed from time to time by the Council of the District of Columbia for such vault, but such annual rent shall not be less than $10, and such rent shall be subject to collection from said owner in the manner prescribed by this part, regardless of whether any use is made of such vault, and regardless of the extent of any use; provided, that no rent for any rental year for a vault shall be charged to the owner of abutting property if said owner, prior to July 1st of such year, has notified the Mayor in writing that he has abandoned such vault and has performed such work as may be required by the District in connection with the sealing off or filling of such vault, or both.


(Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1159, Pub. L. 90-596, title III, § 304.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1009.

1973 Ed., § 7-910.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to the District of Columbia Council and to a Commissioner of the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 10–1103.04. Annual payment required; refunds.

(a) Except as provided in subsections (d) and (d-1) of this section, the owner of property abutting public space in which any vault is located, as such owner may be recorded in the real estate assessment records of the District, shall pay the rent established in accordance with this part for such vault and any charges levied under § 10-1103.07(a). Such rent and charges shall be payable annually for the vault rent year and shall be payable in full on or before the later of 30 days after the date the vault rent bill was mailed or September 15 of the vault rent year. In the case of vaults constructed between July 1st and January 1st of any year, one-half of the annual rent for any such vault, shall be payable in full prior to the 1st of January immediately following the completion of such vault. In the case of vaults constructed between January 1st and July 1st of the succeeding year, no rent shall be charged for any vault completed within such period, but the owner of the property abutting the public space in which such vault is located shall, prior to the 1st of July immediately following the completion of any such vault, pay in full the annual rent for such vault, for the rental year commencing on such July 1st. Interest at the rate of 1 per centum for each month or part thereof shall be charged in every case in which rent is not paid on or before the date on which any payment required by this section shall become due.

(b) In the event the Mayor requires or allows any person using subsurface public space under the authority of this part to vacate, voluntarily or involuntarily, all or part of any space for which rent has been paid, the Mayor is authorized to refund so much of such prepaid rent as may be represented by the amount of space so vacated and by the length of time remaining in the period for which rent was paid; provided, that the Mayor may deduct from such prepayment any amount due the District in compensation for expenses to the District in connection with the use or abandonment of said space.

(c) Each level of a vault shall be treated as a separate vault for purposes of computing annual rent. Annual rental shall be computed on the basis of the assessed value (“A.V.”) per square foot of the abutting land multiplied by the area of the vault level in square feet (“Area”) multiplied by a utilization factor (“U.F.”), otherwise expressed as (A.V.) x (Area) x (U.F.).

The utilization factors shall be:

(1) First Level: One and two-tenths percent (1.2%);

(2) Each Level Thereafter: Three-tenths of one percent (0.30%).

(c-1) Notwithstanding subsection (c) of this section, rent per fuel oil tank shall be $100; provided, that the Council may adjust the amount of rent per fuel oil tank pursuant to § 10-1104.01.

(d)(1) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, an owner of property, including air rights, abutting public space occupied by a vault constructed under the portions of F Street, N.W., and G Street, N.W., between 2nd Street, N.W., and 3rd Street, N.W., and the portions of 2nd Street, N.W., and 3rd Street, N.W., between F Street, N.W., and G Street, N.W., shall not be required to pay the rent required by subsection (a) of this section during the period described in paragraph (2) of this subsection if:

(A) The vault abuts and is constructed as part of the improvements constructed pursuant to the land disposition agreement to be entered into pursuant to the Center Leg Freeway (Interstate 395) Fee and Air Rights Disposition Emergency Approval Resolution of 2007, effective July 10, 2007 (Res. 17-291; 54 DCR 7461) (“Center Leg improvements”);

(B) The owner (or a previous owner) has reconstructed F Street, N.W., and G Street, N.W., between 2nd Street, N.W., and 3rd Street, N.W. (“reconstructed streets”) in accordance with the standards and specifications of the District Department of Transportation and at no cost to the District; and

(C) The owner agrees to maintain the reconstructed streets at no cost to the District.

