Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 2. Short-term Rental Regulation.


Subchapter I. General.

§ 30–201.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) "Booking service" means any person or entity that facilitates short-term rental reservations and collects payment for lodging in a short-term rental. A booking service shall be a room remarketer within the meaning of § 47-2001(o-1).

(2) "Department" means the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs or its successor agency.

(3) "Host" means a natural person who uses a booking service to provide a short-term rental to a transient guest. A host shall be a vendor within the meaning of §§ 47-2001(w) and 47-2201(g).

(4) "Primary residence" means the property is eligible for the homestead deduction pursuant to § 47-850.

(5) "Short-term rental" means paid lodging for transient guests with the host present, unless it is a vacation rental. A short-term rental is not a hotel, inn, motel, boarding house, rooming house, or bed and breakfast. A short-term rental operates within a portion of the host's residential property, unless it is a vacation rental.

(6) "Vacation rental" means a short-term rental that operates within a host's residential property wherein a transient guest has exclusive use of the host's property during the transient guest's stay and the host is not present on the premises. A vacation rental is subject to additional restrictions, including § 30-201.06(e).


(Apr. 25, 2019, D.C. Law 22-307, § 101, 66 DCR 898.)

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 15 of D.C. Law 23-68 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 6(b) of D.C. Act 23-165 repealed, on an emergency basis, § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307 provided that the creation of this section by § 101 of D.C. Law 22-307 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.

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) repeal of § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307, see § 7(b) of Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Support Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2019 (D.C. Law 23-48, Jan. 28, 2020, 66 DCR 16179).


§ 30–201.02. Restrictions on short-term rentals.

(a) A short-term rental shall require a valid basic business license with a "Short-Term Rental" endorsement, in addition to any other license required by law. A vacation rental shall require a valid basic business license with a "Short-Term Rental: Vacation Rental" endorsement, in addition to any other license required by law.

(b) A host providing a short-term rental shall have current liability insurance of at least $500,000, which may be provided by the booking service. The Mayor may adjust the minimum dollar amount of this insurance requirement by rulemaking.

(c) A host shall provide each transient guest in a short-term rental a 24-hour accessible telephone number to the host, or to a person who has authority to act on behalf of the host, in the event of an emergency.

(d) The property at which the short-term rental is located shall be the host's primary residence.

(e) A host may offer multiple short-term rentals at a single property, such as a bedroom and an in-law suite, subject to all applicable occupancy limits contained in Title 11, Title 12, and Title 14 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations.

(f) For the purposes of 18 DCMR § 2414.14, a transient guest of a vacation rental shall not be considered a guest of a resident in the Advisory Neighborhood Commission area designated on an annual visitor parking permit.


(Apr. 25, 2019, D.C. Law 22-307, § 102, 66 DCR 898.)

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 15 of D.C. Law 23-68 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 6(b) of D.C. Act 23-165 repealed, on an emergency basis, § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307 provided that the creation of this section by § 102 of D.C. Law 22-307 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.


§ 30–201.03. Short-term rental license application.

A host applying for a short-term rental license endorsement shall:

(1) Provide evidence that he or she complies with the requirements of § 30-201.02;

(2) If the short-term rental is on property within a condominium, cooperative, or homeowner association, provide proof that the condominium, cooperative, or homeowner association permits the operation of a short-term rental;

(3) State the number of, and describe, the short-term rentals to be provided by the host on the property; and

(4) Pay the license fee, which shall be determined by the Mayor by rulemaking; provided, that the fee for a "Short-Term Rental" endorsement and "Short-Term Rental: Vacation Rental" endorsement shall be the same.


(Apr. 25, 2019, D.C. Law 22-307, § 103, 66 DCR 898.)

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 15 of D.C. Law 23-68 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 6(b) of D.C. Act 23-165 repealed, on an emergency basis, § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307 provided that the creation of this section by § 103 of D.C. Law 22-307 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.


§ 30–201.04. Short-term rental license endorsement issuance.

(a) The Department shall not issue a short-term rental license endorsement to any person or entity other than to a host.

(b) The license endorsement shall be applicable to the property on which the short-term rental is located. The presence of more than one short-term rental at the host's property shall not require separate license endorsements.

(c) The Department shall not issue more than one short-term rental license endorsement to a host.

(d) The Department shall not issue a short-term rental license endorsement to a host if prohibited by Title 11 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations.

(e) An inspection of the premises by the Department shall not be a prerequisite for issuance of a short-term rental license endorsement.

(f) A short-term rental license endorsement shall be valid for a period of 2 years from the date of issuance. Renewal license endorsements shall be issued in the same manner as initial license endorsements.


