Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 35. Rental Housing Generally.


Subchapter I. Findings; Purposes; Definitions.

§ 42–3501.01. Findings.

The Council of the District of Columbia finds that:

(1) There is a severe shortage of rental housing available to citizens of the District of Columbia (“District”).

(2) The shortage of housing is growing due to the withdrawal of housing units from the housing market, deterioration of existing housing units, and the lack of development of new or rehabilitation of vacant housing units.

(3) The shortage of housing is felt most acutely among low- and moderate-income renters, who are finding a shrinking pool of available dwellings.

(4) The cost of basic accommodation is so high as to cause undue hardship for many citizens of the District of Columbia.

(5) Many low- and moderate-income tenants need assistance to cover basic shelter costs, but the assistance should maximize individual choice.

(6) The Rent Stabilization Program (“Program”) has a more substantial impact upon small housing providers than on large housing providers, and small housing providers find it more difficult to use the administrative machinery of the Program.

(7) Many small housing providers are experiencing financial difficulties and are in need of some special mechanisms to assist them and their tenants.

(8) The present Rent Stabilization Program should not be continued indefinitely and new approaches must be investigated to prevent the withdrawal of rental housing units from the market and the deterioration of existing rental housing units, and to increase the rental housing supply.

(9) The housing crisis in the District has not substantially improved since the passage of the Rental Housing Act of 1980.

(10) The Rent Stabilization Program should be extended for 6 years.

(11) This extension of the Rent Stabilization Program is required to preserve the public peace, health, safety, and general welfare.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 101, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2501.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3401.03 and § 47-1303.04.

Cross References

Real property tax assignment, applicable tenant protection provisions, see § 47-1303.04.

Rental housing conversion and sale, see § 42-3401.01 et seq.

Expiration of Law

Section 907 of D.C. Law 6-10, as amended by § 2(d) of D.C. Law 8-48, § 818 of D.C. Law 11-52, § 1202(b) of D.C. Law 13-172, and § 2 of D.C. Law 16-10, codified as § 42-3509.07, provided that all subchapters of this chapter, except III and V, shall terminate on December 31, 2010.

Mayor's Orders

See Mayor’s Order 86-27, February 6, 1986, as amended by Mayor’s Order 86-166, September 19, 1986.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority pursuant to D.C. Law 6-10, see Mayor’s Order 85-167, October 2, 1985.


§ 42–3501.02. Purposes.

In enacting this chapter, the Council of the District of Columbia supports the following statutory purposes:

(1) To protect low- and moderate-income tenants from the erosion of their income from increased housing costs;

(2) To provide incentives for the construction of new rental units and the rehabilitation of vacant rental units in the District;

(3) To continue to improve the administrative machinery for the resolution of disputes and controversies between housing providers and tenants;

(4) To protect the existing supply of rental housing from conversion to other uses; and

(5) To prevent the erosion of moderately priced rental housing while providing housing providers and developers with a reasonable rate of return on their investments.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 102, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2502.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3501.01.


§ 42–3501.03. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) “Annual fair market rental amount” means the annualized sum of the rents collected for all rental units in the housing accommodation during the base calculation year, plus an amount equal to the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for all items, in the Washington, D.C. Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area, during each calendar year; provided, however, that if no rents were collected in the base calculation year because the housing accommodation was then under construction, the annual fair market rental amount shall be a sum equal to the rents which would have been collected during the base calculation year had the housing accommodation been 100% occupied during the entire base calculation year, the sum to be determined by appraisal, as increased by the Consumer Price Index increase under this paragraph.

(2) “Apartment improvement program” means the program which is administered with grant funds from title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. § 5301 et seq.), by the District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development, developed by the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation under the national Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation Act (42 U.S.C. § 8101 et seq.), and operated under the supervision of the public-private Partnership Committee, which program has been established for the purpose of finding solutions to the economic and physical distress of moderate income rental apartment buildings by joining the tenants, housing provider, noteholder, and the District government in a collective effort.

(3) “Base calculation year” means the calendar year immediately preceding the first calendar year in which a given housing accommodation is made subject to §§ 42-3502.05(f) through 42-3502.19, or any future District law limiting the amount of rent which can lawfully be demanded or received from a tenant.

(4) “Base rent” means that rent legally charged or chargeable on April 30, 1985, for the rental unit which shall be the sum of rent charged on September 1, 1983, and all rent increases authorized for that rental unit by prior rent control laws or any administrative decision issued under those laws, and any rent increases authorized by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(5) “Building improvement plan” means the agreement executed between the parties of interest, including the tenants, housing provider, and the District government, at a property being treated under the apartment improvement program, which agreement sets forth the remedies to the property’s distress, including, but not limited to:

(A) A schedule of repairs and capital improvements which, at a minimum, will bring the property into substantial compliance with the housing regulations;

(B) A schedule of services and facilities; and

(C) A schedule of rents charged and rent increases; and which agreement is monitored by the District government until it expires upon completion of all physical improvements and other scheduled activities included therein.

(6) “Capital improvement” means an improvement or renovation other than ordinary repair, replacement, or maintenance if the improvement or renovation is deemed depreciable under the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C.).

(7) “Cooperative housing association” means an association incorporated for the purpose of owning and operating residential real property in the District, the shareholders or members of which, by reason of their ownership of stock or membership certificate, a proprietary lease, or evidence of membership, are entitled to occupy a dwelling unit under the terms of a proprietary lease or occupancy agreement.

(8) “Council” means the Council of the District of Columbia.

(8A) “Division” means the Rental Accommodations Division established by § 42-3502.03 or the Rental Conversion and Sale Division established by § 42-3502.04a.

(9) “Distressed property” means a housing accommodation that:

(A) Is experiencing, and has experienced for at least 2 years, a negative cash flow;

(B) Has been cited by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs as being in substantial noncompliance with the housing regulations;

(C) Has been subject to deferred maintenance as a result of negative cash flow; and

(D) Has been in arrears on either permanent mortgage loan-payments, property tax payments, fuel and utility payments, or water or sewer fee payments.

(10) Repealed.

(11) “Dormitory” means any structure or building owned by an institution of higher education or private boarding school, in which at least 95% of the units are occupied by presently matriculated students of the institution of higher education or private boarding school.

(12) "Elderly tenant" means a tenant who is 62 years of age or older.

(13) “Equity” means the portion of the assessed value of a housing accommodation that exceeds the total value of all encumbrances on the housing accommodation.

(13A) "Home and community-based services waiver provider" means an entity that provides residential habilitation or supported living services under the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waiver for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities program authorized by section 1915(c) of the Social Security Act, approved August 13, 1981 (95 Stat. 809; 42 U.S.C. § 1396n).

(14) “Housing accommodation” means any structure or building in the District containing 1 or more rental units and the land appurtenant thereto. The term “housing accommodation” does not include any hotel or inn with a valid certificate of occupancy or any structure, including any room in the structure, used primarily for transient occupancy and in which at least 60% of the rooms devoted to living quarters for tenants or guests were used for transient occupancy as of May 20, 1980. For the purposes of this chapter, a rental unit shall be deemed to be used for transient occupancy only if the landlord of the rental unit is subject to and pays the sales tax imposed by § 47-2001(n)(1)(C).

(15) “Housing provider” means a landlord, an owner, lessor, sublessor, assignee, or their agent, or any other person receiving or entitled to receive rents or benefits for the use or occupancy of any rental unit within a housing accommodation within the District.

(16) “Housing regulations” means the most recent edition of the Housing Regulations of the District of Columbia as established by Commissioner’s Order No. 55-1503, effective August 11, 1955.

(16A) "Independent agency" means any board or commission of the District of Columbia government not subject to the administrative control of the Mayor.

(17) “Initial leasing period” means that period for which the first tenant of a rental unit rents the rental unit. For units described in § 42-3502.19, the first tenant is the tenant who rents the rental unit immediately after the date it is first offered for rent as a rental unit which is not otherwise exempt from this chapter.

(18) “Interest payments” means the amount of interest paid during a reporting period on a mortgage or deed of trust on a housing accommodation.

(19) “Management fee” means the amount paid to a managing agent and any pro rata salaries of off-site administrative personnel paid by the housing provider, if the duties of the personnel are connected with the operation of the housing accommodation.

(20) “Maximum possible rental income” means the sum of the rents for all rental units in the housing accommodation, whether occupied or not, computed over a base period of the 12 consecutive months within the 15 months preceding the date of any filing required or permitted under this chapter.

(21) “Mayor” means the Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia.

(22) “Operating expenses” means the expenses required for the operation of a housing accommodation for the 12 consecutive months within the 15 months preceding the date of its use in any computation required by any provision of this chapter, including, but not limited to, expenses for salaries of on-site personnel, supplies, painting, maintenance and repairs, utilities, professional fees, on-site offices, and insurance.

(23) “Other income which is derived from the housing accommodation” means any income, other than rents, which a housing provider earns because of his or her interest in a housing accommodation, including, but not limited to, fees, commissions, income from vending machines, income from laundry facilities, and income from parking and recreational facilities.

(24) “Person” means an individual, corporation, partnership, association, joint venture, business entity, or an organized group of individuals, and their respective successors and assignees.

(25) “Property taxes” means the amount levied by the District government for real property tax on a housing accommodation during a tax year.

(25A) "Qualifying income" means household income, as defined by § 47-1806.06(b)(2), that is no greater than 60% of the area median income, as defined by § 42-2801(1).

(26) “Related facility” means any facility, furnishing, or equipment made available to a tenant by a housing provider, the use of which is authorized by the payment of the rent charged for a rental unit, including any use of a kitchen, bath, laundry facility, parking facility, or the common use of any common room, yard, or other common area.

(27) “Related services” means services provided by a housing provider, required by law or by the terms of a rental agreement, to a tenant in connection with the use and occupancy of a rental unit, including repairs, decorating and maintenance, the provision of light, heat, hot and cold water, air conditioning, telephone answering or elevator services, janitorial services, or the removal of trash and refuse.

(28) “Rent” means the entire amount of money, money’s worth, benefit, bonus, or gratuity demanded, received, or charged by a housing provider as a condition of occupancy or use of a rental unit, its related services, and its related facilities.

(29) “Rent ceiling” means that amount defined in or computed under § 42-3502.06.

(29A) "Rent charged" means the entire amount of money, money's worth, benefit, bonus, or gratuity a tenant must actually pay to a housing provider as a condition of occupancy or use of a rental unit, its related services, and its related facilities, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Program.

(29B) "Rent Stabilization Program" means the program and related requirements established by subchapter II of this chapter.

(29C) "Rent surcharge" means a charge added to the rent charged for a rental unit pursuant to a capital improvement petition, hardship petition, or a substantial rehabilitation, and not included as part of the rent charged.

(30) “Rental Accommodations Act of 1975” means the Rental Accommodations Act of 1975, effective November 1, 1975 (D.C. Law 1-33).

(31) “Rental Housing Act of 1977” means the Rental Housing Act of 1977, effective March 16, 1978 (D.C. Law 2-54).

(32) “Rental Housing Act of 1980” means the Rental Housing Act of 1980, effective March 4, 1981 (D.C. Law 3-131; Chapter 40 of this title).

(33) “Rental unit” means any part of a housing accommodation as defined in paragraph (14) of this section which is rented or offered for rent for residential occupancy and includes any apartment, efficiency apartment, room, single-family house and the land appurtenant thereto, suite of rooms, or duplex.

(33A) “Single-room-occupancy housing” means a rental housing accommodation comprised of rental units, each of which is intended for occupancy and is occupied by a single adult either living alone or living with not more than 1 child of age 6 years or younger, and that may, but is not required to, contain sanitary and food-preparation facilities.

(34) “Substantial rehabilitation” means any improvement to or renovation of a housing accommodation for which:

(A) The building permit was granted after January 31, 1973; and

(B) The total expenditure for the improvement or renovation equals or exceeds 50% of the assessed value of the housing accommodation before the rehabilitation.

(35) “Substantial violation” means the presence of any housing condition, the existence of which violates the housing regulations, or any other statute or regulation relative to the condition of residential premises and may endanger or materially impair the health and safety of any tenant or person occupying the property.

(36) “Tenant” includes a tenant, subtenant, lessee, sublessee, or other person entitled to the possession, occupancy, or the benefits of any rental unit owned by another person.

(36A) "Tenant with a disability" means a tenant who has a disability as defined in section 3(1)(A) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, approved July 26, 1990 (104 Stat. 329; 42 U.S.C. § 12102(1)(A)).

(37) “Uncollected rent” means the amount of rent and other charges due for at least 30 days but not received from tenants at the time any statement, form, or petition is filed under this chapter.

(38) “Vacancy loss” means the amount of rent not collectable due to vacant units in a housing accommodation. No amount shall be included in vacancy loss for units occupied by a housing provider or his or her employees or otherwise not offered for rent.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 222a; July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 103, 32 DCR 3089; Aug. 25, 1994, D.C. Law 10-155, § 2(a), 41 DCR 4873; Sept. 18, 2007, D.C. Law 17-20, § 2003(a), 54 DCR 7052; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 184(a), 56 DCR 1117; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 103, 59 DCR 6190; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 5032(a), 63 DCR 10775; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-239, § 3(a), 64 DCR 1588; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 2282(a), 65 DCR 9388; Feb. 22, 2019, D.C. Law 22-200, § 2(a), 65 DCR 12066; Mar. 13, 2019, D.C. Law 22-248, § 2(a), 66 DCR 973.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2503.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 6-751.11, § 42-903, § 42-2851.02, § 42-3171.01, § 42-3173.01, § 42-3502.06, § 42-3502.09, § 42-3502.21, § 42-3508.04, § 47-830, and § 47-865.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-20 rewrote par. (10), which had read as follows: “(10) ‘Division’ means the Rental Accommodations and Conversion Division as continued by § 42-3502.01.”

D.C. Law 17-353 validated a previously made technical correction in par. (5)(C).

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 added (8A); and repealed (10), which formerly read: “‘Division’ means the Rental Accommodations Division established by § 42-3502.03 or the Rental Conversion and Sale Division established by § 42-3502.04a.”

Cross References

Improvement program for distressed property, see § 42-3508.04.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3501.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2282(a) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2282(a) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2003(a), of Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-74, July 25, 2007, 54 DCR 7549).

Short Title

Short title: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3501.01.

Editor's Notes

Section 3 of D.C. Law 22-248 provided that within 180 days after the effective date of D.C. Law 22-248, the Rental Housing Commission, pursuant to Title I of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act, approved October 21, 1968 (82 Stat. 1204; D.C. Official Code § 2-501 et seq.), shall issue rules to implement the provisions of D.C. Law 22-248, including revisions necessary to update relevant housing provider reporting forms according to the requirements of D.C. Law 22-248.

D.C. Law 3-131; Chapter 40 of this title”, referred to in (32), expired, except for subchapter V, April 30, 1985; subchapter V was repealed by § 905 of D.C. Law 6-10, effective July 17, 1985.


Subchapter II. Rent Stabilization Program.

§ 42–3502.01. Continuation of Rental Housing Commission; composition; appointment; qualifications; compensation; removal.

(a)(1) The Rental Housing Commission established by § 42-4012 [expired] is continued and shall be composed of 3 members appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Council. The terms of members of the Rental Housing Commission appointed under the Rental Housing Act of 1980 shall expire upon the confirmation of at least 2 new members appointed pursuant to this section but no later than 90 days after July 17, 1985, and the Mayor shall appoint the new members within 30 days of July 17, 1985. The Mayor shall designate 1 member of the Rental Housing Commission as the chairperson and administrative head. The date of swearing in for a majority of the members of the Rental Housing Commission appointed pursuant to this section shall become the anniversary date for all subsequent appointments.

(2) The first members appointed after July 1, 2010, shall serve the following terms:

(A) One member’s term shall expire July 18, 2012.

(B) One member’s term shall expire July 18, 2013.

(C) One member’s term shall expire July 18, 2014.

(3) Upon the expiration of members’ terms pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection, Commissioners shall serve 3-year terms.

(a-1)(1) The Rental Housing Commission shall be composed of 2 regular members and a Chairperson, all of whom shall be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Council in accordance with § 1-523.01(e); provided, that the Mayor may designate a member appointed before February 22, 2019, to serve as Chairperson until the Mayor appoints a Chairperson with the advice and consent of the Council.

(2) The first members appointed after July 1, 2010, shall serve the following terms:

(A) One member's term shall expire July 18, 2012.

(B) One member's term shall expire July 18, 2013.

(C) One member's term shall expire July 18, 2014.

(3) Upon the expiration of members' terms pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection, members shall serve 3-year terms; provided, that all terms have the same anniversary date.

(b) Each nominee to the Rental Housing Commission shall possess the following qualifications and, if appointed, maintain such qualifications for the duration of the member's term; provided, that paragraphs (5) and (6) of this subsection may not be used to disqualify any member appointed beforeFebruary 22, 2019:

(1) Be admitted to practice law before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals;

(2) Be a resident of the District within 180 days of taking office;

(3) Be neither a housing provider nor a tenant;

(4) Possess skills and experience relevant to the following:

(A) Litigation, preferably including both appellate practice demonstrated by written work product and exposure to the concerns of pro se litigants;

(B) Administrative law, preferably in an area of complex regulation; or

(C) Housing law, preferably in the area of rental housing and rent control or rent stabilization;

(5) Have at least 5 years of experience in the practice of law; and

(6) Possess judicial temperament and other expertise, experience, and skills necessary and desirable for a member of the Rental Housing Commission.

(b-1) Repealed.