(2) A rent waiver granted under this subsection shall commence on the date that the Mayor accepts the reconstructed streets and shall terminate 14 calendar days after the date of a determination by that Mayor that:

(A) The Center Leg improvements have been substantially rebuilt or demolished for reasons other than fire, collapse, explosion, or act of God;

(B) The owner has failed to maintain the reconstructed streets in a safe condition and at no cost to the District, after such notice and opportunity to cure, if any, as may be provided in the permit; or

(C) The owner has violated a condition under which its vault construction permit was issued, after such notice and opportunity to cure, if any, as may be provided in the permit.

(3) Any vault serving, in whole or in part, real property exempt from taxation under § 47-1002(19) shall be exempt from vault rent.

(4) Any vault serving, in whole or in part, real property located at Square 287, Lot 812 shall be exempt from vault rent.

(d-1) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, the owner of Lot 1 in Square 1048-S (“property”) shall not be required to pay the rent required by subsection (a) of this section for any vault occupying the Virginia Avenue right-of-way abutting the property and constructed after July 23, 2010.

(e) The owner shall have at least 30 days from the date of issuance of a bill to pay the rent.


(Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1159, Pub. L. 90-596, title III, § 305; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-192, § 6013(c), 53 DCR 6899; Oct. 22, 2008, D.C. Law 17-253, § 3, 55 DCR 9270; Dec. 24, 2008, D.C. Law 17-284, § 2(b), 55 DCR 11983; July 23, 2010, D.C. Law 18-198, § 4, 57 DCR 4528; Jan. 12, 2012, D.C. Law 19-78, § 2, 58 DCR 10102; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 6002(d), 61 DCR 9990; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 7162, 63 DCR 10775.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1010.

1973 Ed., § 7-911.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-192 added subsec. (c).

D.C. Law 17-253, in subsec. (a), inserted “Except as provided in subsec. (d) of this section,”; and added subsec. (d).

D.C. Law 17-284, in subsec. (c), substituted “One and two-tenths percent (1.2%)” for “One and eight-tenths percent (1.8%)” and “Three-tenths of one percent (0.30%)” for “Forty-fifth of one percent (0.45%)”; and added subsec. (e).

D.C. Law 18-198, in subsec. (a), substituted “Except as provided in subsections (d) and (d-1) of this section” for “Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section”; and added subsec. (d-1).

D.C. Law 19-78 would have added subsec. (d)(3).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155, effective Feb. 26, 2015, and applicable July 1, 2015, in (a), substituted “shall pay the rent established in accordance with this part for such vault and any charges levied under § 10-1103.07 (a)” for “shall pay the rent established in accordance with this part for such vault” in the first sentence, and rewrote the second sentence; deleted the former second sentence in (c), which read “Fuel oil tanks shall be considered as single level vaults”; and added (c-1).

Applicability

Section 7004 of D.C. Law 21-160 repealed section 4 of D.C. Law 19-78. Therefore the changes made to this section by D.C. Law 19-78 have been given effect.

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-78: § 4 of D.C. Law 19-78 provided that the change made to this section by § 2 of D.C. Law 19-78 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) amendment of section, see § 6013(c) of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-477, August 8, 2006, 53 DCR 7068).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 6013(c) of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-499, October 23, 2006, 53 DCR 8845).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 6013(c) of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-1, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1165).

For temporary (90 day) amendment, see § 2(b) of Public Space Rental Fees Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-460, July 28, 2008, 55 DCR 8729).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 2(c) of Public Space Rental Fees Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-460, July 28, 2008, 55 DCR 8729).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 6002(d) and 6003(a) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 6002(d) and 6003 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 6002(d) and 6003 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(b) of D.C. Law 17-263, in subsec. (c), substituted “One and two-tenths percent (1.2%)” for “One and eight-tenths percent (1.8%)” and “Three-tenths of one percent (0.30%)” for “Forty-fifth of one percent (0.45%)”; and added subsec. (d) to read as follows: “(d) The owner shall have at least 30 days from the date of issuance of a bill to pay the rent.”.