(Apr. 25, 2019, D.C. Law 22-307, § 104, 66 DCR 898.)

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 15 of D.C. Law 23-68 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 6(b) of D.C. Act 23-165 repealed, on an emergency basis, § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307 provided that the creation of this section by § 104 of D.C. Law 22-307 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.


§ 30–201.05. Suspension or revocation of short-term rental license endorsement.

The Mayor shall establish by rulemaking the procedures for suspension, revocation, and other licensing sanctions for violation of this subchapter.


(Apr. 25, 2019, D.C. Law 22-307, § 105, 66 DCR 898.)

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 15 of D.C. Law 23-68 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 6(b) of D.C. Act 23-165 repealed, on an emergency basis, § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307 provided that the creation of this section by § 105 of D.C. Law 22-307 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.


§ 30–201.06. Requirements for short-term rentals.

(a) A host of a short-term rental shall, throughout the duration of occupancy by the transient guest:

(1) Conspicuously post a copy of the basic business license with the short-term rental license endorsement within the interior of the short-term rental;

(2) Conspicuously post within the interior of the short-term rental a 24-hour accessible telephone number to the host, or to a person who has authority to act on behalf of the host, in the event of an emergency;

(3) Maintain a working smoke detector outside the sleeping area of the short-term rental and on all habitable floors of the host's property, and provide a working carbon monoxide detector on all habitable floors of the host's property;

(4) Provide unobstructed egress from the short-term rental; and

(5) Clean the short-term rental between occupancy by different transient guests, including the change of bed linens and towels.

(b) A host shall not list a short-term rental by using a booking service that does not permit the inclusion of the Short Term Rental or Short Term Rental: Vacation Rental license endorsement number clearly displayed in the listing; provided, that a host shall not be held liable for the failure of a booking service to display a license endorsement number that the host has provided.

(c) A host shall retain records of each booking of a short-term rental for a period of 2 years and shall make the records available to the Department upon request during reasonable hours. Information obtained by the Department pursuant to this subsection shall be confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure under subchapter II of Chapter 5 of Title 2; provided, that the Office of the Chief Financial Officer and the Office of the Attorney General may inspect the information for enforcement purposes.

(d) A host shall pay all applicable transient lodging taxes, including those imposed under chapters 20 and 22 of Title 47. Such taxes may be collected and remitted to the District of Columbia on behalf of the host by a booking service or person.

(e) A short-term rental shall operate as a vacation rental for no more than 90 nights cumulatively in any calendar year, unless the host has received an exemption pursuant to subsection (f) of this section.

(f)(1)(A) A host may submit an application, on a form provided by the Department, requesting an exemption from the 90-night limit in subsection (e) of this section, if:

(i) The host's employer requires the host to work outside of the District for more than 90 days cumulatively in any calendar year; or

(ii) The host leaves the District to receive treatment for a serious health condition, or to care for a family member who is receiving treatment for a serious health condition, for more than 90 days cumulatively in any calendar year.

(B)(i) If the host is claiming an exemption pursuant to subparagraph (A)(i) of this paragraph, the application submitted pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall be accompanied by a notarized form, signed by a representative of the host's employer, listing the location and duration of the host's work-related assignments outside of the District; provided, that a self-employed host shall submit a signed affidavit attesting that time spent outside the District is work-related and shall provide documentation of the work-related travel.

(ii) If the host is claiming an exemption pursuant to subparagraph (A)(ii) of this paragraph, the application submitted pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall be accompanied by a notarized form, signed by a representative of the health care provider that is providing treatment to the host or the host's family member, attesting to the need for the host or the host's family member to receive treatment for a serious health condition outside of the District.

(2) If the Department determines that the application submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection is valid, the Department shall provide the host an exemption from the 90-night limit in subsection (e) of this section, allowing the host to operate a vacation rental for the number of nights equal to:

(A) For a host claiming an exemption pursuant to paragraph (1)(A)(i) of this subsection, the number of days that the host's employer requires the host to work outside of the District; or

(B) For a host claiming an exemption pursuant to paragraph (1)(A)(ii) of this subsection, the number of days that the host is outside of the District to receive treatment for a serious health condition or to care for a family member who is receiving treatment for a serious health condition.

(3) If the Department issues an exemption to a host pursuant to this subsection, the Department shall transmit to all booking services identified by the host a notification of the number of nights that the host may operate a vacation rental.

(4) Six months after the April 25, 2019, and every 6 months thereafter, the Department shall list separately on its website:

(A) The number of exemptions granted in the previous 6 months pursuant to paragraph (1)(A)(i) of this subsection; and

(B) The number of exemptions granted in the previous 6 months pursuant to paragraph (1)(A)(ii) of this subsection.