(b-2) Each member of the Rental Housing Commission shall:

(1) Take an oath of office, as required by law, before the commencement of duties;

(2) Be accountable and responsible for the fair, impartial, effective, and efficient disposition of cases before the Rental Housing Commission;

(3) Refrain from conduct inconsistent with the duties and responsibilities of a member of the Rental Housing Commission;

(4) Devote full-time to the duties of the Rental Housing Commission;

(5) Not perform any duty, including engaging in the practice of law, that is inconsistent with the duties and responsibilities of a member of the Rental Housing Commission;

(6) Not be responsible to, or subject to the supervision or direction of, an officer, employee, attorney, or agent engaged in the performance of investigative, prosecutorial, or advisory functions for another District agency; and

(7) Conform to all legally applicable standards of conduct.

(c) Members of the Rental Housing Commission shall be appointed as administrative judges in the Excepted Service.

(d) Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the Rental Housing Commission shall be appointed only for the unexpired term of the member whose vacancy is being filled.

(e)(1) The Mayor may remove a member of the Rental Housing Commission only for good cause.

(2) The Mayor shall provide the Council with written justification of the removal by the effective date of the removal.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 201, 32 DCR 3089; Oct. 2, 1987, D.C. Law 7-30, § 2(a), 34 DCR 5304; Oct. 7, 1987, D.C. Law 7-31, § 4, 34 DCR 3789; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-248, § 2, 46 DCR 1113; Mar. 12, 2011, D.C. Law 18-327, § 2(a), 58 DCR 14; Feb. 22, 2019, D.C. Law 22-200, § 2(b), 65 DCR 12066.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2511.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3404.33.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-327 rewrote subsec. (a); and added subsec. (b-1). Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: “(a) The Rental Housing Commission established by § 42-4012 is continued and shall be composed of 3 members appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Council. The members’ terms shall not exceed 3 years. Members may be appointed for successive terms. The terms of members of the Rental Housing Commission appointed under the Rental Housing Act of 1980 shall expire upon the confirmation of at least 2 new members appointed pursuant to this section but no later than 90 days after July 17, 1985, and the Mayor shall appoint the new members within 30 days of July 17, 1985. The Mayor shall designate 1 member of the Rental Housing Commission as the chairperson and administrative head. The date of swearing in for a majority of the members of the Rental Housing Commission appointed pursuant to this section shall become the anniversary date for all subsequent appointments.”

Cross References

Mayoral nomination of Rental Housing Commission, review and approval of Council, see § 1-523.01.

Merit system classification policy and grade levels, see § 1-611.01.

Expiration of Law

Section 907 of D.C. Law 6-10, as amended by § 2(d) of D.C. Law 8-48 and § 818 of D.C. Law 11-52, provided that all subchapters of the act, except III and V shall terminate on December 31, 2000.

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-200: § 4 of D.C. Law 22-200 provided that the amendment to subsection (a) of this section by § 2(b)(1) of D.C. Law 22-200 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.

References in Text

Section 42-4012, referred to in the first sentence of subsection (a), expired pursuant to § 907 of D.C. Law 3-131 on April 30, 1985. See Chapter 40 of this title.

Editor's Notes

For temporary amendment to the termination provision of D.C. Law 6-10, see § 818 of the Omnibus Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-124, July 27, 1995, 42 DCR 4160).


§ 42–3502.01a. Powers and duties of the Chairperson of the Rental Housing Commission.

The Rental Housing Commission shall be headed by a Chairperson who shall be accountable and responsible for the fairness, impartiality, effectiveness, and efficiency of the Rental Housing Commission.

(1) The Chairperson shall:

(A) Be the administrative head and personnel authority for the Rental Housing Commission;

(B) Develop and implement a code of professional responsibility for members of the Rental Housing Commission;

(C) Monitor the quality of administrative adjudication;

(D) Issue and implement procedures, practices, and guidelines relating to the operations or responsibilities of the Rental Housing Commission;

(E) Issue and transmit to the Mayor and the Council an annual report, not later than 90 days after the close of the first complete fiscal year of the Commission's operation as an independent agency, and each fiscal year thereafter, on the operations of the Rental Housing Commission; and

(F) Establish necessary or desirable standards and specialized training programs for members of the Rental Housing Commission;

(2) The Chairperson may:

(A) Provide for, or require completion of, continuing education programs for members of the Rental Housing Commission and other employees of the Rental Housing Commission considered to be necessary or desirable;

(B) Appoint, in accordance with applicable law and available funding, promote, discipline, and remove staff employed by the Rental Housing Commission, other than members of the Rental Housing Commission;

(C) Develop and maintain a program for student interns and law clerks to gain experience at the Rental Housing Commission; and

(D) Exercise any other lawful authority to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 201a; as added Feb. 22, 2019, D.C. Law 22-200, § 2(c), 65 DCR 12066.)


§ 42–3502.02. Powers and duties of Rental Housing Commission.

(a) The Rental Housing Commission shall:

(1) Possess sole authority to issue, amend, and rescind rules and procedures for the administration of this chapter except rules and procedures subject to § 2-1831.05(a)(7);

(2) Decide appeals brought to it from decisions of the Rent Administrator or the Office of Administrative Hearings, including appeals under the Rental Accommodations Act of 1975, the Rental Housing Act of 1977, and the Rental Housing Act of 1980; and

(3) Certify and publish before March 1 of each year:

(A) The annual adjustment of general applicability of the rent charged for a rental unit under § 42-3502.06;

(B) The most recent annual cost-of-living adjustment of benefits for social security recipients established pursuant to section 415(i) of the Social Security Act, approved August 28, 1950 (64 Stat. 506; 42 U.S.C. § 415(i));

(C) The maximum annual rent adjustment that may be imposed on a unit occupied by an elderly tenant or tenant with a disability pursuant to § 42-3502.24(a); and

(D) The qualifying income for an elderly tenant or tenant with a disability to be exempt from an adjustment in the rent charged pursuant to §§ 42-3502.10, 42-3502.11, 42-3502.12, and 42-3502.14 and whose rent charged may not be increased under § 42-3502.15

(b)(1) The Rental Housing Commission may hold hearings, sit and act at times and places within the District, administer oaths, and require by subpoena or otherwise the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and documents as the Rental Housing Commission may consider advisable in carrying out its functions under this chapter.

(2) A majority of the Rental Housing Commissioners shall constitute a quorum to do business, and any vacancy shall not impair the right of the remaining Rental Housing Commissioners to exercise all the powers of the Rental Housing Commission.

(3) In the case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena issued under paragraph (1) of this subsection by any person who resides in, is found in, or transacts business within the District, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, at the written request of the Rental Housing Commission, shall issue an order requiring the contumacious person to appear before the Rental Housing Commission, to produce evidence if so ordered, or to give testimony touching upon the matter under inquiry. Any failure of the person to obey any order of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia may be punished by that Court for contempt.

(c) Upon the written request of the chairperson of the Rental Housing Commission, each department or entity of the District government may furnish directly to the Rental Housing Commission any assistance and information necessary for the Rental Housing Commission to carry out effectively this chapter.

(d) The Department of Housing and Community Development shall employ the staff necessary to assist the Rental Housing Commission in carrying out its functions. Of the staff employed, 3 shall be law clerks who shall assist each member of the Rental Housing Commission in the preparation of decisions and orders.

(e) All documents filed in any case before the Rental Housing Commission shall be available to the public for review, consistent with subchapter II of Chapter 5 of Title 2.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 202, 32 DCR 3089; Oct. 2, 1987, D.C. Law 7-30, § 2(b), 34 DCR 5304; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-255, § 51(a), 44 DCR 1271; Aug. 5, 2006, D.C. Law 16-145, § 2(a), 53 DCR 4889; Sept. 18, 2007, D.C. Law 17-20, § 2003(b), 54 DCR 7052; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 215(c), 56 DCR 1117; June 3, 2011, D.C. Law 18-377, § 19, 58 DCR 1174; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-239, § 3(b), 64 DCR 1588; Feb. 22, 2019, D.C. Law 22-200, § 2(d), 65 DCR 12066.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2512.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3502.04.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-145, in par. (a)(3), substituted “rent charged” for “rent ceiling”.

D.C. Law 17-20, in subsec. (d), substituted “The Department of Housing and Community Development” for “The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs”.

D.C. Law 17-353 validated a previously made technical correction in subsec. (d).

D.C. Law 18-377, in subsec. (a)(1), inserted “except rules and procedures subject to § 2-1831.05(a)(7)”.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-200: § 4 of D.C. Law 22-200 provided that the amendment to subsection (d) of this section by § 2(d)(2) of D.C. Law 22-200 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 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Elderly Tenant and Tenant with a Disability Protection Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-4, Feb. 9, 2017, 64 DCR 1680).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of Rent Control Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-470, July 31, 2006, 53 DCR 6772).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2003(b), of Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-74, July 25, 2007, 54 DCR 7549).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Rental Housing Commission Quorum Emergency Amendment Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-460, July 7, 2010, 57 DCR 6058).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 520 of Public Safety Legislation Sixty-Day Layover Emergency Amendment Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-693, January 18, 2011, 58 DCR 640).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 520 of Public Safety Legislation Sixty-Day Layover Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2011 (D.C. Act 19-45, April 20, 2011, 58 DCR 3701).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Rental Housing Commission Quorum Emergency Amendment Act of 2011 (D.C. Act 19-52, April 27, 2011, 58 DCR 3880).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 18-231, in subsec. (b)(2), substituted “One member” for “A majority”.

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 18-231 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.


§ 42–3502.02a. Immunity for official acts.

Members and staff of the Rental Housing Commission shall not be subject to liability for their official acts. Persons assisting the Rental Housing Commission, whether paid or pro bono, shall not be subject to liability for actions taken to perform services on behalf of the Commission.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 202a; as added Mar. 12, 2011, D.C. Law 18-327, § 2(b), 58 DCR 14.)


§ 42–3502.02b. Independence of the Rental Housing Commission; transfer provisions.

(a)(1) Nothing in this chapter may be construed as granting the Department of Housing and Community Development or any other agency of the District government power or authority over the Rental Housing Commission's powers, duties, or personnel.

(2) For as long as the Rental Housing Commission's budget is captured by a program code within the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Rental Housing Commission shall have exclusive authority to administer the Rental Housing Commission's budget, subject to compliance with District law;

(b) Not Fundeded.

(c) Not Fundeded.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 202b; as added Feb. 22, 2019, D.C. Law 22-200, § 2(e), 65 DCR 12066; Mar. 13, 2019, D.C. Law 22-245, § 4, 66 DCR 962.)

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-245: § 4 of D.C. Law 22-245 provided that the creation of subsection (b) of this section by § 2(e) of D.C. Law 22-200 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.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-200: § 4 of D.C. Law 22-200 provided that the creation of subsection (c) of this section by § 2(e) of D.C. Law 22-200 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.


§ 42–3502.03. Rental Accommodations Division of the Department of Housing and Community Development.

There is established within the Department of Housing and Community Development the Rental Accommodations Division, which shall have as its head a Rent Administrator.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 203, 32 DCR 3089; Sept. 18, 2007, D.C. Law 17-20, § 2003(c), 54 DCR 7052; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-366, § 2(b), 56 DCR 1332.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2513.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3401.03, § 42-3501.03, and § 42-3502.04b.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-20 rewrote the section.

D.C. Law 17-366 rewrote the section.

Cross References

Merit system classification policy and grade levels, see § 1-611.01.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2003(c) of Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-74, July 25, 2007, 54 DCR 7549).


§ 42–3502.03a. Rent Administrator — Appointment and removal.

(a) The Rent Administrator shall be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Council.

(b) The Mayor shall transmit a nomination of the Rent Administrator to the Council, for a 90-day period of review, excluding days of Council recess, including any Rent Administrator holding that position on March 25, 2009. If the Council does not approve by resolution a nomination of the Rent Administrator within the 90-day period of review, the nomination shall be deemed disapproved.

(c) The Rent Administrator shall serve a 3-year term. The Mayor may appoint the same person to serve as the Rent Administrator for successive terms subject to the advice and consent of the Council as provided by subsection (b) of this section.

(d) The Mayor shall nominate a Rent Administrator within 6 months of:

(1) March 25, 2009; or

(2) The occurrence of a vacancy in the position of Rent Administrator.

(e) The Mayor shall remove the Rent Administrator for cause only; provided, that the Mayor shall provide the Council with a written justification within 30 days of the removal.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 203a; as added Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-366, § 2(d), 56 DCR 1332.)

Editor's Notes

Former § 42-3502.03a has been recodified as § 42-3502.04b by D.C. Law 17-366, § 2(c).


§ 42–3502.03b. Rent Administrator — Qualifications and compensation.

The Rent Administrator shall:

(1) Be admitted to practice before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals by the time the Rent Administrator’s term of office commences;

(2) Be a resident of the District within 6 months of the commencement of the Rent Administrator’s term of office;

(3) Possess skills and expertise relevant to rental housing, preferably in the area of rent control or rent stabilization; and

(4) Receive annual compensation equivalent to that received by a District employee compensated at the grade of 15 of the District schedule established under subchapter XI of Chapter 6 of Title 1 [§ 1-611.01 et seq.].


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 203b; as added Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-366, § 2(e), 56 DCR 1332.)


§ 42–3502.03c. Public Accessible Rent Control Housing Database.

(a) The Office of the Tenant Advocate ("OTA"), with the assistance of and in close consultation with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, the Office of Tax and Revenue, the Rental Accommodations Division ("RAD") of the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Housing Provider Ombudsman of the Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, shall develop and administer a user-friendly, Internet-accessible, and searchable database for the submission, management, and review of all documents and relevant data housing providers are required to submit to the RAD pursuant to this subchapter.

(a-1) The Chief Tenant Advocate may contract to implement the database established by this section. Any contract under this section shall be in accordance with Chapter 3A of Title 2.

(b) The database shall include:

(1) An online portal for housing providers located on the website of the Department of Housing and Community Development ("DHCD"), not accessible to the general public, which housing providers shall use to file all documents and data required by this title and all regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter; and

(2) An online portal accessible to the general public located on the DHCD website that provides information relevant to tenants seeking and living in rent-controlled accommodations populated from the documents submitted by housing providers pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(c) The portal accessible to the general public shall:

(1) Include the following real-time, searchable parameters:

(A) The building address and ward number;

(B) The base rent for each rental unit in the accommodation;

(C) Any services or facilities provided as part of the base rent;

(D) The amount and date of each annual rent increase or decrease;

(E) The number of bedrooms in each unit;

(F) The vacancy status of each unit;

(G) The accessibility information of the building, as it relates to District of Columbia and federal law;

(H) The name, telephone number, and email address of the housing provider and property manager;

(I) Dates and numbers of the basic business license of the housing provider;

(J) Dates and numbers of the certificate of occupancy of the building;

(K) The name, contact information, and place of business of the registered agent of the building, if applicable;

(L) The licensing and registration of the property manager of the accommodation, when other than the housing provider;

(M) The RAD registration exemption number and date of the housing accommodation;

(N) Any pro-active inspection dates;

(O) Any outstanding violations of the housing regulations applicable to the accommodation;

(P) The notice date of any housing code violations;

(Q) The rate of return for the housing accommodation and computation required by § 42-3502.05(f)(3)(D)(iv);

(R) Any petitions filed by the housing provider including, related services and facilities petition, capital improvement petition, substantial rehabilitation petition, voluntary agreement petition, hardship petition, other valid tenant petitions;

(S) Any court or administrative actions; and

(T) Other information the OTA determines is relevant to tenants seeking and living in rent control accommodations.

(2) Exclude any documentation submitted in support of a tenant's application for elderly or disability status pursuant to § 42-3502.08(h)(2), and any other information the Rent Administrator may deem necessary to exclude to protect the privacy and personal information of a tenant.

(d) Repealed.

(e) The database created pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be completed, tested, and operational by December 13, 2019.

(e-1)(1) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (e) of this section, OTA shall develop and launch an online portal and database for filing registration statements and claims of exemption under § 42-3502.05(f) within 180 days after October 30, 2018, which it shall integrate into the database created pursuant to subsection (a) of this section by December 13, 2019.

(2) The OTA may enter into a memorandum of understanding with one or more District agencies to facilitate timely completion and effective administration of the online portal and database for filing registration statements and claims of exemption.

(e-2)(1) The OTA shall transfer administration and maintenance of the databases created pursuant to this section to RAD no later than December 13, 2019.

(2) While OTA is administering the databases created pursuant to this section, RAD may access the databases and any data housed therein as necessary to carry out its duties under this subchapter.

(f) Repealed.

(g) The OTA shall report to the Council regarding the progress of the database created pursuant to subsection (a) of this section on a quarterly basis.

(h) Beginning January 2020, DHCD shall report to the Council monthly on database usage, including, for the relevant reporting period, the total number of filings housing providers made pursuant to this subchapter, the number of new registrations and claims of exemption filed pursuant to § 42-3502.05, and the number of searches conducted by members of the general public. With the report, DHCD shall provide electronic spreadsheets of all data housing providers entered into the database during the relevant reporting period.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 203a [203c]; as added Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 2212(a), 62 DCR 10905; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 2092, 64 DCR 7652; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 2282(b), 65 DCR 9388.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(c) of Rental Housing Registration Extension Emergency Amendment Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-4, Feb. 6, 2019, 66 DCR 2056).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of Rental Housing Registration Extension Emergency Amendment Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-4, Feb. 6, 2019, 66 DCR 2056).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2282(b) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2282(b) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2092 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2092 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 2122(a) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).


§ 42–3502.03d. Housing provider online filing and registration requirements.

(a) Beginning 180 days after October 30, 2018, and before December 13, 2019, a housing provider shall use the online provider portal developed pursuant to § 42-3502.03c(e-1) to file a registration statement or claim of exemption required by § 42-3502.05(f).