Section 2(c) of D.C. Law 17-263 added a section to read as follows:

“Sec. 305a. Overpayments.

“(a) If there is a payment of a rent that results in an overpayment, the overpayment shall be credited against other rent periods owed.

“(b) The Mayor shall refund the rent payment less any other rent owing; provided, that the refund shall not be allowed after 3 years from the date the rent payment was made.

“(c) The owner may file a claim for a refund in the manner prescribed by the Mayor.

“(d) The District shall pay interest on the overpayment beginning 90 days after the receipt of the claim for refund; provided, that for the rent originally due on June 30, 2008, interest on the overpayment shall not accrue before 180 days from the receipt of the claim for refund.

“(e) The interest payable by the District under subsection (d) of this section shall be at the rate provided in D.C. Official Code § 47-3310(c).

“(f) The Mayor shall issue a final decision concerning the claim for a refund within 180 days from the date that the claim was filed. The owner may, within 45 days from either the date of the final decision or the expiration of the 180 days if no final decision issues, file suit in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in the same manner and to the same extent as provided in D.C. Official Code §§ 47-3303 and 47-3304; provided, that the rent, including any interest, shall have first been paid.”

Section 6(b) of D.C. Law 17-263 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Editor's Notes

Section 3 of D.C. Law 19-78 provided that the Council of the District of Columbia orders that all vault rentals, interest, penalties, fees, and other related charges assessed with respect to vaults serving, in whole or in part, real property exempt from real property taxation under § 47-1002(19) that are unpaid as of January 12, 2012, be forgiven

Section 6003 of D.C. Law 20-155 provided that §§ 6002(a), (c), (d), (e), and (f) of the act shall apply as of July 1, 2015.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to the District of Columbia Council and to a Commissioner of the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 10–1103.04a. Overpayments.

(a) If there is a payment of a rent that results in an overpayment, the overpayment shall be credited against other rent periods owed.

(b) The Chief Financial Officer shall refund the rent payment less any other rent owing; provided, that the refund shall not be allowed after 3 years from the date the rent payment was made.

(c) The owner may file a claim for a refund in the manner prescribed by the Chief Financial Officer.

(d) The District shall pay interest on the overpayment beginning 90 days after the receipt of the claim for refund; provided, that for the rent originally due on June 30, 2008, interest on the overpayment shall not accrue before 180 days from the receipt of the claim for refund.

(e) The interest payable by the District under subsection (d) of this section shall be at the rate provided in § 47-3310(c).

(f) The Chief Financial Officer shall issue a final decision concerning the claim for a refund within 180 days from the date that the claim was filed. The owner may, within 45 days from either the date of the final decision or the expiration of the 180 days if no final decision issues, file suit in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in the same manner and to the same extent as provided in §§ 47-3303 and 47-3304; provided, that the rent, including any interest, shall have first been paid.


(Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1159, Pub. L. 90-596, title III, § 305a; as added Dec. 24, 2008, D.C. Law 17-284, § 2(c), 55 DCR 11983; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 6002(e), 61 DCR 9990.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155, effective Feb. 26, 2015, and applicable July 1, 2015, substituted “Chief Financial Officer” for “Mayor” throughout the section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 6002(e) and 6003(a) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 6002(e) and 6003 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 6002(e) and 6003 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

Editor's Notes

Section 4 of D.C. Law 17-284 provided that sections 2 and 3 shall apply as of July 1, 2008.

Section 6003 of D.C. Law 20-155 provided that §§ 6002(a), (c), (d), (e), and (f) of the act shall apply as of July 1, 2015.


§ 10–1103.05. Removal of vault — Order by Mayor; failure to remove.

(a) Whenever the Mayor determines that any vault is unsafe or is not in use, or the space occupied by such vault is required for street improvements, or the construction or extension of sewers, water mains, other public works, or public utility facilities, the Mayor is authorized to serve upon the owner of property abutting public space occupied by such vault an order requiring such owner to remove in whole or in part, reconstruct, repair, or close such vault by filling, sealing, or otherwise rendering unusable in a manner satisfactory to the Mayor. The failure or refusal of any such owner to comply with such order of the Mayor within the time specified in such order shall constitute a violation of this subchapter.