(5) The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this subsection.

(6) For the purposes of this subsection, the term:

(A) "Family member" means:

(i) A biological, adopted, or foster son or daughter, a stepson or stepdaughter, a legal ward, a son or daughter of a domestic partner, or a person to whom a host stands in loco parentis;

(ii) A biological, foster, or adoptive parent, a parent-in-law, a stepparent, a legal guardian, or other person who stood in loco parentis to a host when the host was a child;

(iii) A person to whom a host is related by domestic partnership, as defined by § 32-701(4), or marriage;

(iv) A grandparent of a host; or

(v) A sibling of a host.

(B) "Health care provider" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-501(5).

(C) "Serious health condition" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-541.01(20).

(g) Occupancy in a short-term rental shall be limited to a maximum of 8 transient guests, or 2 guests per bedroom, whichever is greater.


(Apr. 25, 2019, D.C. Law 22-307, § 106, 66 DCR 898.)

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 15 of D.C. Law 23-68 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 6(b) of D.C. Act 23-165 repealed, on an emergency basis, § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307 provided that the creation of this section by § 106 of D.C. Law 22-307 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.


§ 30–201.07. Legal rights of guests.

A transient guest of a short-term rental shall not be deemed to be a tenant as defined under either § 42-3501.03(36) or § 42-3401.03(17).


(Apr. 25, 2019, D.C. Law 22-307, § 107, 66 DCR 898.)

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 15 of D.C. Law 23-68 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 6(b) of D.C. Act 23-165 repealed, on an emergency basis, § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307 provided that the creation of this section by § 107 of D.C. Law 22-307 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.


§ 30–201.08. Requirements for booking services.

(a)(1) A booking service shall permit a host to provide a prospective guest with the short-term rental license endorsement number for a short-term rental before booking.

(2) A booking service shall not book a short-term rental in the District of Columbia within 5 business days upon notice from the Department that the license endorsement for the short-term rental has been suspended or revoked.

(3) A booking service shall not book a short-term rental that was the subject of notice provided pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection, until notified by the Department that the license endorsement for that short-term rental has been reinstated.

(4) A booking service shall not book a vacation rental for more than 90 nights cumulatively in a calendar year, unless the Department has transmitted to the booking service a notification that the host has received an exemption pursuant to § 30-201.06(f). For the purposes of complying with this paragraph, a booking service may assume that an accommodation is a vacation rental if the license provided by the host has a "Short Term Rental: Vacation Rental" endorsement.

(b)(1) A booking service shall submit to the Department a report itemizing transactions for which the booking service charged or received a fee for short-term rentals in the District.

(2) The report shall include the following information for each transaction:

(A) The name of the host who provided the short-term rental;

(B) The physical address of the short-term rental;

(C) The "Short Term Rental" or "Short Term Rental: Vacation Rental" license endorsement number of the short-term rental;

(D) The url at which the short-term rental is listed;

(E) The dates for which each transient guest procured use of the short-term rental using the booking service;

(F) Whether the short-term rental was booked as a vacation rental;

(G) The rate charged for each short-term rental stay; and

(H) Any other information deemed necessary by the Department and prescribed through regulations.

(3) The report shall be submitted in a time, manner, and form established by the Department, which may include electronic submission in a format established by the Department.

(4) The report shall be submitted on a monthly basis, or less frequently as determined by the Department.

(c) Information submitted to the Department pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall be considered confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure under subchapter II of Chapter 5 of Title 2; provided, that the Office of the Chief Financial Officer and the Office of the Attorney General, may inspect the information for enforcement purposes.

(d) A booking service shall retain records of all short-term rentals in the District for 2 years.

(e) A booking service shall obtain from each host consent to provide the information described in this section to the Department. Obtaining lawful consent may consist of providing notice to the host that use of such booking service constitutes consent to the Department disclosure. It shall not be a defense to a violation of this section that the booking service did not obtain consent.

(f) A booking service shall collect and remit on behalf of hosts all required transient occupancy taxes, as provided under § 30-201.06(d).


(Apr. 25, 2019, D.C. Law 22-307, § 108, 66 DCR 898.)

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 15 of D.C. Law 23-68 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 6(b) of D.C. Act 23-165 repealed, on an emergency basis, § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307 provided that the creation of this section by § 108 of D.C. Law 22-307 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.


§ 30–201.09. Enforcement.