(b) Beginning December 13, 2019, a housing provider shall use the online provider portal created pursuant to § 42-3502.03c(b)(1) to file all documents and data required to be filed pursuant to this title and all regulations promulgated pursuant to this subchapter.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 203b [203d]; as added Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 2282(c), 65 DCR 9388.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(e) of Rental Housing Registration Extension Emergency Amendment Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-4, Feb. 6, 2019, 66 DCR 2056).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(d) of Rental Housing Registration Extension Emergency Amendment Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-4, Feb. 6, 2019, 66 DCR 2056).

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 2282(c) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 2282(c) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


§ 42–3502.03e. Rental Housing Registration Fund.

(a) There is established as a special fund the Rental Housing Registration Fund ("Fund"), which shall be administered in accordance with subsections (c) and (d) of this section.

(b) Revenue from penalties charged to a housing provider pursuant to § 42-3502.05(f) shall be deposited into the Fund.

(c) Money in the Fund shall be used for developing and maintaining the database created by § 42-3502.03c(a).

(d) While the Office of Tenant Advocate is developing and administering the database, it shall administer the Fund. The Office of Tenant Advocate shall transfer Fund administration to the Rent Administrator upon transferring administration and maintenance of the database to the Division pursuant to § 42-3502.03c(e-2).

(e)(1) The money deposited into the Fund shall not revert to the unrestricted fund balance of the General Fund of the District of Columbia at the end of a fiscal year, or at any other time.

(2) Subject to authorization in an approved budget and financial plan, any funds appropriated in the Fund shall be continually available without regard to fiscal year limitation.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 203c [203e]; as added Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 2282(c), 65 DCR 9388.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Rental Housing Registration Extension Emergency Amendment Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-4, Feb. 6, 2019, 66 DCR 2056).

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 2282(c) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 2282(c) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).


§ 42–3502.04. Duties of the Rent Administrator.

(a) The Rent Administrator shall draft rules and procedures for the administration of this chapter to be transmitted to the Rental Housing Commission for its action under § 42-3502.02(a)(1).

(b) The Rent Administrator shall carry out, according to rules and procedures established by the Rental Housing Commission under § 42-3502(a)(1), the rent stabilization program established under this subchapter, and shall perform other duties necessary and appropriate to, and consistent with this chapter.

(c) The Rent Administrator shall have jurisdiction over those complaints and petitions arising under subchapters II, IV, V, VI, and IX of this chapter and title V of the Rental Housing Act of 1980 which may be disposed of through administrative proceedings.

(d)(1) The Rent Administrator may employ, with funds available to the Rent Administrator, personnel and consultants, including hearing examiners, accountants, and legal counsel, reasonably necessary to carry out this chapter.

(2) In accordance with the regulations issued by the Rental Housing Commission, the Rent Administrator may delegate authority to those employees appointed in conformity with paragraph (1) of this subsection. This authority may include, but is not limited to:

(A) Hearing administrative petitions filed or initiated under this chapter;

(B) Issuing decisions on the petitions; and

(C) Rendering final orders on any petition heard by those employees.

(e) The Rent Administrator or a designee may attend all policy meetings of the Rental Housing Commission.

(f) The Rent Administrator shall establish and maintain a formal relationship with the Landlord/Tenant Branch of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department.

(g) The Rent Administrator may issue at the request of any person an advisory opinion on issues of first impression under this chapter.

(h)(1) The Rent Administrator may hold hearings, sit and act at those times and places within the District, administer oaths, and require by subpoena or otherwise the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and documents the Rent Administrator may consider necessary in carrying out his or her functions under this chapter.

(2) In the case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena issued under paragraph (1) of this subsection by any person who resides in, is found in, or transacts business within the District, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, at the written request of the Rent Administrator, shall issue to the contumacious person an order requiring that person to appear before the Rent Administrator, to produce evidence if so ordered, or to give testimony touching upon the matter under inquiry. Any failure of that person to obey any order of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia may be punished by that Court as contempt.

(i) Upon the written request of the Rent Administrator, each department or entity of the District government may furnish directly to the Rent Administrator assistance and information necessary to discharge effectively the functions required under this chapter.

(j) The Rent Administrator shall publish in English and Spanish within 60 days after July 17, 1985, a booklet or other written material describing the rights and obligations of tenants and housing providers and procedures under this chapter. This material shall be distributed through the District libraries and other District offices with which the public has frequent contact and at the office of any community organization which requests to distribute the material.

(k) The Rent Administrator shall publish within 30 days after July 17, 1985, and prior to March 1 of each subsequent year in the D.C. Register the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for all items, in the Washington, D.C., Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA), during the preceding calendar year.

(l) In preparation for the transfer of jurisdiction of the Rent Administrator’s adjudicatory function to the Office of Administrative Hearings pursuant to § 2-1831.03(b-1), the Rent Administrator shall submit a plan to the Mayor and Council by December 31, 2004 describing how the Rent Administrator’s office will function after its adjudicatory responsibilities are transferred to the Office of Administrative Hearings, the legislative changes needed to prepare the Rent Administrator for its new role, and the resources needed to maintain its non-adjudicatory functions. The plan shall be developed in consultation with the Office of Administrative Hearings.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 204, 32 DCR 3089; Dec. 7, 2004, D.C. Law 15-205, § 3503, 51 DCR 8441.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2514.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-205 added subsec. (l).

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3503 of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-486, August 2, 2004, 51 DCR 8236).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3503 of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-594, October 26, 2004, 51 DCR 11725).

References in Text

Title V of the Rental Housing Act of 1980, referred to in subsection (c), was title V of D.C. Law 3-131, repealed July 17, 1985, by D.C. Law 6-10, § 905.


§ 42–3502.04a. Rental Conversion and Sale Division of the Department of Housing and Community Development Rental Conversion and Sale Administrator.

(a) There is established within the Department of Housing and Community Development the Rental Conversion and Sale Division, which shall have as its head a Rental Conversion and Sale Administrator.

(b) The Rental Conversion and Sale Administrator shall receive annual compensation equivalent to that received by a District employee compensated at the grade of 15 of the District schedule established under subchapter XI of Chapter 6 of Title 1 [§ 1-611.01 et seq.].


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 204a; as added Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-366, § 2(f), 56 DCR 1332.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3401.03 and § 42-3501.03.


§ 42–3502.04b. Transfer of functions of the Rental Accommodations and Conversion Division of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to the Department of Housing and Community Development.

All positions, property, records, and unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, assessments, and other funds available or to be made available to the Rental Accommodations and Conversion Division of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs relating to the duties and functions assigned to the Division pursuant to § 42-3502.03(a) are transferred to the Department of Housing and Community Development.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 203a; as added Sept. 18, 2007, D.C. Law 17-20, § 2003(d), 54 DCR 7052; redesignated § 204b, Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-366, § 2(c), 56 DCR 1332.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 42-3502.03a

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 2003(d) of Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-74, July 25, 2007, 54 DCR 7549).

Editor's Notes

Former § 42-3502.03a has been recodified as § 42-3502.04b by D.C. Law 17-366, § 2(c).


§ 42–3502.04c. Housing Regulation Administration; Housing Regulation Administrator.

(a) There is established within the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Housing Regulation Administration, which shall have as its head a Housing Regulation Administrator. The Housing Regulation Administrator shall be appointed by, and report directly to, the Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development.

(b)(1) The Housing Regulation Administration shall provide such administrative support to the Rent Administrator and the Rental Conversion and Sale Administrator as may be necessary to fulfill their statutory and regulatory responsibilities.

(2) The Housing Regulation Administrator shall work cooperatively with the Rent Administrator and the Rental Conversion and Sale Administrator to promote administrative efficiency, complete and accurate record-keeping, and the prompt review and disposition of matters pending before them.

(3) The Housing Regulation Administrator shall not have a supervisory role over the Rent Administrator and the Rental Conversion and Sale Administrator.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 204c; as added Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-366, § 2(g), 56 DCR 1332.)


§ 42–3502.05. Registration and coverage.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, §§ 42-3502.05(f) through 42-3502.19 shall apply to each rental unit in the District; provided, that the following rental units shall be exempt from subsections (g) and (h)(2) of this section and §§ 42-3502.06 through 42-3502.16, 42-3502.18, and 42-3502.19:

(1) Any rental unit in any federally or District-owned housing accommodation or in any housing accommodation with respect to which the mortgage or rent is federally or District-subsidized except units subsidized under subchapter III of this chapter, or any unit rented by a home and community-based services waiver provider and occupied by a tenant with a disability without regard to income but otherwise as defined in section 206(f)(2)(A) [Repealed], or co-leased by a home and community-based services waiver provider and occupied by a tenant with a disability without regard to income but otherwise as defined in section 206(f)(2)(A) [Repealed];

(2) Any rental unit in any newly constructed housing accommodation for which the building permit was issued after December 31, 1975, or any newly created rental unit, added to an existing structure or housing accommodation and covered by a certificate of occupancy for housing use issued after January 1, 1980, provided, however, that this exemption shall not apply to any housing accommodation the construction of which required the demolition of an housing accommodation subject to this chapter, unless the number of newly constructed rental units exceeds the number of demolished rental units;

(3) Except as provided by subsection (a-1) of this section, any rental unit in any housing accommodation of 4 or fewer rental units, including any aggregate of 4 rental units whether within the same structure or not, provided:

(A) The housing accommodation is owned by not more than 4 natural persons;

(B) None of the housing providers has an interest, either directly or indirectly, in any other rental unit in the District of Columbia;

(C) The housing provider of the housing accommodation files with the Rent Administrator a claim of exemption statement which consists of an oath or affirmation by the housing provider of the valid claim to the exemption. The claim of exemption statement shall also contain the signatures of each person having an interest, direct or indirect, in the housing accommodation. Any change in the ownership of the exempted housing accommodation or change in the housing provider’s interest in any other housing accommodation which would invalidate the exemption claim must be reported in writing to the Rent Administrator within 30 days of the change;

(D) The limitation of the exemption to a housing accommodation owned by natural persons shall not apply to a housing accommodation owned or controlled by a decedent’s estate or testamentary trust if the housing accommodation was, at the time of the decedent’s death, already exempt under the terms of paragraphs (3)(A) and (3)(B) of this subsection; and

(E) For purposes of determining the eligibility of a condominium rental unit for the exemption provided by this paragraph, by § 42-3404.13(a)(3), or by § 42-4016(a)(3) [expired], a housing accommodation shall be the aggregate of the condominium rental units and any other rental units owned by the natural person(s) claiming the exemption.

(4) Any housing accommodation which has been continuously vacant and not subject to a rental agreement since January 1, 1985, and any housing accommodation previously exempt under § 206(a)(4) of the Rental Housing Act of 1980, provided that upon rerental the housing accommodation is in substantial compliance with the housing regulations when offered for rent;

(5) Any rental unit in any structure owned by a cooperative housing association, if:

(A) The proprietary lease or occupancy agreement for the rental unit is owned by not more than 4 natural persons, who are shareholders or members of the cooperative housing association;

(B) None of the shareholders or members has an interest, directly or indirectly, in more than 4 rental units in the District of Columbia. A shareholder or member of a cooperative housing association owning a proprietary lease or occupancy agreement for a rental unit in an association shall not be deemed to have an indirect interest in any other rental unit in any structure owned by a cooperative housing association solely by virtue of ownership of a stock or membership certificate, proprietary lease, or other evidence of membership in the association; and

(C) The shareholders or members owning the proprietary lease or occupancy agreement for the rental unit file with the Rent Administrator a claim of exemption statement which consists of an oath or affirmation by the shareholders or members of a valid claim to the exemption. The claim of exemption statement shall also contain the signature of each person having an interest, direct or indirect, in the proprietary lease or occupancy agreement for the rental unit. Any change in the ownership of the proprietary lease or occupancy agreement or change in the shareholder’s or member’s interest in any other rental unit which would invalidate the exemption claim must be reported in writing to the Rent Administrator within 30 days of the change;

(6) [Disapproved.]

(7) Housing accommodations for which a building improvement plan has been executed under the apartment improvement program and housing accommodations which receive rehabilitation assistance under other multi-family assistance programs administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development, if:

(A) The building improvement plan, accompanied by a certification signed by the tenants of 70% of the occupied units, is filed with the Division at the time of execution;

(B) Upon expiration of the building improvement plan, the exemption provided under this paragraph shall terminate and the housing accommodation will again be subject to §§ 42-3502.05(f) through 42-3502.19; and

(C) Upon expiration of the building improvement plan, and notwithstanding the provisions of § 42-3502.09, the schedule of rents charged, services, and facilities established by the building improvement plans shall be considered the rents charged and service and facility levels established for the purposes of subchapter II of this chapter;

(8) [Disapproved.]

(9) [Disapproved.]

(10) [Disapproved.]

(a-1) If a housing provider comes into possession of a housing accommodation as a result of a transfer pursuant to § 42-3404.02(c)(2), then the housing provider shall be eligible for the exemption provided by subsection (a)(3) of this section only if the housing provider was eligible for the exemption at the time of the transfer.

(b) Rent may not be increased under subsections (a)(9) and (a)(10) of this section if:

(1) The unit is vacated as a result of eviction or termination of tenancy where the housing provider seeks in good faith to recover possession for occupancy by the housing provider or a member of the housing provider’s family, or the housing provider seeks to recover possession in order to remove permanently the unit from rental housing; or

(2) The vacating of a rental unit by a tenant as a result of a housing provider creating an unreasonable interference with the tenant’s comfort, safety, or enjoyment of the rental unit or as a result of retaliatory action under § 42-3505.02 shall not be considered a voluntary vacating of the unit.

(c) Notwithstanding subsections (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section the housing provider shall be entitled to an exemption whenever the unit is next vacated in accordance with subsections (a)(9) and (a)(10)(A) of this section after an intervening loss of the exemption.

(d) Prior to the execution of a lease or other rental agreement after July 17, 1985, a prospective tenant of any unit exempted under subsection (a) of this section shall receive a notice in writing advising the prospective tenant that rent increases for the accommodation are not regulated by the rent stabilization program.

(e) This chapter shall not apply to the following units:

(1) Any rental unit operated by a foreign government as a residence for diplomatic personnel;

(2) Any rental unit in an establishment which has as its primary purpose providing diagnostic care and treatment of diseases, including, but not limited to, hospitals, convalescent homes, nursing homes, and personal care homes;

(3) Any dormitory; and

(4) Following a determination by the Rent Administrator, any rental unit or housing accommodation intended for use as long-term temporary housing by families with 1 or more members that satisfies each of the following requirements:

(A) The rental unit or housing accommodation is occupied by families that, at the time of their initial occupancy, have had incomes at or below 50% of the District median income for families of the size in question for the immediately preceding 12 months;

(B) The housing provider of the rental unit or housing accommodation is a nonprofit charitable organization that operates the unit or housing accommodation on a strictly not-for-profit basis under which no part of the net earnings of the housing provider inure to the benefit of or are distributable to its directors, officers, or any private individual other than as reasonable compensation for services rendered; and

(C) The housing provider offers a comprehensive social services program to resident families.

(f)(1) Within 240 days after October 30, 2018, each housing provider of a housing accommodation for which the housing provider is receiving rent or is entitled to receive rent shall file a new registration statement, and if applicable, a new claim of exemption.

(2) A person who becomes a housing provider of a housing accommodation more than 240 days after October 30, 2018, shall file a registration statement, and, if applicable, claim of exemption, within 30 days of becoming a housing provider.

(3) A housing provider shall file a registration statement and, if applicable, a claim of exemption, with the Division in accordance with [§ 42-3502.03d], which shall solicit, among the information required for registration, the following:

(A) For all housing accommodations:

(i) Address of the housing accommodation;

(ii) Type of housing accommodation;

(iii) Number of bedrooms in each unit of the housing accommodation; and

(iv) Property owner's business information.

(B) For each housing accommodation required to obtain a housing business license, the dates and numbers of the housing business license and the certificates of occupancy, where required by law, issued by the District government, and a copy of each housing business license and certificate of occupancy;

(C) For each housing accommodation not required to obtain a housing business license, the information contained therein and the dates and numbers of the certificates of occupancy issued by the District government, and a copy of each certificate;

(D) Where the housing provider does not seek an exemption under subsection (a) of this section for the housing accommodation:

(i) The current rent charged for each rental unit in the housing accommodation, the related services included, and the related facilities and charges;

(ii) The current related and optional services and facilities provided as part of rent or the rental agreement;

(iii) A list of any outstanding violations of the housing regulations applicable to the housing accommodation, or an affidavit of the housing provider stating that the housing provider duly inspected the housing accommodation within the 6 months prior to filing the registration, and that there are no outstanding violations known to the housing provider; and

(iv) The rate of return for the housing accommodation and the computations made by the housing provider to arrive at the rate of return, by application of the formula provided in § 42-3502.12.

(E) Where the housing provider seeks an exemption under subsection (a) of this section for the housing accommodation, the date on which each unit first became exempt, and the rent charged for the period of tenancy immediately preceding the first exemption.

(4)(A) No penalties shall be assessed against a housing provider who registers a housing accommodation under this section within 240 days after October 30, 2018, for failure to previously register the housing accommodation.

(B)(i) Beginning 241 days after October 30, 2018, a housing provider, other than the federal government, who fails to register a housing accommodation under this section shall pay a penalty of $100 per unit to the District government. The penalty shall be deposited into the Rental Housing Registration Fund established by [§ 42-3502.03e].

(ii) A housing provider, other than a housing provider exempt pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, who does not timely register under this section may not institute a rent increase authorized by § 42-3402.08(a) until the housing provider registers and pays any associated penalty.