(b) In the event that any owner of property abutting an unused or unsafe vault fails to remove in whole or in part, reconstruct, repair, or close the same by filling, sealing, or otherwise rendering unusable in a manner satisfactory to the Mayor within the time specified by him, the Mayor is authorized to apply to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for, and the said Court is hereby authorized to issue, an order empowering the Mayor to enter upon the property of such owner for the purpose of performing such work as may be necessary in connection with the removal, reconstruction, repair, or closure of such vault, and the District and its officers and employees shall not be liable for any damage to real or personal property which may result from the performance of any such work, other than such damage as may be caused by the gross negligence of the District or of any of its officers or employees. Process in connection with the application for such order shall be served on the owner in accordance with the rules of said Court relating to the service of process in civil actions. In the event such owner is not to be found in the District after reasonable search and an affidavit to this effect is made on behalf of the District, such process may be served by publications for 1 day each week for 3 consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the District, and, if service of process is by publication, a copy of such process and publication shall be sent to such owner by certified mail at his last known address as recorded in the real estate assessment records of the District.


(Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1160, Pub. L. 90-596, title III, § 306; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 570, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 155(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1011.

1973 Ed., § 7-912.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to the District of Columbia Council and to a Commissioner of the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 10–1103.06. Removal of vault — Notice to owner; immediate action.

Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding section, whenever the Mayor finds that any vault or vault opening in such condition as to be imminently dangerous to persons or property, he shall immediately notify the owner, agent, or other person in charge of the private property abutting the public space in which such vault or vault opening is located, to cause such vault or vault opening to be made safe and secure. The person or persons so notified shall be allowed until 12:00 noon of the day following the service of such notice in which to commence making such vault or vault opening safe and secure; provided, that in a case where the public safety requires immediate action the Mayor may enter upon the private property abutting the public space in which such vault or vault opening is located, with such workmen and assistants as may be necessary, and cause such vault or vault opening to be made safe and secure. In any case in which the Mayor performs any work under the authority of this section, the cost to the District of performing such work shall be charged against the private property abutting the public space in which such vault or vault opening is located, and shall be collected in the manner provided by § 10-1103.07.


(Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1160, Pub. L. 90-596, title III, § 307.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1012.

1973 Ed., § 7-913.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to the District of Columbia Council and to a Commissioner of the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 10–1103.07. Collection of rental payments; failure to make payments.

(a) The Mayor shall take such action as he in his discretion considers necessary or desirable to secure the payment to the District of rents due and payable on vaults; interest on late rental payments; the cost of any advertising required by this part; the cost to the District of sealing off, removing in whole or in part, filling, reconstructing, repairing, or closing a vault or vault opening, or performing any other service in connection therewith; and interest at the rate of 1 per centum per month or part thereof in every case in which payment to the District for the cost of performing work authorized by this part is not made within 30 days after a bill for such cost shall have been rendered.

(b) Charges authorized to be made by this part and not paid within 90 days after the close of the fiscal year in which such charges accrue shall be levied by the Mayor as a tax against the property abutting the public space in which a vault is located, such tax to be collected as provided in this section. Such tax shall include, without limitation, rents due and payable on vaults, interest on late rental payments, costs for sealing off, removing in whole or in part, filling, repairing, reconstructing, or closing a vault or vault opening, interest on late payments of such costs, and any advertising required by this part. The tax authorized to be levied and collected under this section may be paid without interest within 60 days from the date such tax was levied. Interest of one-half of 1 per centum for each month or part thereof shall be charged on all unpaid amounts from the expiration of 60 days from the date such tax was levied. Any such tax may be paid in 3 equal installments with interest thereon. If any such tax or part thereof shall remain unpaid after the expiration of 2 years from the date such tax was levied, the property against which said tax was levied may be sold for such tax or unpaid portion thereof with interest and penalties thereon at the next ensuing annual tax sale in the same manner and under the same conditions as property sold for delinquent general real estate taxes, if said tax with interest and penalties thereon shall not have been paid in full prior to said sale.