(a) The Department shall:

(1) Maintain records on licensed short-term rentals;

(2) Maintain statistics on short-term rental activity and provide reports annually at the request of the Mayor or the Council;

(3) Monitor short-term rentals for compliance with this subchapter and all applicable regulations including the zoning regulations;

(4) Investigate suspected violations of this subchapter by booking services or hosts; provided, that the Office of the Chief Financial Officer shall investigate suspected violations of §§ 30-201.06(c) and 30-201.08(f); and

(5) Issue administrative penalties and orders to enforce the provisions of this subchapter.

(b) The Department may refer violations of this subchapter to the Office of the Attorney General.

(c) The Department shall monitor listings of short-term rentals by booking services. Upon discovery of a violation of this subchapter, the Department shall immediately notify the relevant booking service and the host.

(d) For purposes of determining whether a host is in violation of this subchapter, if any part of a listing for a short-term rental claims or suggests that a short-term rental guest will have exclusive use of the host's entire residence during the guest's stay, this shall serve as prima facie evidence that the short-term rental is a vacation rental, notwithstanding the type of license endorsement actually issued.


(Apr. 25, 2019, D.C. Law 22-307, § 109, 66 DCR 898.)

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 15 of D.C. Law 23-68 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 6(b) of D.C. Act 23-165 repealed, on an emergency basis, § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307 provided that the creation of this section by § 109 of D.C. Law 22-307 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.


§ 30–201.10. Penalties.

(a) A host found to have violated § 30-201.02 or § 30-201.06 shall be liable for a civil penalty of:

(1) $500 for the first violation;

(2) $2,000 for a second violation; and

(3) $6,000 for a third violation and a revocation of the related short-term rental license endorsement.

(b) A booking service found to have violated § 30-201.08 shall be liable for a civil penalty of $1,000 for each booking transaction made in violation of this subchapter.

(c) The Mayor may adjust these penalties by rulemaking.


(Apr. 25, 2019, D.C. Law 22-307, § 110, 66 DCR 898.)

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 15 of D.C. Law 23-68 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 6(b) of D.C. Act 23-165 repealed, on an emergency basis, § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307 provided that the creation of this section by § 110 of D.C. Law 22-307 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.


§ 30–201.11. Rules.

Except as provided in §§ 30-201.05 and 30-201.06(f)(5), the Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, may issue rules to implement the provisions of this subchapter.


(Apr. 25, 2019, D.C. Law 22-307, § 111, 66 DCR 898.)

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 15 of D.C. Law 23-68 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: Section 6(b) of D.C. Act 23-165 repealed, on an emergency basis, § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-307 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-307: § 301 of D.C. Law 22-307 provided that the creation of this section by § 111 of D.C. Law 22-307 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.


Subchapter II. Short-Term Rental Funding.

§ 30–210.01. Short-Term Rental Funding.

(a) The fiscal impact of revenue loss attributable to the provisions of subchapter I of this chapter, shall be offset by local fiscal year recurring revenues included in the Chief Financial Officer's June 2019 revenue estimate and all subsequent revenue estimates that exceed the annual revenue estimate incorporated in the approved budget and financial plan for Fiscal Year 2020 through Fiscal Year 2023, until subchapter I of this chapter is fully funded as certified by the Chief Financial Officer.

(b) In the June 2019 revenue estimate and each of the subsequent revenue estimates, the Chief Financial Officer shall certify:

(1) Whether and by what amount local fiscal year revenues included in the revenue estimate exceed the annual revenue estimate incorporated in the approved budget and financial plan for Fiscal Year 2020 through Fiscal Year 2023;

(2) Whether such excess revenues, together with the excess revenues identified pursuant to this subsection in prior revenue estimates, are in an amount sufficient to offset the fiscal impact of the revenue loss identified in subsection (a) of this section and, if not, the amount of additional excess revenue necessary to offset such fiscal impact; and

(3) That all such excess revenues, together with the excess revenues identified pursuant to this subsection in prior revenue estimates, have been set aside to ensure that subchapter I of this chapter be fully funded until such time as the Chief Financial Officer certifies that subchapter I of this chapter is fully funded.


(Sept. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 23-16, § 2242, 66 DCR 8621.)

Applicability

Section 2244 of D.C. Law 23-16 provided that this subchapter shall apply as of June 25, 2019.

Section 2243 of D.C. Law 23-16 amdended section 301 of D.C. Law 22-307 to provide that subchapter I of this chapter shall apply upon the late of: (1) October 1, 2019; or (2) Inclusion of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 2242 of the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-112, Sept. 4, 2019, 66 DCR 11964).

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 2242 of the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-91, July 22, 2019, 66 DCR 8497).