(g)(1) A housing provider shall file the following notices with the Rent Administrator:

(A) A copy of the rent increase notice given to the tenant for a rent increase under § 42-3502.08(h)(2), within 30 days after the effective date of the increase; provided, that if rent increases are given to multiple tenants with the same effective date, the housing provider shall file a sample rent increase notice and a list attached stating the unit number, tenant name, previous rent charged, new rent charged, and effective date for each rent increase;

(B) A copy of the notice given to the tenant for an increase under § 42-3502.13(d) stating the calculation of the initial rent charged in the lease (based on increases during the preceding 3 years) within 30 days of the commencement of the lease term;

(C) A notice of a change in ownership or management of the housing accommodation, or change in the services and facilities included in the rent charged, within 30 days after the change.

(2) Repealed.

(g-1) Not Funded.

(h)(1) Each registration statement filed under this section shall be available for public inspection through the website of the Department of Housing and Community Development.

(2) Each housing provider shall keep a duplicate of the registration statement posted in a public place on the premises of the housing accommodation to which the registration statement applies. Each housing provider may, instead of posting in each housing accommodation comprised of a single rental unit, mail to each tenant of the housing accommodation a duplicate of the registration statement.

(i) Repealed.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 222a; July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 205, 32 DCR 3089; May 23, 1986, D.C. Law 6-118, § 2, 33 DCR 2444; Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-167, § 2, 33 DCR 6732; Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-192, § 13(a), (b), 33 DCR 7836; Mar. 7, 1991, D.C. Law 8-222, § 2, 38 DCR 203; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-255, § 51(b), 44 DCR 1271; Aug. 5, 2006, D.C. Law 16-145, § 2(a), (b), 53 DCR 4889; Aug. 16, 2008, D.C. Law 17-219, § 7064, 55 DCR 7598; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 184(b), 56 DCR 1117; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 2212(b), 62 DCR 10905; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 5032(b), 63 DCR 10775; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-239, § 3(c)(1), 64 DCR 1588; Apr. 15, 2017, D.C. Law 21-270, § 2, 64 DCR 942; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 2212(a), 64 DCR 7652; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 2282(d), 65 DCR 9388; Feb. 22, 2019, D.C. Law 22-202, § 2(a), 65 DCR 12333; Mar. 13, 2019, D.C. Law 22-248, § 2(b), 66 DCR 973.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2515.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3501.03, § 42-3502.08, § 42-3502.09, § 42-3502.13, § 42-3502.17, § 42-3502.20, § 42-3502.21, § 42-3502.22, and § 42-3504.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-145, in subpar. (a)(7)(C), substituted “rent charged” for “rent ceiling”; and rewrote subsec. (g), which had read as follows: “(g) An amended registration statement shall be filed by each housing provider whose rental units are subject to registration under this chapter within 30 days of any event which changes or substantially affects the rents including vacant unit rent increases under § 42-3502.13, services, facilities, or the housing provider or management of any rental unit in a registered housing accommodation. No amended registration statement shall be required for a change in rent under § 42-3502.06(b).”

D.C. Law 17-219, in subsec. (g)(2), substituted “The” for “Subject to appropriation, the”.

D.C. Law 17-353 validated a previously made technical correction in subsec. (a)(7)(C).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 repealed (g)(2).

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-202: § 3 of D.C. Law 22-202 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(a) of D.C. Law 22-202 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.

Section 7018 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed section 3 of D.C. Law 21-270. Therefore the amendment of this section by D.C. Law 21-270 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-270: § 3 of D.C. Law 21-270 provided that the change made to this section by § 2 of D.C. Law 21-270 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 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(f) of Rental Housing Registration Extension Emergency Amendment Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-4, Feb. 6, 2019, 66 DCR 2056).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2282(d) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2282(d) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2212(a) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2212(a) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a), (b) of Rent Control Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-470, July 31, 2006, 53 DCR 6772).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2122(b) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

References in Text

Section 42-3404.13(a)(3), referred to in subparagraph (a)(3)(E), was repealed March 16, 1978 by D.C. Law 2-54, § 903, 24 DCR 5334.

Section 42-4016, referred to in subsection (a)(3)(E), expired pursuant to § 907 of D.C. Law 3-131 on April 30, 1985.

Section 206(a)(4) of the Rental Housing Act of 1980, referred to in paragraph (a)(4), was codified as § 45-1515 1981 Ed., which expired April 30, 1985, pursuant to D.C. Law 3-131, § 907.

Editor's Notes

Section 3 of D.C. Law 22-248 provided that within 180 days after the effective date of D.C. Law 22-248, the Rental Housing Commission, pursuant to Title I of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act, approved October 21, 1968 (82 Stat. 1204; D.C. Official Code § 2-501 et seq.), shall issue rules to implement the provisions of D.C. Law 22-248, including revisions necessary to update relevant housing provider reporting forms according to the requirements of D.C. Law 22-248.

On November 5, 1985, pursuant to the Initiative, Referendum, and Recall Charter Amendments Act of 1977 (D.C. Law 2-46), the electorate of the District of Columbia rejected paragraphs (a)(6), (a)(8), (a)(9), and (a)(10) of § 205 of D.C. Law 6-10.


§ 42–3502.06. Rent ceilings abolished.

(a) Rent ceilings are abolished, except that the housing provider may implement, in accordance with § 42-3502.08(g), rent ceiling adjustments pursuant to petitions and voluntary agreements approved by the Rent Administrator prior to August 5, 2006. Petitions and voluntary agreements pending as of August 5, 2006, shall be decided pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter in effect prior to August 5, 2006, and may be implemented in accordance with § 42-3502.08(g). In considering a hardship petition pursuant to § 42-3502.12, any unimplemented rent charged increase pursuant to a petition or voluntary agreement approved by the Rent Administrator shall be included in the maximum possible rental income. Except to the extent provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, no housing provider of any rental unit subject to this chapter may charge or collect rent for the rental unit in excess of the amount computed by adding to the base rent not more than all rent increases authorized after April 30, 1985, for the rental unit by this chapter, by prior rent control laws and any administrative decision under those laws, and by a court of competent jurisdiction. No tenant may sublet a rental unit at a rent greater than that tenant pays the housing provider.

(b) On an annual basis, the Rental Housing Commission shall determine an adjustment of general applicability in the rent charged established by subsection (a) of this section. This adjustment of general applicability shall be equal to the change during the previous calendar year, ending each December 31, in the Washington, D.C., Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for all items during the preceding calendar year. No adjustment of general applicability shall exceed 10%. A housing provider may not implement an adjustment of general applicability, or an adjustment permitted by subsection (c) of this section for a rental unit within 12 months of the effective date of the previous adjustment of general applicability, or instead, an adjustment permitted by subsection (c) of this section in the rent charged for that unit.

(c) At the housing provider's election, instead of any adjustment authorized by subsection (b) of this section, the rent charged for an accommodation may be adjusted through a hardship petition under § 42-3502.12.

(d) If on July 17, 1985 the rent being charged exceeds the allowable rent ceiling, that rent shall be reduced to the allowable rent ceiling effective the next date that the rent is due. This subsection shall not apply to any rent administratively approved under the Rental Accommodations Act of 1975, the Rental Housing Act of 1977, or the Rental Housing Act of 1980, or any rent increase authorized by a court of competent jurisdiction. The housing provider shall notify the tenant in writing of any decrease required under this chapter before the effective date of the decrease.

(e) A tenant may challenge a rent adjustment implemented under any section of this chapter by filing a petition with the Rent Administrator under § 42-3502.16. No petition may be filed with respect to any rent adjustment, under any section of this chapter, more than 3 years after the effective date of the adjustment, except that a tenant must challenge the new base rent as provided in § 42-3501.03(4) within 6 months from the date the housing provider files his base rent as required by this chapter.

(f) Repealed.

(g) Repealed.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 206, 32 DCR 3089; Sept. 26, 1992, D.C. Law 9-154, § 2(a), 39 DCR 5673; Aug. 5, 2006, D.C. Law 16-145, § 2(a), (c), 53 DCR 4889; Mar. 8, 2007, D.C. Law 16-240, § 3, 54 DCR 597; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-294, § 3, 54 DCR 1086; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 67(a), 53 DCR 6198; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, §§ 184(c), 253, 56 DCR 1117; Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-197, § 2(a), 63 DCR 15030; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-239, § 3(c), 64 DCR 1588.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2516.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3501.03, § 42-3502.02, § 42-3502.08, § 42-3502.09, § 42-3502.10, § 42-3502.12, and § 42-3502.16.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-145, in subsec. (a), inserted the first three sentences; and, in subsecs. (b), (c), and (f)(3), substituted “rent charged” for “rent ceiling”.

D.C. Law 16-240 rewrote subsec. (f)(2)(A) and added subsec. (f)(2)(2A). Prior to amendment, subsec. (f)(2)(A) read as follows: “(A) ’Disabled tenant’ means an individual who has a medically determinable physical impairment, including blindness, which prohibits and incapacitates 75% of that person’s ability to move about, to assist himself or herself, or to engage in an occupation, and has an income of not more than $40,000 per year at the time of approval by the Rent Administrator of a petition for capital improvements pursuant to § 42-3502.10.”

D.C. Law 16-294, in subsec. (a), made a technical correction that made no change in text.

D.C. Law 16-305, in subsec. (f)(1), substituted “tenant or tenant with a disability” for “or disabled tenant”; and, in subsec. (f)(2), purported to substitute “Tenant with a disability” for “Disabled tenant”.

D.C. Law 17-353, in the section heading, substituted “Rent ceilings abolished” for “Rent ceiling”, and validated a previously made technical correction in subsec. (a).

Cross References

Fee for housing accommodation conversion, rights to reduction, see § 42-3402.04.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Rent Control Hardship Petition Limitation Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-483, Aug. 18, 2016, 63 DCR 10730).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a), (c) of Rent Control Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-470, July 31, 2006, 53 DCR 6772).

For temporary (90 day) repeal of section, see § 2(d) of Rent Control Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-470, July 31, 2006, 53 DCR 6772).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Rent Control Hardship Petition Limitation Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-430), October 7, 2014, 61 DCR 10706, 20 STAT 4145).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Rent Control Hardship Petition Limitation Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-575, Jan. 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1068, 21 STAT 717).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Rent Control Hardship Petition Limitation Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-160, Oct. 16, 2015, 62 DCR 13722).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Rent Control Hardship Petition Limitation Temporary Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Law 21-169, Nov. 30, 2016, 63 DCR 12597).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Rent Control Hardship Petition Limitation Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-164, February 26, 2015, 61 DCR 11095).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Rent Control Hardship Petition Limitation Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-49, Jan. 9, 2016, 62 DCR 13990).


§ 42–3502.07. Adjustments in rent ceiling.

Repealed.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 207, 32 DCR 3089; Aug. 5, 2006, D.C. Law 16-145, § 2(d), 53 DCR 4889.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2517.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3502.08.


§ 42–3502.08. Increases above base rent.

(a)(1) Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, the rent for any rental unit shall not be increased above the base rent unless:

(A) The rental unit and the common elements are in substantial compliance with the housing regulations, if noncompliance is not the result of tenant neglect or misconduct. Evidence of substantial noncompliance shall be limited to housing regulations violation notices issued by the District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and other offers of proof the Rental Housing Commission shall consider acceptable through its rulemaking procedures;

(B) The housing accommodation is registered in accordance with § 42-3502.05;

(C) The housing provider of the housing accommodation is properly licensed under a statute or regulations if the statute or regulations require licensing;

(D) The manager of the accommodation, when other than the housing provider, is properly registered under the housing regulations if the regulations require registration;

(E) Notice of the increase complies with § 42-3509.04;

(F) The housing provider has provided a tenant with written notice of the maximum standard rent increase that applies to an elderly tenant or a tenant with a disability and the means by which a tenant may establish elderly or disability status as set forth in § 42-3502.24(d), as provided by the Rent Administrator pursuant to § 42-3502.24(f), and has not required a tenant to provide more proof of age or disability than the minimum information necessary to establish that status; and

(G) The housing provider, if a nonresident of the District, has appointed and maintained a registered agent pursuant to section 203 of Title 14 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations.

(2) Where the Rent Administrator finds there have been excessive and prolonged violations of the housing regulations affecting the health, safety, and security of the tenants or the habitability of the housing accommodation in which the tenants reside and that the housing provider has failed to correct the violations, the Rent Administrator may roll back the rents for the affected rental units to an amount which shall not be less than the September 1, 1983, base rent for the rental units until the violations have been abated.

(b) A housing accommodation and each of the rental units in the housing accommodation shall be considered to be in substantial compliance with the housing regulations if:

(1) For purposes of the adjustments made in the rent charged in §§ 42-3502.06 and 42-3502.07 [repealed], all substantial violations cited at the time of the last inspection of the housing accommodation by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs before the effective date of the increase were abated within a 45-day period following the issuance of the citations or that time granted by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, and the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs has certified the abatement, or the housing provider or the tenant has certified the abatement and has presented evidence to substantiate the certification. No certification of abatement shall establish compliance with the housing regulations unless the tenants have been given a 10-day notice and an opportunity to contest the certification; and

(2) For purposes of the filing of petitions for adjustments in the rent charged as prescribed in § 42-3502.16, the housing accommodation and each of the rental units in the housing accommodation shall have been inspected at the request of each housing provider by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs within the 30 days immediately preceding the filing of a petition for adjustment.

(c) A tenant of a housing accommodation who, after receipt of not less than 5 days written notice that the housing provider desires an inspection of the tenant’s rental unit for the purpose of determining whether the housing accommodation is in substantial compliance with the housing regulations, refuses without good cause to admit an employee of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs for the purpose of inspecting the tenant’s rental unit, or who refuses without good cause to admit the housing provider or the housing provider’s employee or contractor for the purpose of abating any violation of the housing regulations cited by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, will be considered to have waived the right to challenge the validity of the proposed adjustment for reasons that the rental unit occupied by the tenant is not in substantial compliance with the housing regulations.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or abrogate a tenant’s right to initiate any lawful action to correct any violation in the tenant’s rental unit or in the housing accommodation in which that rental unit is located.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, no rent shall be adjusted under this chapter for any rental unit with respect to which there is a valid written lease or rental agreement establishing the rent for the rental unit for the term of the written lease or rental agreement.

(f)(1) Any notice of an adjustment under § 42-3502.06 shall contain a statement of the current rent charged, the increased rent charged, and the utilities covered by the rent charged that justify the adjustment or other justification for the rent charged increase.

(2) The notice shall also include a summary of tenant rights under this chapter and a list of sources of technical assistance as published in the District of Columbia Register by the Mayor.

(g) The amount of rent charged for any rental unit subject to this subchapter shall not be increased until a full 12 months have elapsed since any prior increase; provided, that:

(1) An increase in the amount of rent charged shall not exceed the amount of any single adjustment pursuant to any one section of this subchapter;

(2) If the rental unit becomes vacant within 12 months of an increase in the amount of rent charged, other than a vacancy increase pursuant to § 42-3502.13, the housing provider may increase the amount of rent charged pursuant to § 42-3502.13; and

(3) If the amount of rent charged is increased pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection, the amount of rent charged shall not be increased until a full 12 months have elapsed after the increase in the amount of rent charged, even if another vacancy occurs.

(h) Unless the adjustment in the amount of rent charged is implemented pursuant to § 42-3502.10, § 42-3502.11, § 42-3502.12, or § 42-3502.14, an adjustment in the amount of rent charged:

(1) If the unit is vacant, shall not exceed the amount permitted under § 42-3502.13(a); or

(2) If the unit is occupied:

(A) Shall not exceed the current allowable amount of rent charged for the unit, plus the adjustment of general applicability plus 2%, taken as a percentage of the current allowable amount of rent charged; provided, that the total adjustment shall not exceed 10%;

(B) Shall be pursuant to § 42-3502.24, if occupied by an elderly tenant or tenant with a disability; and

(C) Shall not exceed the lesser of 5% or the adjustment of general applicability if the unit is leased or co-leased by a home and community-based services waiver provider.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 222a; July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 208, 32 DCR 3089; Mar. 16, 1993, D.C. Law 9-191, § 2, 39 DCR 9005; Aug. 5, 2006, D.C. Law 16-145, § 2(a), (e), 53 DCR 4889; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 5032(c), 63 DCR 10775; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-239, § 3(d), 64 DCR 1588; Mar. 13, 2019, D.C. Law 22-248, § 2(c), 66 DCR 973.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2518.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3502.05, § 42-3502.06, and § 42-3502.09.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-145 substituted “rent charged” for “rent ceiling”; and rewrote subsecs. (g) and (h).

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of Elderly Tenant and Tenant with a Disability Protection Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-4, Feb. 9, 2017, 64 DCR 1680).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a), (e) of Rent Control Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-470, July 31, 2006, 53 DCR 6772).

Editor's Notes

Section 3 of D.C. Law 22-248 provided that within 180 days after the effective date of D.C. Law 22-248, the Rental Housing Commission, pursuant to Title I of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act, approved October 21, 1968 (82 Stat. 1204; D.C. Official Code § 2-501 et seq.), shall issue rules to implement the provisions of D.C. Law 22-248, including revisions necessary to update relevant housing provider reporting forms according to the requirements of D.C. Law 22-248.


§ 42–3502.09. Rent charged upon termination of exemption and for newly covered rental units.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the rent charged for any rental unit in a housing accommodation exempted by § 42-3502.05, except subsection (a)(2) or (a)(7) of that section, upon the expiration or termination of the exemption, shall be the average rent charged during the last 6 consecutive months of the exemption, increased by no more than 5% of the average rent charged during the last 6 consecutive months of the exemption. The increase may be effected only in accordance with the procedures specified in §§ 42-3502.08 and 42-3509.04.

(a-1) Not Funded.