(c)(1) For vault years beginning after June 30, 2015, the Mayor, in the Mayor’s discretion, may seal off, remove in whole or in part, fill, reconstruct, repair, or close a vault or vault opening, or perform any other service in connection with a vault or vault opening that the Mayor considers necessary or appropriate; provided, that should the subject vault contain utility infrastructure, the Mayor shall confer with the affected utility before any modification to the vault about whether the planned activity would compromise the operations of the utility infrastructure system.

(2) The Chief Financial Officer shall levy a charge against the abutting property for the reasonable cost of action by the Mayor.

(d)(1) Beginning September 15, 2015, interest on any unpaid vault rent for any vault year and the charges authorized under subsection (a) of this section shall accrue at the rate set forth in § 47-811(c) per month or part thereof after the due date prescribed in § 10-1103.04.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (f) of this section, the abutting property for any vault located in the public space shall be sold by the Chief Financial Officer at a tax sale held under Chapter 13A of Title 47 [§ 47-1330 et seq.] for vault rent, charges, and interest that are delinquent as of the October 1st before the tax sale.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, delinquent vault rent, charges, and interest shall not be required to be certified for purposes of the tax sale and the lien priority of vault rents, charges, and interest shall be immediately junior to real property taxes.

(e) Payments shall be applied to the oldest vault year owed, and within such year first to interest, then to charges, and then to rent.

(f)(1) When a responsible condominium unit owners’ association is billed for vault rent, charges, and interest and the rent, charges, and interest are not timely paid, the rent, charges, and interest shall constitute a delinquent tax to be collected against the responsible condominium unit owners’ association in accordance with Chapter 44 of Title 47 [§ 47-4401 et seq.], notwithstanding § 42-1901.04 or any other provision to the contrary. Liability shall follow to any subsequent or successor responsible condominium unit owners’ association or the resulting owners of any termination of the condominium, as the case may be, notwithstanding any other law to the contrary.


(Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1160, Pub. L. 90-596, title III, § 308; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 6002(f), 61 DCR 9990; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 7024, 63 DCR 10775.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1013.

1973 Ed., § 7-914.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 10-1103.06 and § 10-1103.08.

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155, effective Feb. 26, 2015, and applicable July 1, 2015, added (c), (d), (e), and (f).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 6002(f) and 6003(b) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 6002(f) and 6003 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 6002(f) and 6003 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of section, see § 11 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-164, Oct. 16, 2015, 62 DCR 13734).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 5 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-292, Jan. 27, 2016, 63 DCR 1211).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 7 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-76, Feb. 27, 2016, 63 DCR 264).

Editor's Notes

Section 6003 of D.C. Law 20-155 provided that §§ 6002(a), (c), (d), (e), and (f) of the act shall apply as of July 1, 2015.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to the District of Columbia Council and to a Commissioner of the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 10–1103.07a. Waiver and compromise; authority of the Chief Financial Officer.

The Chief Financial Officer may:

(1) Waive, in whole or in part, interest assessed pursuant to this subchapter in the interest of equity or in the public interest; or

(2) Compromise any charge or vault rent assessed pursuant to this subchapter when, in the Chief Financial Officer’s judgment, there is reasonable doubt as to the liability of the owner against whom the vault rent was assessed or the collectability of the tax.


(Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1159, Pub. L. 90-596, title III, § 308a; as added Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 6002(g), 61 DCR 9990.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) addition of Pub. L. 90-596, § 308a, see § 6002(g) and 6003(b) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) addition of Pub. L. 90-596, § 308a, see § 6002(g) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) addition of Pub. L. 90-596, § 308a, see § 6002(g) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).


§ 10–1103.08. Use of vault for utility installation or construction.

(a) The Mayor is authorized to require that the use of a vault occupied or used under the authority of this subchapter shall be subject to the condition that the District shall have the right at any time to install or construct under, over, or through said vault any water pipe, gas pipe, sewer, conduit, other pipe, or other public or public utility underground construction that the Mayor may consider it necessary in the public interest to place in the space occupied by such vault, without compensation to the owner of the private property abutting the space in which such vault is located or to the person occupying or using such vault. Each person using or occupying a vault, upon notice from the Mayor that a water pipe, gas pipe, sewer, conduit, other pipe, or other public or public utility underground construction is to be introduced in the space occupied by such vault, shall commence to move, and forthwith remove, if necessary, any boiler, pipe, wall, beam, machinery, or construction in or pertaining to said vault, or any fixture or other thing therein, without cost to the District, so as to leave a space clear and sufficient in the judgment of the Mayor for the introduction and maintenance of any such underground construction or installation. The Mayor is further authorized to require each applicant for a permit to construct a vault in public space, as a condition precedent to the issuance of the permit, to agree for himself and his heirs and assigns that the Mayor shall have the right to enter upon the premises at any time for the inspection and proper maintenance or repair of any public underground construction or installation in such vault, and that in case there is any change in the street, roadway, or sidewalk above such vault, the vault shall be subject to a corresponding change, as directed by the Mayor, without expense to the District of Columbia.

(b) In the event a person occupying or using a vault under the authority of this subchapter shall fail or refuse to perform or to permit the performance of any work required by the Mayor under the authority of subsection (a) of this section, the Mayor is authorized to apply to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for, and said Court is hereby authorized to issue, an order empowering the Mayor to enter upon the private property abutting the public space in which such vault is located for the purpose of performing such work as may be necessary in connection with the construction or installation in such public space of any water pipe, gas pipe, sewer, conduit, other pipe, or other underground construction or installation that the Mayor may consider it necessary or desirable to place in such space, and the District and its officers and employees shall not be liable for any damage to real or personal property which may result from the performance of any such work, other than such damage as may be caused by the gross negligence of the District or of any of its officers or employees. Process in connection with the application for such order shall be served on the owner in accordance with the rules of said Court relating to the service of process in civil actions. In the event such owner is not to be found in the District after reasonable search and an affidavit to this effect is made on behalf of the District, such process may be served by publication for 1 day each week for 3 consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the District, and, if service of process is by publication, a copy of such process and publication shall be sent to such owner by certified mail at his last known address as recorded in the real estate assessment records of the District. The cost to the District of performing such work, including, without limitation, the reasonable cost to the District of securing the court order authorized by this subsection and any advertising in connection therewith, shall be a charge which may be levied by the Mayor as a tax against the property abutting the public space in which a vault is located, to be collected in the manner authorized by § 10-1103.07.


(Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1161, Pub. L. 90-596, title III, § 309; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 570, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 155(a).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1014.

1973 Ed., § 7-915.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to the District of Columbia Council and to a Commissioner of the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 10–1103.09. Vault abutting single- or two-family dwelling exempt from rental charge.

Nothing contained in this part shall be construed as authorizing the Council of the District of Columbia to impose a rental charge for the use of any vault abutting real property on which is located a single- or two-family dwelling occupied solely for residential purposes, but any such vault shall otherwise be subject to the provisions of this part.


(Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1162, Pub. L. 90-596, title III, § 310.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 7-1015.

1973 Ed., § 7-916.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to the District of Columbia Council and to a Commissioner of the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 10–1103.10. Rules.

The Chief Financial Officer, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.], may issue rules to implement the provisions of this part.


(Oct. 17, 1968, 82 Stat. 1162, Pub. L. 90-596, title III, § 311; as added Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, § 6002(h), 61 DCR 9990.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) addition of Pub. L. 90-596, § 311, see §§ 6002(h) and 6003(b) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) addition of Pub. L. 90-596, § 311, see § 6002(h) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) addition of Pub. L. 90-596, § 311, see § 6002(h) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).