(b) A structure or building, including the land appurtenant, which is located in the District in which 1 or more rental units as defined in § 42-3501.03(33) are established after July 17, 1985, shall subsequently be defined as a “housing accommodation” for the purposes of this chapter. If any rental unit in such a housing accommodation is not otherwise exempted by 1 of the provisions of § 42-3502.05, the rent charged for the initial leasing period or the first year of tenancy, whichever is shorter, shall be determined by the housing provider and is considered to be the equivalent of making the computations specified in § 42-3502.06.

(c) The rent charged for any rental unit exempted under § 42-3502.05(a)(5) upon the expiration or termination of the exemption shall be the rent charged on the date the unit became exempt plus each subsequent adjustment of general applicability authorized under § 42-3502.06(b).

(d) Repealed.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 209, 32 DCR 3089; Aug. 5, 2006, D.C. Law 16-145, § 2(a), 53 DCR 4889; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 184(d), 56 DCR 1117; July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 222a; Feb. 22, 2019, D.C. Law 22-202, § 2(b), 65 DCR 12333; Mar. 13, 2019, D.C. Law 22-248, § 2(d), 66 DCR 973.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2519.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3502.05.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-145 substituted “rent charged” for “rent ceiling”.

D.C. Law 17-353 validated a previously made technical correction in subsec. (c).

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.

Applicability

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-202: § 3 of D.C. Law 22-202 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(b) of D.C. Law 22-202 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 § 2(a) of Rent Control Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-470, July 31, 2006, 53 DCR 6772).

Editor's Notes

Section 3 of D.C. Law 22-248 provided that within 180 days after the effective date of D.C. Law 22-248, the Rental Housing Commission, pursuant to Title I of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act, approved October 21, 1968 (82 Stat. 1204; D.C. Official Code § 2-501 et seq.), shall issue rules to implement the provisions of D.C. Law 22-248, including revisions necessary to update relevant housing provider reporting forms according to the requirements of D.C. Law 22-248.


§ 42–3502.10. Petitions for capital improvements.

(a) On petition by the housing provider, the Rent Administrator may approve a rent adjustment to cover the cost of capital improvements to a rental unit or housing accommodation if:

(1) The improvement would protect or enhance the health, safety, and security of the tenants or the habitability of the housing accommodation; or

(2) The improvement will effect a net saving in the use of energy by the housing accommodation, or is intended to comply with applicable environmental protection regulations, if any savings in energy costs are passed on to the tenants.

(b) The housing provider shall establish to the satisfaction of the Rent Administrator:

(1) That the improvement would be considered depreciable under the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C.);

(2) The amount and cost of the improvement including interest and service charges; and

(3) That required governmental permits and approvals have been secured.

(c) Any decision of the Rent Administrator under this section shall determine the adjustment of the rent charged:

(1) In the case of building-wide major capital improvement, by dividing the cost over a 96-month period of amortization and by dividing the result by the number of rental units in the housing accommodation. No increase under this paragraph may exceed 20% above the current rent charged;

(2) In the case of limited improvements to 1 or more rental units in a housing accommodation, by dividing the cost over a 64-month period of amortization and by dividing this result by the number of rental units receiving the improvement. No increase under this paragraph may exceed 15% above the current rent charged. The Rent Administrator shall make a determination that the interests of the affected tenants are being protected; and

(3) In the case of a rent increase included as part of the rent charged or base rent for a capital improvement after October 19, 1989, the rent increase is temporary and is abated as to each tenant upon recovery of all costs of the capital improvement, including interest and service charges. The rent increase shall not be calculated as part of either the base rent or rent charged of a tenant when determining the amount of rent charged. When the housing provider has recovered all costs, including interest and service charges, the housing provider shall recompute and adjust the rent charged to reflect the abatement of the capital improvement rent increase.

(d) Plans, contracts, specifications, and permits relating to capital improvements shall be retained for 1 year by the housing provider or its designated agent for inspection by affected tenants as the tenants may request at the housing provider’s place of business in the District during working hours. If the housing provider does not have a place of business in the District, the plans, contracts, specifications, and permits relating to the capital improvements shall be made available upon request by the affected tenants at the Rental Accommodations Division.

(e)(1) A decision by the Rent Administrator on a rent adjustment under this section shall be rendered within 60 days after receipt of a complete petition for capital improvement.

(2) Failure of the Rent Administrator to render a decision pursuant to this section within the 60-day period shall operate to allow the petitioner to proceed with a capital improvement.

(f) Any tenant displaced from a rental unit by the capital improvement of the unit or the housing accommodation under this section shall have a right to rerent the rental unit immediately upon the completion of the work.

(g) The housing provider may make capital improvements to the property before the approval of the rent adjustment by the Rent Administrator for the capital improvements where the capital improvements are immediately necessary to maintain the health or safety of the tenants.

(h) A housing provider may adjust the rent charged for any rental unit to provide for the cost of any capital improvements which are required by provisions of any federal or local statute or regulation becoming effective after October 30, 1980, amortized over the useful life of the improvements, and the cost of the improvements applied on an equal basis to those rental units within the housing accommodation which benefit from the improvement, by filing with the Division a certificate of calculation for mandated capital improvement increase. The certificate shall establish:

(1) That the improvement is required by the provisions of a federal or District statute or regulation becoming effective after October 30, 1980;

(2) The amount of the cost of the improvements; and

(3) That required governmental permits and approvals have been secured.

(i) The housing provider may petition the Rent Administrator for approval of the rent adjustment for any capital improvements made under subsection (g) of this section, if the petition is filed with the Rent Administrator within 10 calendar days from the installation of the capital improvements.

(j) The housing provider may petition the Rent Administrator to assess capital improvement increases in the rent charged against elderly tenants and tenants with disabilities, and the Rent Administrator shall approve the petition if the housing provider proves to the satisfaction of the Rent Administrator that the amount which would be collectible from elderly tenants and tenants with disabilities at the housing accommodation, but for the provisions of § 42-3502.06(f), would exceed the amount of real property taxes that would be payable during the calendar year with respect to the housing accommodation, but for the provisions of § 42-3502.06(g).


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 210, 32 DCR 3089; Oct. 19, 1989, D.C. Law 8-48, § 2, 36 DCR 5788; Sept. 26, 1992, D.C. Law 9-154, § 2(b), 39 DCR 5673; Aug. 5, 2006, D.C. Law 16-145, § 2(a), 53 DCR 4889; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 67(b), 53 DCR 6198.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2520.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3502.06, § 42-3502.08, and § 42-3502.16.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-145, in subsecs. (c) and (h), substituted “rent charged” for “rent ceiling”.

D.C. Law 16-305, in subsec. (j), substituted “tenants or tenants with a disability” for “and disabled tenants”.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of Rent Control Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-470, July 31, 2006, 53 DCR 6772).

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 9-154: Section 3 of D.C. Law 9-154 provided that the act shall not apply to any increase in a rent ceiling for a rental unit, or to any increase in the rent charged for a rental unit, when the capital improvement petition has been approved by the Rent Administrator and the resultant rent increase was implemented prior to September 26, 1992.


§ 42–3502.11. Services and facilities.

If the Rent Administrator determines that the related services or related facilities supplied by a housing provider for a housing accommodation or for any rental unit in the housing accommodation are substantially increased or decreased, the Rent Administrator may increase or decrease the rent charged, as applicable, to reflect proportionally the value of the change in services or facilities.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 211, 32 DCR 3089; Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-192, § 13(c), 33 DCR 7836; Aug. 5, 2006, D.C. Law 16-145, § 2(a), 53 DCR 4889.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2521.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3502.08 and § 42-3502.16.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-145 substituted “rent charged” for “rent ceiling”.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of Rent Control Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-470, July 31, 2006, 53 DCR 6772).


§ 42–3502.11a. Mandatory fees prohibited.

(a) A housing provider shall not impose on a tenant a mandatory fee for any service or facility that has not been approved pursuant to § 42-3502.11 or § 42-3502.15.

(b) A housing provider who violates this section shall be liable to the tenant for treble damages pursuant to section 901(a).


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 211a; as added Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-210, § 2(b), 63 DCR 15302.)


§ 42–3502.12. Hardship petition.

(a) Where an election has been made under § 42-3502.06(c) to seek a rent adjustment through a hardship petition, the Rent Administrator shall, after review of the figures and computations set forth in the housing provider’s petition, allow additional increases in rent which would generate no more than a 12% rate of return computed according to subsection (b) of this section.

(b) In determining the rate of return for each housing accommodation, the following formula, computed over a base period of the 12 consecutive months within 15 months preceding the filing of a petition under this chapter, shall be used to:

(1) Obtain the net income by subtracting from the sum of maximum possible rental income which can be derived from a housing accommodation to which this section applies and the maximum amount of all other income which can be derived from the housing accommodation the following:

(A) The operating expenses, but the following items shall not be allowed as operating expenses:

(i) Membership fees in organizations established to influence legislation and regulations;

(ii) Contributions to lobbying efforts;

(iii) Contributions for legal fees in the prosecution of class action cases;

(iv) Political contributions to candidates for office;

(v) Mortgage principal payments;

(vi) Maintenance expenses for which the housing provider has been reimbursed by any security deposit, insurance settlement, judgment for damages, agreed upon payments, or any other method;

(vii) Attorney’s fees charged for services connected with counseling or litigation related to actions brought by the District government due to the housing provider’s repeated failure to comply with applicable housing regulations as evidenced by violation notices issued by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs; and

(viii) Any expenses for which the tenant has lawfully paid directly;

(B) The management fee, where applicable, of not more than 6% of the maximum rental income of the housing accommodation unless an additional amount is approved by the Rent Administrator as follows:

(i) The housing provider shall first file with the Rent Administrator a petition which contains information the Rent Administrator may require, including, but not limited to, the name of the payee; and

(ii) If the Rent Administrator determines, based on the petition and other information the Rent Administrator may require, that the excess over 6% of maximum possible income or part of income is reasonable, the Rent Administrator may permit the same excess or so much of the excess as is reasonable;

(C) Property taxes;

(D) Depreciation expenses to the extent reflected in decreased real property tax assessments;

(E) Vacancy losses for the housing accommodation of not more than 6% of the maximum rental housing income of the housing accommodation unless an additional amount is approved by the Rent Administrator;

(F) Uncollected rents; and

(G) Interest payments;

(2) Then, divide the net income by the housing provider’s equity in the housing accommodation to determine the rate of return.

(c)(1) At the housing provider's election, instead of any adjustment authorized by § 42-3502.06(b), the rent charged for an accommodation may be adjusted through a hardship petition under this section. The petition shall be clearly identified as an election instead of the general adjustments authorized by§ 42-3502.06(b). The Rent Administrator shall accord an expedited review process for these petitions and shall issue and publish a final decision within 90 days after the petition has been filed.

(2)(A) In the case of any petition filed under this subsection as to which a final decision has not been rendered by the Rent Administrator at the end of 90 days from the date of filing of the petition and as to which the housing provider is not in default in complying with any information request made under § 42-3502.16, the housing provider may conditionally implement an adjustment of the rent charged, at the end of the 90-day period, in accordance with this paragraph.

(B)(i) The conditional adjustment of the rent charged that shall be available to the housing provider for an affected unit shall be based upon the Rent Administrator's hardship petition form completed by the housing provider and returned to the Rent Administrator.

(ii) If the hardship petition form indicates that the net income of the housing provider for the affected units is negative, the conditional adjustment of the rent charged for the affected units shall not exceed 5% of the current rent charged.

(iii) If the hardship petition form indicates that the net income of the housing provider for the affected units is positive, the housing provider may not implement a conditional adjustment of the rent charged.

(3) A conditional adjustment of the rent charged shall be subject to subsequent modification by the final decision of the Rent Administrator on the petition. If a hearing has been held on the petition, the Rent Administrator shall, by order served upon the parties at least 10 days before the expiration of the 90-day period commenced pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection, make a provisional finding as to the rent increase justified by the order, if any. Except to the extent modified pursuant to § 42-3502.06 or this section, the adjustment procedures of § 42-3502.16 shall apply to any adjustment.

(4) If the Rent Administrator denies the requested rent increase or approves a rent increase that is less than the amount of the conditional adjustment of the rent charged by the housing provider, the housing provider shall refund to the tenant within 21 days of the Rent Administrator's order any rent paid in excess of the amount approved by the Rent Administrator, except that the tenant may elect within 14 days of the Rent Administrator's order to apply any amount of the refund not yet refunded by the housing provider to the tenant, as a credit against future rental payments.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 212, 32 DCR 3089; Aug. 5, 2006, D.C. Law 16-145, § 2(a), 53 DCR 4889; Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-197, § 2(b), 63 DCR 15030.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2522.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3502.05, § 42-3502.06, § 42-3502.08, § 42-3502.13, and § 42-3502.16.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-145, in subsec. (c), substituted “rent charged” for “rent ceiling”.

Expiration of Law

Termination of Law 6-10

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of Rent Control Hardship Petition Limitation Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-483, Aug. 18, 2016, 63 DCR 10730).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of Rent Control Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-470, July 31, 2006, 53 DCR 6772).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Rent Control Hardship Petition Limitation Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-430, Oct. 7, 2014, 61 DCR 10706, 20 STAT 4145).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Rent Control Hardship Petition Limitation Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-575, Jan. 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1068, 21 STAT 717).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Rent Control Hardship Petition Limitation Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-160, Oct. 16, 2015, 62 DCR 13722).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of Rent Control Hardship Petition Limitation Temporary Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Law 21-169, Nov. 30, 2016, 63 DCR 12597).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Rent Control Hardship Petition Limitation Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-164, February 26, 2015, 61 DCR 11095).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Rent Control Hardship Petition Limitation Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-49, Jan. 9, 2016, 62 DCR 13990).


§ 42–3502.13. Vacant accommodation.

(a) When a tenant vacates a rental unit on the tenant’s own initiative or as a result of a notice to vacate for nonpayment of rent, violation of an obligation of the tenant’s tenancy, or use of the rental unit for illegal purpose or purposes as determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, the amount of rent charged may, at the election of the housing provider, be increased:

(1) By 10% of the current allowable amount of rent charged for the vacant unit; or

(2) To the amount of rent charged for a substantially identical rental unit in the same housing accommodation; provided, that the increase shall not exceed 30% of the current lawful amount of rent charged for the vacant unit, except that no increase under this section shall be permitted unless the housing accommodation has been registered under § 42-3502.05(f).

(b) For the purposes of this section, rental units shall be defined to be substantially identical where they contain essentially the same square footage, essentially the same floor plan, comparable amenities and equipment, comparable locations with respect to exposure and height, if exposure and height have previously been factors in the amount of rent charged, and are in comparable physical condition.

(c) No rent increase under subsections (a)(1) and (a)(2) may be sought or granted within the 12-month period following the implementation of a hardship increase under § 42-3502.12.

(d) Within 15 days after of the commencement of the new tenancy, the housing provider shall disclose to the tenant on a form published by the Rent Administrator (or in another suitable format until a form is published):

(1) The applicable rent for the rental unit at the commencement of the tenancy;

(2) The amount of the increases in the amount of rent charged for the rental unit during the preceding 3 years, including the basis for each increase and, if applicable, the identification of any substantially identical rental unit on which a vacancy increase is based, and the current increase in the rent charged; and

(3) The identification of any substantially identical rental unit on which the vacancy increase is based.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 222a; July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 213, 32 DCR 3089; Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-192, § 13(d), 33 DCR 7836; Aug. 5, 2006, D.C. Law 16-145, § 2(f), 53 DCR 4889; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 2282(e), 65 DCR 9388; Feb. 22, 2019, D.C. Law 22-223, § 2, 66 DCR 185; Mar. 13, 2019, D.C. Law 22-248, § 2(e), 66 DCR 973.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2523.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3502.05, § 42-3502.08, and § 42-3502.16.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-145, in the lead-in language to subsec. (a), substituted “the amount of rent charged may, at the election of the housing provider, be increased:” for “the rent ceiling may, at the election of the housing provider, be adjusted to either:”; in par. (a)(1), substituted “(1) By 10% of the current allowable amount of rent charged for the vacant unit; or” for “(1) The rent ceiling which would otherwise be applicable to a rental unit under this chapter plus 12% of the ceiling once per 12-month period; or”; in par. (a)(2), substituted “(2) To the amount of rent charged for a substantially identical rental unit in the same housing accommodation; provided, that the increase shall not exceed 30% of the current lawful amount of rent charged for the vacant unit” for “(2) The rent ceiling of a substantially identical rental unit in the same housing accommodation”; and added subsec. (d).

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.

Applicability

Section 4 of D.C. Law 22-248 provided that the repeal of subsection (d) of this section shall apply on the later of the applicability date of the Vacancy Increase Reform Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Law 22-223) [to be determined], or the effective date of this act [March 13, 2019]. D.C. Law 22-223 is not yet funded, therefore the repeal of subsection (d) of this section has not been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-223: § 3 of D.C. Law 22-223 provided that the change made to this section by § 2 of D.C. Law 22-223 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 days) amendment of this section, see § 2282(e) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2282(e) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(f) of Rent Control Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-470, July 31, 2006, 53 DCR 6772).

Editor's Notes

Section 3 of D.C. Law 22-248 provided that within 180 days after the effective date of D.C. Law 22-248, the Rental Housing Commission, pursuant to Title I of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act, approved October 21, 1968 (82 Stat. 1204; D.C. Official Code § 2-501 et seq.), shall issue rules to implement the provisions of D.C. Law 22-248, including revisions necessary to update relevant housing provider reporting forms according to the requirements of D.C. Law 22-248.


§ 42–3502.14. Substantial rehabilitation.

(a) If the Rent Administrator determines that (1) a rental unit is to be substantially rehabilitated, and (2) the rehabilitation is in the interest of the tenants of the unit and the housing accommodation in which the unit is located, the Rent Administrator may approve, contingent upon completion of the substantial rehabilitation, an increase in the rent charged for the rental unit, if the rent increase is no greater than the equivalent of 125% of the rent charged applicable to the rental unit prior to substantial rehabilitation.

(b) In determining whether a housing unit is to be substantially rehabilitated, the Rent Administrator shall examine the plans, specifications, and projected costs for the rehabilitation, which shall be made available to the Rent Administrator by the housing provider of the rental unit or housing accommodation to be rehabilitated.

(c) In determining whether substantial rehabilitation of a housing accommodation is in keeping with the interest of the tenants, the Rent Administrator shall consider, among other relevant factors:

(1) The impact of the rehabilitation on the tenants of the unit or housing accommodation; and

(2) The existing condition of the rental unit or housing accommodation and the degree to which any violations of the housing regulations in the rental unit or housing accommodation constitute an impairment of the health, welfare, and safety of the tenants.

(d) This section shall apply to the following:

(1) Any rental unit with respect to which a housing provider has notified the tenant, after July 17, 1985, of an intent to substantially rehabilitate; and

(2) Any rental unit with respect to which, before July 17, 1985:

(A) The housing provider has notified the tenant of the intended substantial rehabilitation; and

(B) All the tenants have left.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 214, 32 DCR 3089; Aug. 5, 2006, D.C. Law 16-145, § 2(a), 53 DCR 4889.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2524.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3502.08, § 42-3502.16, and § 42-3505.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-145, in subsec. (a), substituted “rent charged” for “rent ceiling”.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of Rent Control Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-470, July 31, 2006, 53 DCR 6772).


§ 42–3502.15. Voluntary agreement.

(a) Seventy percent or more of the tenants of a housing accommodation may enter into a voluntary agreement with the housing provider:

(1) To establish the rent charged;

(2) To alter levels of related services and facilities; and

(3) To provide for capital improvements and the elimination of deferred maintenance (ordinary repair).

(b) The voluntary agreement must be filed with the Rent Administrator and shall include the signature of each tenant, the number of each tenant’s rental unit or apartment, the specific amount of increased rent each tenant will pay, if applicable, and a statement that the agreement was entered into voluntarily without any form of coercion on the part of the housing provider. If approved by the Rent Administrator the agreement shall be binding on the housing provider and on all tenants, except as specified in § 42-3502.24(i)(2).

(c) Where the agreement filed with the Rent Administrator is to have the rent charged for all rental units in the housing accommodation adjusted by a specified percentage, the Rent Administrator shall immediately certify approval of the increase.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 215, 32 DCR 3089; Aug. 5, 2006, D.C. Law 16-145, § 2(a), 53 DCR 4889; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-239, § 3(e), 64 DCR 1588.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2525.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3502.08.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-145, in par. (a)(1) and subsec. (c), substituted “rent charged” for “rent ceiling”.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of Rent Control Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-470, July 31, 2006, 53 DCR 6772).


§ 42–3502.16. Adjustment procedure.

(a) The Rent Administrator shall consider adjustments allowed by §§ 42-3502.10, 42-3502.11, 42-3502.12, 42-3502.13, and 42-3502.14 or a challenge to a § 42-3502.06 adjustment, upon a petition filed by the housing provider or tenant. The petition shall be filed with the Rent Administrator on a form provided by the Rent Administrator containing the information the Rent Administrator or the Rental Housing Commission may require. The Rent Administrator shall issue a decision and an order approving or denying, in whole or in part, each petition within 120 days after the petition is filed with the Rent Administrator. The time may be extended only by written agreement between the housing provider and tenant of the rental unit.

(b) Immediately upon receipt of the petition, the Rent Administrator shall notify the nonpetitioning party, housing provider or tenant, by first-class mail, of the right of either party to make, within 15 days after the receipt of the notice, a written request for a hearing on the petition. The Rent Administrator may deny the petition if the issue is moot or the petition does not comply with subsection (a) of this section.

(c) If a hearing is requested timely by either party, notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be furnished the parties by first-class mail at least 15 days before the commencement of the hearing. The notice shall inform each of the parties of the party’s right to retain legal counsel to represent the party at the hearing.

(d) Each housing provider of any rental unit with respect to which a petition is filed or initiated under this section shall submit to the Rent Administrator, within 15 days after a demand is made, an information statement, on a form approved by the Rent Administrator, containing the information the Rent Administrator or the Rental Housing Commission may require.

(e) The Rent Administrator may consolidate petitions and hearings relating to rental units in the same housing accommodation.

(f) The Rent Administrator may, without holding a hearing, refuse to adjust the rent charged for any rental unit, and may dismiss any petition for adjustment, if a final decision has been made on a petition filed under this section, the Rental Accommodations Act of 1975, the Rental Housing Act of 1977, or the Rental Housing Act of 1980 for adjustment to the same rental units within the 6 months immediately preceding the filing of the pending petition.

(g) All petitions filed under this section, all hearings held relating to the petitions, and all appeals taken from decisions of the Rent Administrator shall be considered and held according to the provisions of this section and title I of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act. In the case of any direct, irreconcilable conflict between the provisions of this section and the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act, the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act shall prevail.

(h) Decisions of the Rent Administrator shall be made on the record relating to any petition filed with the Rent Administrator. An appeal from any decision of the Rent Administrator may be taken by the aggrieved party to the Rental Housing Commission within 10 days after the decision of the Rent Administrator, or the Rental Housing Commission may review a decision of the Rent Administrator on its own initiative. The Rental Housing Commission may reverse, in whole or in part, any decision of the Rent Administrator which it finds to be arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, not in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, or unsupported by substantial evidence on the record of the proceedings before the Rent Administrator, or it may affirm, in whole or in part, the Rent Administrator’s decision. The Rental Housing Commission shall issue a decision with respect to an appeal within 30 days after the appeal is filed.

(i) No increase in rent allowed under this chapter shall be implemented unless the tenant concerned has been given written notice under § 42-3509.04.

(j) A copy of any decision made by the Rent Administrator, or by the Rental Housing Commission under this section shall be mailed by first-class mail to the parties.

(k) The Rent Administrator and, where applicable, the Rental Housing Commission shall accord priority to a housing provider hardship petition covering a housing accommodation for which the federal government is entitled to approve rent increases, where the processing of such a petition has not begun within 45 days immediately following the filing of the petition. Processing of the petitions shall begin no later than 5 days after receipt by the Rent Administrator of written requests from the housing provider and from the federal agency.

(l) No rent increase above that authorized by the Rent Administrator may be implemented by a housing provider during the pendency of an appeal by that housing provider to the Rental Housing Commission or the District of Columbia Court of Appeals where the appeal concerns the validity of that increase.

(m) The service of any document in a proceeding under this section, including a petition, hearing notice, and decision, shall be accompanied by a certificate of service specifying, at a minimum:

(1) The person served;

(2) The date served and by whom; and

(3) The manner of service.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 216, 32 DCR 3089; Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-192, §§ 13(e), (f), 33 DCR 7836; Aug. 5, 2006, D.C. Law 16-145, § 2(a), 53 DCR 4889; Mar. 3, 2010, D.C. Law 18-111, § 3031, 57 DCR 181.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2526.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3502.06, § 42-3502.08, and § 42-3502.12.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-145, in subsec. (f), substituted “rent charged” for “rent ceiling”.

D.C. Law 18-111, in subsec. (b), substituted “by first-class mail” for “by certified mail or other form of service which assures delivery of the petition”; in subsec. (c), substituted “by first-class mail” for “by certified mail or other form of service which assures delivery”; in subsec. (j), substituted “by first-class mail” for “by certified mail or other form of service which assures delivery of the decision”; and added subsec. (m).

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of Rent Control Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-470, July 31, 2006, 53 DCR 6772).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3011 of Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-187, August 26, 2009, 56 DCR 7374).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3031 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 § 3031 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 3030 of D.C. Law 18-111 provided that subtitle D of title III of the act may be cited as the “Office of Administrative Hearings Mailing Certification Amendment Act of 2009”.

References in Text

The “District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act,” referred to in subsection (g), is Chapter 5 of Title 2. Title I of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act is subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2.


§ 42–3502.16a. Tenant representation by tenant organization.

(a) A tenant organization shall have standing to assert a claim in its name on behalf of one or more of its members in any petition filed pursuant to this chapter, or under Chapters 39 or 40 of Title 14 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, whether initiated by or against a housing provider; provided, that:

(1) One or more members of the tenant organization have standing to assert a claim in their own right;

(2) One or more members of the tenant organization have provided the tenant organization with written authorization for it to represent that member in the proceeding governing the petition; and

(3) Neither the claim asserted nor the relief requested requires the participation of the member.

(b) Where the provisions of subsection (a) of this section have been satisfied, the tenant organization shall be granted party status and have its name placed in the caption of the proceeding.

(c) No further inquiry into the membership of the association shall be permitted.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 216a; as added Sept. 24, 2010, D.C. Law 18-226, § 2, 57 DCR 6920.)


§ 42–3502.17. Security deposit.

(a) No person shall demand or receive a security deposit from any tenant for a rental unit occupied by the tenant upon July 17, 1985, where no security deposit had been demanded or received of the tenant for the rental unit before July 17, 1985, but this provision shall not prevent the collection of security deposits for newly constructed units or units exempted under § 42-3502.05(a)(4) and (7). Security deposits shall be collected pursuant to the Security Deposit Act, effective February 20, 1976 (D.C. Law 1-48; 14 DCMR 308 et seq.).

(b) The Office of Administrative Hearings may adjudicate complaints for the non-return of tenant security deposits and for the nonpayment of interest on tenant security deposits pursuant to section 2908 of the Housing Regulations of the District of Columbia (14 DCMR §§ 308 through 311).

(c)(1) No housing provider shall withhold a security deposit for the replacement value of apartment items that are damaged due to ordinary wear and tear.

(2) A covenant or promise by a tenant to leave, restore, surrender, or yield a leased premises in good repair does not obligate the tenant to make substantial repairs, replace obsolete materials, or fix other defects without negligence or fault on the tenant's part.

(3) For the purposes of this subsection, the term "ordinary wear and tear" means deterioration that results from the intended use of a dwelling unit, including breakage or malfunction due to age or deteriorated condition. The term "ordinary wear and tear" does not include deterioration that results from negligence, carelessness, accident, or abuse of the unit, fixtures, equipment, or other tangible personal property by the tenant, immediate family member, or a guest.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 217, 32 DCR 3089; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-276, § 3, 54 DCR 889; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-366, § 2(h), 56 DCR 1332; June 7, 2012, D.C. Law 19-140, § 2, 59 DCR 2879; Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-210, § 2(c), 63 DCR 15302.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2527.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3502.05.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-276 designated existing text as subsec. (a) and inserted subsec. (b).

D.C. Law 17-366, in subsec. (b), inserted “and for the nonpayment of interest on tenant security deposits” following “tenant security deposits”.

D.C. Law 19-140, in subsec. (b), substituted “complaints for the non-return of” for “complaints for the nonpayment of interest on”.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.

Editor's Notes

For Law 17-366, see notes following § 42-3401.03.


§ 42–3502.18. Remedy.

The Rental Housing Commission, Rent Administrator, or any affected housing provider or tenant may commence a civil action in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to enforce any rule or decision issued under this chapter.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 218, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2528.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.


§ 42–3502.19. Judicial review.

Any person or class of persons aggrieved by a decision of the Rental Housing Commission, or by any failure on the part of the Rental Housing Commission or Rent Administrator to act within any time certain mandated by this chapter, may seek judicial review of the decision or an order compelling the decision by filing a petition for review in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 219, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2529.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3501.03.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.


§ 42–3502.20. Report of Mayor.

(a) No later than October 1, 1988, the Mayor shall report to the Council on the continued need for the rent stabilization program.

(b) The report shall be prepared by a person not affiliated with the District government and shall contain:

(1) The number of new and renovated units which have been placed on the rental housing market since July 17, 1985;

(2) The number of new and renovated units it is anticipated will be placed on the rental housing market annually until 1996;

(3) An assessment of the effectiveness of the Tenant Assistance Program; the adequacy of monies appropriated for the program; and the projected costs of the Tenant Assistance Program in the absence of rent stabilization legislation;

(4) The impact of the rent stabilization program on the cost and supply of rental housing;

(5) An assessment of the present rent stabilization program in terms of its being understandable, efficient, inexpensive, equitable, and flexible;

(6) The impact of the present rent stabilization program upon small housing providers compared to large housing providers;

(7) The number of District residents living in substandard housing and their locations;

(8) An assessment of the impact of the proposed civil infractions law on housing code violations, if the law is enacted in a timely manner;

(9) An assessment of the probable impact on the private rental housing market and the present rent stabilization program of the following individual or combination of factors:

(A) Vacancy decontrol;

(B) Luxury decontrol;

(C) Increasing from 4 units to 10 units the maximum rental units exemption under § 42-3502.05(a)(3); and

(D) Tying the rent stabilization program to the amount of family income available for rent; and

(10) Any other information considered appropriate by the drafters of the report.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 220, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2529.1.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3502.01.

References in Text

The “proposed civil infractions law,” referred to in paragraph (b)(8), was enacted as D.C. Law 6-42.


§ 42–3502.21. Certificate of assurance.

(a) Upon the issuance of any building permit for a housing accommodation to which § 42-3502.05(a)(2) or (4) applies after July 17, 1985, the Mayor shall at the request of the recipient of the building permit issue to the recipient thereof concurrently with the building permit a certificate of assurance containing the terms set forth in this section. Within 30 days of written request of the owner of any housing accommodation to which § 42-3502.05(a)(2) or (4) applies, the Mayor shall issue to the owner a certificate of assurance containing the terms set forth in this section.

(b) The certificate of assurance shall provide that in the event that any rental unit in any housing accommodation then existing or thereafter constructed on the property covered by the certificate is ever made subject to §§ 42-3502.05(f) through 42-3502.19, or any future District of Columbia law limiting the amount of rent which a housing provider can lawfully demand or receive from a tenant, the owner of the property shall have the right to recover annually from the District of Columbia for so long as the property is used as a housing accommodation, in accordance with subsection (c) of this section, the difference between the annual fair market rental amount and the annual amount of rent that the owner of the property actually receives from the tenants in the housing accommodation. The certificate of assurance shall be executed by the Mayor and the recipient and shall obligate the recipient to use the recipient’s best efforts to construct a housing accommodation as expeditiously as possible on the property which is the subject thereof if there does not then exist a housing accommodation on the property. Each certificate of assurance shall provide that it shall become null and void in the event that a housing accommodation is not constructed on the property within 5 years of the issuance thereof and shall contain the definitions set forth in § 42-3501.03(1) and (3). The certificate of assurance shall be an irrevocable agreement in recordable form and constitute a covenant running with the land. The Mayor shall review the proposed form of the certificate of assurance with Council’s Committee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs prior to its first use to ensure that the form will be legal, valid and enforceable, contain the terms provided for herein, and otherwise further its intended purpose of stimulating the addition of rental units to the District’s housing stock.

(c) The certificate of assurance shall provide that for so long as the property is used as a housing accommodation and is subject to §§ 42-3502.05(f) through 42-3502.19, or any future District of Columbia law limiting the amount of rent which a housing provider can lawfully demand or receive from a tenant, the annual difference between the annual fair market rental amount and the annual amount of rent that the owner of the property actually receives from the tenants in the housing accommodation shall be recoverable by the owner of the property by (1) taking a credit against any present or future District of Columbia real estate taxes payable by the owner of the property whether on the housing accommodation or other property located in the District of Columbia, or (2) seeking specific performances of the certificate of assurance against the District of Columbia, or damages for the breach thereof, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. If the Mayor considers the credit to be in excess of the amount the owner of the property is entitled to take as a credit hereunder, the Mayor shall notify the owner in writing of the amount of excess credit. If the Mayor and the owner of the property are unable to agree on the amount of the credit, the Mayor shall have the right to sue the owner in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to recover any excess credit together with interest thereon at the rate of 18% per year from the date that the Mayor filed to recover such excess credit. Notwithstanding any other provision of District of Columbia law, the Mayor shall have no resort to any other remedy for nonpayment of real estate taxes (to the extent such nonpayment arises from a credit claimed hereunder) until a final judgment is rendered in favor of the Mayor in Superior Court of the District of Columbia.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 221, 32 DCR 3089; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-255, § 51(c), 44 DCR 1271.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2529.2.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3501.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) additions, see § 2(g) of Rent Control Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-470, July 31,


§ 42–3502.22. Disclosure to tenants.

(a) At the written request of a tenant not more than one time each calendar year, a housing provider shall, within 10 business days on a form provided by the Rent Administrator (or in another suitable format until a form is published), provide the amount of each increase in the amount of rent charged for the tenant’s rental unit during the preceding 3 years on which the current rent charged is based, including the basis for each increase and, if applicable, the identification of any substantially identical rental unit on which a vacancy increase was based.

(b)(1) At the time a prospective tenant files an application to lease any rental unit, the housing provider shall provide on a disclosure form published by the Rent Administrator (or in another suitable format until a form is published) together with any documents corresponding to each item of information:

(A) The applicable rent for the rental unit;

(B) Any tenant petition or petition filed by the housing provider which is pending that could affect the rental unit, including petitions for further rent increases during the following 12 months;

(C) Any surcharges on rent for the rental unit, including capital improvement surcharges and the expiration date of those surcharges;

(D) The frequency with which rent increases for the rental unit may be implemented;

(E) The rent-controlled or exempt status of the housing accommodation, its business license, and a copy of the registration or claim of exemption together with the most recent notice filed pursuant to § 42-3502.05(g)(1)(C);

(F) All copies of housing code and property maintenance code violation reports issued by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs for the housing accommodation or rental unit within the last 12 months, or previously issued reports for violations which have but not been abated;

(G) A pamphlet published by the Rent Administrator that explains in detail using lay terminology the laws and regulations governing the implementation of rent increases and petitions permitted to be filed by housing providers and by tenants;

(H)(i) The amount of any nonrefundable application fee; and

(ii) The amount of any initial security deposit, the interest rate on the security deposit, and the means by which the security deposit is returned to the tenant when the tenant vacates the unit;

(I) Whether the housing accommodation is registered as, or in the process of converting to, a condominium or cooperative or a use that is not a housing accommodation;

(J) The disclosure of ownership information in the registration form required by § 42-3502.05(f) and (g)(1)(C);

(K) Information known or that should have been known about the presence of indoor mold contamination as defined in § 8-241.01(5) in the rental unit or common areas in the previous 3 years, unless the mold has been remediated by an indoor mold remediation professional certified and licensed by the District; and

(L) A Tenant Bill of Rights published by the Office of the Tenant Advocate pursuant to § 42-3531.07(8).

(1A) The requirement in paragraph (1)(L) of this subsection shall apply to an application for a residential rental unit submitted 90 days after a Tenant Bill of Rights is noticed in the District of Columbia Register.

(2) The housing provider shall:

(A) Maintain in a publicly accessible area of the housing accommodation (such as a reception desk or management office) a compilation of disclosure forms and documents for each rental unit in the housing accommodation containing the information required by paragraph (1) of this section;

(B) Update the compilation within 30 days of any change in such information;

(C) Give written notice to each tenant of the housing accommodation, on a form published by the Rent Administrator (or in another suitable format until a form is published), that the disclosure forms and documents for the tenant’s rental unit are available for inspection, which shall include the location of the disclosure forms in the housing accommodation and a table of contents enumerating the categories of information contained in the compilation required by paragraph (1) of this section;

(D) Make available for the tenant’s inspection the disclosure forms and the documents for the tenant’s rental unit; and

(E) Within 10 business days after written request by any tenant once per year, provide to the tenant without charge a copy of the disclosure form and such documents for the tenant’s rental unit.

(c) The rent for any rental unit shall not be increased if the housing provider:

(1) Willfully violates the provisions of this section; or

(2) Fails to comply within 10 business days of written notice of any failure to comply with the provisions of this section.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 222; as added Aug. 5, 2006, D.C. Law 16-145, § 2(g), 53 DCR 4889; Sept. 9, 2014, D.C. Law 20-135, § 301, 61 DCR 6767; Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-147, § 3, 61 DCR 8310.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-135 added “and property maintenance code” in (b)(1)(F); made a minor stylistic change in (b)(1)(J); and added (b)(1)(K).

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-147 added the subsection designated herein as (b)(1)(L) and made related changes; and added (b)(1A).


§ 42–3502.22a. Forms to include definition of the term rent charged.

The definition of the term "rent charged" shall be included on all Rental Accommodations Division forms that include the term.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 222a; as added Mar. 13, 2019, D.C. Law 22-248, § 2(f), 66 DCR 973.)

Editor's Notes

Section 3 of D.C. Law 22-248 provided that within 180 days after the effective date of D.C. Law 22-248, the Rental Housing Commission, pursuant to Title I of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act, approved October 21, 1968 (82 Stat. 1204; D.C. Official Code § 2-501 et seq.), shall issue rules to implement the provisions of D.C. Law 22-248, including revisions necessary to update relevant housing provider reporting forms according to the requirements of D.C. Law 22-248.


§ 42–3502.23. Addition to Comprehensive Housing Strategy report.

The Mayor shall include in the reports to the Council pursuant to § 6-1054, analyses of the need, means, and methods of further assisting income qualified elderly tenants, tenants with disabilities, teachers of the District of Columbia Public Schools or a District of Columbia Public Charter School, and low-income tenants to pay their rent. The report shall consider:

(1) The income and any other criteria that shall be used to determine which tenants qualify for the program;

(2) The rent that qualified households shall pay;

(3) The number and the allocation of units to be included in any set-aside;

(4) The extent to which the program should incorporate any District affordable housing program and any federal affordable housing program available in the District;

(5) The reporting requirements which should be imposed on housing providers subject to this subchapter and on qualified tenants to ensure that the program is effective.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 223; as added Aug. 5, 2006, D.C. Law 16-145, § 2(g), 53 DCR 4889; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-239, § 3(f), 64 DCR 1588.)

Cross References

Homestead housing preservation, “low-income persons” defined, see § 42-2103.

Housing Finance Agency, assisted housing projects, eligibility for rent supplements, see § 42-2703.08.


§ 42–3502.24. Elderly tenants and tenants with disabilities.

(a) Notwithstanding § 42-3502.08(h), an adjustment in the amount of rent charged while a unit is occupied by an elderly tenant or tenant with a disability, without regard to income, shall not exceed the rent charged for the unit, plus the least of:

(1) The adjustment of general applicability;

(2) The most recent annual cost-of-living adjustment of benefits for social security recipients established pursuant to section 415(i) of the Social Security Act, approved August 28, 1950 (64 Stat. 506; 42 U.S.C. § 415(i)); or

(3) Five percent of the rent charged.

(b) A rent surcharge allowed pursuant to §§ 42-3502.10, 42-3502.12, and 42-3502.14 and a rent increase allowed pursuant to § 42-3502.11, shall not be assessed against a current or future elderly tenant or tenant with a disability with a qualifying income. For the purposes of calculating the rent charged a future qualified elderly tenant or tenant with a disability, adjustments in the rent charged pursuant to these sections effected during the tenancy of a tenant not exempt from the adjustments, shall be considered rent surcharges, and shall be subtracted from the rent charged for the unit.

(c) A tenant exempt from § 42-3502.11 and a tenant whose rent charged may not be increased under § 42-3502.15 may waive his or her rights under the respective sections. The waiver shall be in writing and shall state that it was made voluntarily, without coercion, and with full knowledge of the ramifications of a waiver of their rights.

(d)(1) A tenant may file a completed elderly or disability status and income eligibility registration form and supporting documentation by mail, fax, email, or in person at the Rental Accommodations Division of the Department of Housing and Community Development.

(2) The Mayor shall determine the minimum documentation necessary for a tenant to establish elderly tenant or tenant with a disability status and income eligibility, which may include:

(A) For elderly status, proof of age as documented by a passport, birth certificate, District-issued driver's license or identification card, or any other documentation as the Mayor deems sufficient; and

(B) For disability status, an award letter for disability benefits from the U.S. Social Security Administration, a letter from a physician stating that the tenant is a tenant with a disability, or other documentation as the Mayor may deem sufficient.

(3) In making a determination that a tenant qualifies as a tenant with a disability under this subsection, the Mayor shall limit the inquiry to the minimum information and documentation necessary to establish that the tenant meets the definition of a tenant with a disability and shall not inquire further into the nature or severity of the disability.

(4) The Mayor shall not require a tenant to provide a description of the disability when making an eligibility determination; provided, that the Mayor shall require that a physician or other licensed healthcare professional verify that a tenant meets the definition of a tenant with a disability.

(5) The Mayor shall not require the tenant to provide eligibility documentation in fewer than 30 days.

(6) The Mayor shall maintain records of the information compiled under this subsection and shall not disclose information about a tenant's disability unless the disclosure is required by law.

(7) The Mayor shall develop any forms and procedures as may be necessary to verify eligibility under this subsection.

(8) A tenant shall provide pay stubs, benefit statements, or other documentation as the Mayor may deem sufficient as proof of income eligibility to qualify for an exemption from an adjustment in the rent charged pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(9) A housing provider shall, upon the request of a tenant, provide the tenant with a current copy of the registration form issued by the Rent Administrator for purposes of establishing elderly tenant or tenant with a disability status, or qualifying income status.

(e)(1) A tenant's elderly or disability status shall be effective as of the first day of the first month following compliance with this subsection and shall remain effective unless and until any time the Rent Administrator may deny the registration.

(2) If the effective date of the tenant's elderly or disability status occurs less than 12 months after the effective date of a rent adjustment of general applicability, the housing provider shall reduce the rent charged to the rent for a unit occupied by an elderly tenant or a tenant with a disability pursuant to subsection (a) of this section,as of the effective date of the tenant's elderly or disability status.

(3) An elderly tenant or tenant with a disability shall not be entitled to receive a retroactive refund for an approved registration for a time period where the tenant was qualified as an elderly tenant or a tenant with a disability, but had not yet fulfilled the requirements of this section.

(f) The Rent Administrator shall issue a notice of rent adjustment that shall set forth:

(1) The maximum standard rent increase percentage that applies to elderly tenants and tenants with disabilities, in bold 12-point lettering;

(2) The benefits and protections that apply to elderly tenants and tenants with disabilities; and

(3) The standards and procedures for qualifying for those benefits and protections.

(g)(1) A housing provider who provides housing to an elderly tenant or tenant with a disability, with qualifying income, and is not permitted under subsection (b) of this subsection to implement, and does not implement, an adjustment in rent charged pursuant to § 42-3502.10, § 42-3502.11, § 42-3502.12, or § 42-3502.14, shall receive a tax credit for each unit occupied by an elderly tenant or a tenant with a disability, with qualifying income, in the amount of $1 for each $1 of theapproved rent adjustment that is not implemented.

(2) The tax credit may be taken against the next installment or installments of taxes payable to the District coming due with respect to the housing accommodation, inclusive of the land on which it is located.

(3)(A)(i) The tax credit shall first be taken against real property taxes payable to the District.

(ii) The Rent Administrator shall certify to the Office of Tax and Revenue the amount of credit allowable for each housing provider and parcel of real property for each real property tax year.

(iii) The total amount of credit certified by the Rent Administrator for any tax year shall not exceed the maximum amount of credit allowable for the year under paragraph (6) of this subsection.

(B) If the amount that would be collectible from elderly tenants and tenants with disabilities at the housing accommodation exceeds the amount of real property taxes that would be payable during the real property tax year with respect to the housing accommodation but for the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, then the housing provider may take the tax credit against income or franchise taxes payable to the District for the housing provider's tax year during which the real property tax year ends.

(4) The tax credit shall cease:

(A) Upon recovery by the housing provider of all costs, including interest and service charges, used as a basis for a capital improvement petition or a substantial rehabilitation petition; or

(B) Upon any expiration of a hardship petition granted to the housing provider.

(5) If an elderly tenant or tenant with a disability, with qualifying income, should cease to reside in a rental unit, the tax credit allowed to the housing provider for that rental unit shall cease.

(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the total combined tax credits claimed by all housing providers under this section for any fiscal year shall not exceed $1.25 million.

(7) The maximum total combined tax credits claimed by all housing providers under this section for any fiscal year shall be adjusted annually by an amount equal to the change during the previous calendar year, ending each December 31, in the Washington, D.C., Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers ("CPI-W") for all items during the preceding calendar year.

(8) The base year for the annual adjustment specified in paragraph (7) of this subsection shall be the year 2017. The annual adjustment shall occur at least 12 months after April 7, 2017, on the following October 1. The annual adjustment shall be in accordance with the CPI-W effective as of the October 1 of each subsequent year.

(9) Notwithstanding subsection (b) of this section, if the Chief Financial Officer finds that funds are not available for the tax credit provided by this subsection, then a housing provider may assess against an elderly tenant or tenant with a disability a rent surcharge allowed pursuant to §§ 42-3502.10, 42-3502.12, and 42-3502.14, and a rent increase allowed pursuant to § 42-3502.11.

(h)(1) A housing provider shall not increase the rent charged in an amount greater than that allowed for a unit occupied by an elderly tenant or a tenant with a disability pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, unless the Rent Administrator has issued a determination that the tenant failed to qualify for elderly or disability status, pursuant to this subsection.

(2) If the housing provider has substantial grounds to believe that the tenant does not qualify for elderly or disability status, or that relevant documentation is fraudulent or has been falsified, and if efforts to resolve the dispute directly with the tenant are unavailing, then the housing provider may challenge the tenant's registration by:

(A) Notifying the tenant of the basis for the challenge; and

(B) Filing a request to deny the registration with the Rent Administrator, within 30 days of the tenant's compliance with subsection (d) of this section.

(3)(A) If the Rent Administrator has substantial grounds to believe that the tenant does not qualify for elderly or disability status, and that relevant documentation is fraudulent or has been falsified, then within 30 days of the tenant's compliance with subsection (d) of this section, the Rent Administrator may deny the tenant's registration.

(B) The Rent Administrator shall deny a tenant's registration only upon clear and convincing evidence of error, fraud, falsification, or misrepresentation, and only if the tenant has been given the opportunity to respond to the challenge to the registration by the housing provider or to the denial of the registration by the Rent Administrator.

(C) If the Rent Administrator denies a tenant's registration, and determines that the tenant acted in bad faith rather than due to unintentional error, then within 21 days of the denial, the Rent Administrator may order the tenant to pay to the housing provider double the difference between the amount of rent to be charged pursuant to § 42-3502.08(h) and the amount of rent actually paid, with interest.

(i)(1) A voluntary agreement shall not increase the rent charged to a current or future elderly tenant or tenant with a disability with a qualifying income.

(2) For the purposes of calculating the rent charged a future qualified elderly tenant or tenant with a disability, an increase in the rent charged pursuant to a voluntary agreement effected during the tenancy of a tenant not exempt from the increase, shall be considered a rent surcharge, and shall be subtracted from the rent charge of the unit during the tenancy of the qualified elderly tenant or tenant with a disability.

(3) The voluntary agreement shall identify each rental unit that is occupied by an elderly tenant or a tenant with a disability, the name of each tenant in the unit, and the current rent charged.

(j) The Mayor may determine the term of eligibility and recertification requirements for the exemptions provided by this section.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 224; as added Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-239, § 3(g), 64 DCR 1588.)

Applicability

Section 7017 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed section 4 of D.C. Law 21-239. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 21-239 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-239: § 4 of D.C. Law 21-239 provided that the creation of subsection (b) of this section by § 3(g) of D.C. Law 21-239 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 III. Tenant Assistance Program.

§ 42–3503.01. Definitions.

For the purpose of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Annual adjusted income” means income that remains after excluding:

(A) Four hundred eighty dollars ($480) for each member of the family residing in the household, other than the head of the household or spouse, who is under 18 years of age or who is 18 years of age or older and has a disability or is a full-time student; and

(B) Child care expenses to the extent necessary to enable another member of the family to be employed or to further the member’s education.

(2) “Certificate of eligibility” means a document issued by the Department declaring a family to be eligible for participation in the Tenant Assistance Program and stating the terms and conditions for the family’s participation.

(3) “Decent, safe, and sanitary housing” means housing which is in substantial compliance with the housing regulations, any other statute or regulation governing the condition of residential premises, and the requirements set forth in this subchapter.

(4) “Department” means the Department of Housing and Community Development, which is authorized to assist in the administration of the Tenant Assistance Program.

(5) “Eligible family” means an individual or a family residing and domiciled in the District which qualifies as a lower income family at the time it initially receives assistance under the Tenant Assistance Program.

(6) “Fair market rent” means the rent, and all maintenance, management, and other services which would be required to be paid in order to obtain privately owned, decent, safe, and sanitary rental housing of modest nonluxury nature with suitable amenities in the District. Fair market rents as established by the Department shall be published in the D.C. Register and shall vary for dwelling units of varying sizes and types, with differentials for new, rehabilitated, and existing units. For SRO housing the fair market rent shall be in a range from 75% to 100% of the 0-bedroom fair market rent.

(7) Repealed.

(8) “Lower-income family” means a household with a combined annual income in a manner to be determined by the Mayor, whose income does not exceed 80% of the median income for a family in the district, with adjustments for smaller and larger families. The Mayor may refer to income or consumer expenditure data of the United States Census Bureau or the United States Department of Labor to determine median income for the District or Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA).

(8A) “Person with a disability” means a person who has a medically determinable mental or physical impairment, including blindness, which prohibits and incapacitates 75% of that person’s ability to move about, to assist himself or herself, or to engage in an occupation.

(9) “Request for lease approval” means a standard form on which the eligible family and the housing provider jointly request the Department to approve a dwelling unit for purposes of tenant assistance. The form shall require the housing provider to state the number of bedrooms in the unit and to certify the most recent rent charged.

(10) “Residing and domiciled” describes a person who resides in the District, pays income tax in the District, whose automobile is registered in the District, and, if a registered voter, votes in the District.

(11) Repealed.

(12) “Tenant assistance contract” means a written contract between the Department and a housing provider, in the form prescribed by the Mayor, in which the Department agrees to make tenant assistance payments to the housing provider (A) on behalf of a specific eligible family; or (B) for specific units to be held for and leased to families eligible for tenant assistance for the duration of the contract.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 301, 32 DCR 3089; Oct. 2, 1987, D.C. Law 7-30, § 3(a), (b), 34 DCR 5304; Mar. 17, 1993, D.C. Law 9-237, § 2(a), 40 DCR 617; Aug. 25, 1994, D.C. Law 10-155, § 2(b), 41 DCR 4873; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 67(c), 53 DCR 6198.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2531.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3501.03 and § 42-3503.05.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-305, in par. (1)(A), substituted “has a disability or is” for “is disabled, handicapped, or”; repealed par. (7), and added par. (8A). Prior to repeal par. (7), read as follows: “(7) ’Handicapped person’ means a person who has a medically determinable mental or physical impairment, including blindness, which prohibits and incapacitates 75% of that person’s ability to move about, to assist himself or herself, or to engage in an occupation.”

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a), (b) of Tenant Assistance Program Amendment Temporary Act of 1987 (D.C. Law 7-48, December 10, 1987, law notification 34 DCR 8107).


§ 42–3503.02. Establishment of Tenant Assistance Program; designation of monies.

(a) For the purpose of aiding lower-income families in obtaining a decent place to live, the Mayor shall formulate and administer a Tenant Assistance Program as provided in this subchapter.

(b) There is authorized to be appropriated at least $15 million for fiscal year 1987 with annual increases in the following fiscal years based upon need and the availability of revenues. Appropriations for the Tenant Assistance Program shall be classified and maintained as a proprietary fund and shall remain available until expended, without regard to fiscal year limitations. No money appropriated for the Tenant Assistance Program shall be expended for any purpose other than making tenant assistance payments and, when necessary, repayable advances for security deposits in accordance with this subchapter.

(c) If in any fiscal year the Mayor finds that tenant assistance payments will exceed available appropriations, the Mayor shall transmit to the Council proposed adjustments to eligibility criteria, income guidelines, or supplement payments to reduce payments under this subchapter to an amount not in excess of available appropriations.

(d) The Mayor is authorized to expend the annual appropriations provided by this section in the following manner:

(1)(A) The Mayor may enter into long-term tenant assistance contracts with housing providers. Payments obligated by long-term contracts may be made on an annual basis during the period of each contract from the annual appropriations for the Tenant Assistance Program. Each contract entered into pursuant to this paragraph shall obligate the housing provider, on an annual basis, for the duration of the contract to offer for lease and to lease a fixed number of rental units, which shall be specified in the contract, to families receiving tenant assistance, regardless of whether the same family leases the same unit throughout the contract period. Each contract shall obligate the Mayor to make tenant assistance payments to the housing provider for the duration of the contract in accordance with the terms of the contract and the requirements of this subchapter as long as the housing is in substantial compliance with the housing regulations. The contractual obligation of the Mayor shall be backed by the full faith and credit of the District to the same extent that applies to District contracts generally.

(B) In the case of contracts for rental units in existing housing accommodations, the length of the contract may be from 1 to 5 years. In the case of contracts for rental units in newly constructed or rehabilitated housing accommodations, the length of the contract may be from 1 to 15 years, with options to renew in 5-year increments.

(C) Consistent with the requirements of § 42-3508.04(d), distressed properties and new or rehabilitated vacant rental housing receiving assistance pursuant to subchapter VIII of this chapter shall have priority over other properties for the long-term contracts authorized by this paragraph.

(2) Repealed.

(3) The Mayor may expend funds from the annual appropriation to assist eligible families with a current valid lease of a rental unit that qualifies according to the provisions of this chapter. The Department shall announce the availability of the assistance authorized by this paragraph through notice to the District of Columbia Office on Aging, other relevant District agencies, and private organizations representing senior citizens or tenants in general.

(4) The Mayor shall not, by rule or otherwise, establish any set-aside procedure or allocate any fixed portion of Tenant Assistance Program funds or applications to be approved for any specific category of eligible families or any specific type of tenant assistance contract authorized by this subchapter.

(e) The Mayor shall issue rules consistent with this subchapter for the effective and efficient administration of the Tenant Assistance Program. The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, in whole or in part, by resolution within this 45-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved. Nothing in this subsection shall affect any requirements imposed upon the Mayor by subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 302, 32 DCR 3089; Oct. 2, 1987, D.C. Law 7-30, § 3(c)-(e), 34 DCR 5304; Mar. 17, 1993, D.C. Law 9-237, § 2(b), (c), 40 DCR 617.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2532.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3503.04.

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2(c)-(e) of Tenant Assistance Program Amendment Temporary Act of 1987 (D.C. Law 7-48, December 10, 1987, law notification 34 DCR 8107).

Transfer of Functions

The functions of the Department of Housing and Community Development relating to the Tenant Assistance Program were transferred to the Department of Public and Assisted Housing by Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1987, effective December 15, 1987.

Editor's Notes

Appropriations approved: Public Law 101-518, 104 Stat. 2227, the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1991, provided that up to $275,000 within the 15 percent set-aside for special programs within the Tenant Assistance Program shall be targeted for the single-room occupancy initiative.


§ 42–3503.03. Authorization to enter into contracts for tenant assistance payments; determination of eligibility; procedure upon determination of eligibility.

(a) The Mayor may enter into contracts to make rental assistance payments to housing providers of rental dwelling units on behalf of eligible families in accordance with this section. Unit A of Chapter 3 of Title 2 shall not apply to the contracts authorized by this subchapter.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the fair market rents applicable to the Tenant Assistance Program shall be the fair market rents established annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) for new construction and substantial rehabilitation in the Washington, D.C., market. The Department, by rule, may establish the fair market rents for units in sizes for which there is no fair market rent established by HUD. If the Department, after reviewing the fair market rents established by HUD for the Washington, D.C., market, determines that the amounts do not accurately reflect fair market rents in the District, the Department may, by rule, adjust the amounts. If the proposed fair market rents vary from the fair market rents established by HUD, the Department shall submit a resolution for approval of the proposed fair market rents to the Council of the District of Columbia (“Council”) for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed resolution, in whole or in part, within this 45-day review period, the proposed resolution shall be deemed approved.

(c) Applications to participate in the Tenant Assistance Program shall be submitted to the Department and shall be in a form designated by the Department. The Department shall be responsible for verifying the sources of the family’s income and gathering information necessary for determining eligibility and the amount of the assistance payment. Priority shall be given to the elderly, individuals with disabilities, single-parent households, and applicants who have completed any employment training course provided by any District agency.

(d) If an applicant is determined by the Department to be eligible and is selected for participation, the applicant shall be given a certificate of eligibility. At the same time, the family shall be given a certificate holder’s packet which contains a request for lease approval, a list of properties for rent, information concerning recently completed housing, if any, including the location, and other items the Department determines should be included. In addition, the Department shall provide a full explanation of the following to assist the family in finding a suitable rental unit and to apprise the family and the housing provider of their respective responsibilities:

(1) Family and housing provider responsibilities under the lease contract;

(2) The general locations and characteristics of the neighborhood in which units of suitable quality and price may be found;

(3) Applicable laws and housing standards;

(4) Significant aspects of applicable federal and District law, including fair housing law;

(5) The applicable fair market rent; and

(6) Information on how the Department computes the amount of the tenant assistance payment.

(e) Upon determination of eligibility the Department shall enter on each certificate the smallest unit-size appropriate for the eligible family consistent with the following criteria:

(1) The number of bedrooms indicated as appropriate shall not require more than 2 persons to occupy the same bedroom.

(2) The number of bedrooms indicated as appropriate shall not require persons of the opposite sex other than spouses, except for children under 12 years of age, to occupy the same bedroom.

(3) All single-person households shall be assigned a 0-bedroom unit if 0-bedroom units are available. Where there are no 0-bedroom units available, single-person households shall be assigned a 1-bedroom unit. A single, elderly person or single person with a disability planning to live with an unrelated person essential to his or her care may be assigned a 2-bedroom unit.

(f)(1) The Department shall maintain a system to assure that it will be able to honor all outstanding certificates of eligibility with its funding authorization.

(2) Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed as creating an entitlement to assistance payments in the absence of appropriations sufficient to fund this program.

(g)(1) The certificate of eligibility shall expire at the end of 90 days unless within that time the family submits a completed request for lease approval. If the certificate expires, or is about to expire, the family may submit the certificate to the Department with a request for an extension. The Department may grant 1 or more 60-day extensions to any family that continuously demonstrates good faith efforts to locate a suitable rental unit. Expiration of the certificate shall not preclude the family from filing a new application for another certificate.

(2) If an assisted family notifies the Department that it wishes to obtain another certificate of eligibility for the purpose of moving to another rental unit within the District, the Department shall issue another certificate or process a request for lease approval, unless the Department determines that the housing provider is entitled to payment under § 42-3503.04(d) on account of nonpayment of rent or other amount owed under the lease, and that the family has failed to satisfy any liability.

(h) Owners of rental accommodations in the District shall notify tenants of the existence of the Tenant Assistance Program and shall refer interested parties to the Department for further information.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 303, 32 DCR 3089; Oct. 2, 1987, D.C. Law 7-30, § 3(f)-(i), 34 DCR 5304; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 67(d), 53 DCR 6198; Sept. 12, 2008, D.C. Law 17-231, § 38, 55 DCR 6758.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2533.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3508.04.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-305, in subsec. (c), substituted “individuals with disabilities” for “the handicapped”; and, in subsec. (e)(3), substituted “A single, elderly person or single person with a disability” for “An elderly, handicapped, or disable single person”.

D.C. Law 17-231, in subsec. (e)(2), substituted “other than spouses” for “other than the husband and wife”.

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2(f)-(i) of Tenant Assistance Program Amendment Temporary Act of 1987 (D.C. Law 7-48, December 10, 1987, law notification 34 DCR 8107).

Short Title

Short title: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3501.01.


§ 42–3503.04. Tenant assistance payments.

(a) Basic formula. —

(1) The amount of the tenant assistance payment shall be the amount by which the actual rent or fair market rent applicable to the family, whichever is lower, exceeds 30% of the family’s monthly income. Where the head of household is an elderly tenant or tenant with a disability, the amount of the tenant assistance payment shall be the amount by which the actual rent or fair market rent, whichever is lower, exceeds 25% of the family’s monthly income. Monthly income is 1/12 of annual adjusted income. Annual income is the anticipated total income from all sources received by the family head and spouse, even if temporarily absent, and by each additional member of the family, including all net income derived from assets, for the 12-month period following the effective date of the Department’s initial determination or reexamination of income, exclusive of income that is temporary, nonrecurring, or sporadic such as irregular gifts, scholarships, inheritances, insurance payments, and capital gains. Annual income is also exclusive of income from employment of children, including foster children, under the age of 18 years; payments received for the care of foster children; the value of the allotment provided to an eligible household for coupons under the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. §§ 2011-2030); and payments or allowances made under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 (42 U.S.C. 8621 et seq.), and the District of Columbia Low Income Energy Assistance Program.

(2) Annual income includes, but is not limited to:

(A) The full amount, before any payroll deductions, of wages and salaries, overtime pay, commissions, fees, tips and bonuses, and other compensation for personal services;

(B) The net income from operation of a business or profession (for this purpose, expenditures for business expansion or amortization of capital indebtedness and an allowance for depreciation of capital assets shall not be deducted to determine the net income from a business);

(C) Interest, dividends, and other net income of any kind from real or personal property (for this purpose, expenditures for amortization of capital indebtedness and an allowance for depreciation of capital assets shall not be deducted to determine the net income from real or personal property). Where the family has net family assets in excess of $5,000, annual income shall include the greater of the actual income derived from all net family assets or a percentage of the value of the assets based on the current passbook savings rate as determined by the Department;

(D) The full amount of periodic payments received from Social Security annuities, insurance policies, retirement funds, pensions, disability or death benefits or other similar types of periodic receipts, including a lump-sum payment for the delayed start of a periodic payment;

(E) Welfare assistance;

(F) Payments in lieu of earnings, such as unemployment and disability compensation, worker’s compensation, and severance pay;

(G) Periodic and determinable allowances, such as alimony and child support payments, and regular contributions or gifts received from persons not residing in the rental unit;

(H) All regular pay, special pay, and allowances of a member of the armed forces, whether or not living in the rental unit, who is head of the family, spouse, or other person whose dependents are residing in the unit; and

(I) Any earned income tax credit to the extent it exceeds income tax liability.

(b) Applicable fair market rent. — The Department shall compute the tenant assistance payment for a family entering the Tenant Assistance Program on the most recent published fair market rents on the date of lease approval for the family.

(b-1) Payment cap. —

(1) Except in the case of elderly tenants or tenants with a disability, no tenant assistance payment shall exceed 60% of the amount of rent for the recipient’s rental unit. In the case of persons receiving tenant assistance payments on and before March 17, 1993, and continuously thereafter, this subsection shall apply 2 years from October 21, 1993.

(2) In the case of persons who are granted Tenant Assistance Program certification after March 17, 1993, if those persons have previously received Tenant Assistance Program subsidies, the subsidies provided those persons shall not exceed 60% of the amount of rent for the recipient’s rental unit.

(c) Rent not capped by payment standard. — Under the tenant assistance payment computation described in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the amount of tenant assistance payment does not increase if the unit rents for more than the applicable fair market rent, but a tenant is not prohibited from renting such a unit.

(d) No reimbursement of amounts family owes housing provider. — The Department shall not reimburse the housing provider for the portion of the rent not covered by the tenant assistance payment, damages, or other amounts due under the lease.

(e) No payments for vacancies. — If a family moves out, the housing provider shall promptly notify the Department and the Department shall make no additional tenant assistance payments to the housing provider for any month after that in which the family moves. The housing provider may retain the tenant assistance payment for the month in which the family moves.

(f) Repealed.

(g) Finders-keepers policy. —

(1) A family with a certificate of eligibility is responsible for finding a rental unit suitable to the family’s needs and desires. A family may select the rental unit which it already occupies if the unit qualifies. Upon request, the Department shall assist families in finding units where, because of age, disability, large family size, or other reasons, the family is unable to locate an approvable unit. The Department shall also provide this assistance where the family alleges that illegal discrimination on grounds of race, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability is preventing it from finding a suitable unit.

(2) Neither in assisting a family in finding a unit nor by any other action shall the Department directly or indirectly reduce the family’s opportunity to choose among the available units in the housing market, except in accordance with § 42-3503.02(d).


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 304, 32 DCR 3089; Oct. 2, 1987, D.C. Law 7-30, § 3(j), 34 DCR 5304; Mar. 17, 1993, D.C. Law 9-237, § 2(d), 40 DCR 617; Feb. 5, 1994, D.C. Law 10-68, § 39(a), 40 DCR 6311; May 16, 1995, D.C. Law 10-255, § 38, 41 DCR 5193; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 67(e), 53 DCR 6198.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2534.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3503.03.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-305, in subsec. (a)(1), substituted “tenant or tenant with a disability” for “or handicapped tenant”; in subsec. (b-1)(1), substituted “tenants or tenants with a disability” for “or handicapped tenants”; and in subsec. (g), substituted “disability” for “handicap”.

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2(j) of Tenant Assistance Program Amendment Temporary Act of 1987 (D.C. Law 7-48, December 10, 1987, law notification 34 DCR 8107).


§ 42–3503.05. Approval and maintenance of rental units; obligations of families.

(a) Rental units which the Department determines are decent, safe, and sanitary as required by the housing regulations, any other statute or regulation governing the condition of residential premises, and the requirements of this subchapter are eligible for tenant assistance.

(b) The following units are not eligible for tenant assistance as provided by this subchapter:

(1) Housing units receiving rent assistance under any federal housing program, or public housing that is managed by the District government;

(2) Nursing homes, units within the grounds of penal, reformatory, medical and similar public or private institutions, and facilities providing continual psychiatric, medical, or nursing service; or

(3) Units occupied by the housing provider.

(c) As required by the Department, units shall be inspected to determine whether they are decent, safe, and sanitary as set forth in § 42-3503.01(3). Regardless of the number of bedrooms stated on the certificate of eligibility, the Department shall not prohibit a family from renting an otherwise acceptable unit on the ground that it is too large for the family. If the Department determines that the assisted unit occupied by a participating family does not meet the space requirement because of an increase in family size or a change in family composition, the Department shall issue the participating family a new certificate of eligibility. If an acceptable unit is found that is available for occupancy by the family, the Department shall terminate the tenant assistance contract for the original unit in accordance with its terms.

(d) The following maintenance, operation, and inspection requirements shall apply:

(1) The housing provider shall provide all the services, maintenance, and utilities which the housing provider agrees to provide under the contract, subject to abatement of housing assistance payments or other applicable remedies if the housing provider fails to meet these obligations.

(2) A housing provider may collect a security deposit from a family not to exceed 1 month’s rent. If the family determines it is unable to pay the security deposit, it may apply to the Department for a repayable advance to cover the difference between the amount the family can afford, as determined by the Department, and the security deposit requested by the housing provider. When the Department decides to provide an advance to the family, the family shall enter into an agreement with the Department for repayment on terms prescribed by the Department. The Department shall establish a reasonable schedule for the repayment to minimize the hardship for the family.

(3) Subject to District law, after the family moves from the unit the housing provider may use the security deposit as reimbursement for any unpaid rent payable by the family or other amounts which the family owes under the lease. The housing provider shall give the family a written list of all items charged against the security deposit and the amount of each item. After deducting the amount used to reimburse the housing provider, the housing provider shall refund promptly to the family the full amount of the unused balance.

(4) The Department shall conduct reexaminations of family income and composition at least annually. The Department shall adjust the amount of each family’s tenant assistance payment at the time of the annual reexamination to reflect any changes in family monthly income using the applicable payment or adjustment standard.

(e)(1) A family shall:

(A) Supply any certification, release, information, or documentation the Department determines to be necessary in the administration of the program;

(B) Allow the Department to inspect the rental unit at reasonable times and after reasonable notice;

(C) Notify the Department before vacating the rental unit; and

(D) Use the rental unit solely for residence by the family, and as the family’s principal place of residence, and shall not sublease or assign the lease or transfer the unit.

(2) A family shall not:

(A) Own or have any interest in the dwelling unit;

(B) Commit any fraud in connection with the Tenant Assistance Program; and

(C) Receive duplicative assistance under the Tenant Assistance Program and any other federal or District housing assistance program.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 305, 32 DCR 3089; Oct. 2, 1987, D.C. Law 7-30, § 3(k), 34 DCR 5304; Feb. 5, 1994, D.C. Law 10-68, § 39(b), 40 DCR 6311.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2535.

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Rental Housing Act of 1985 Temporary Amendment Act of 1987 (D.C. Law 7-1, May 13, 1987, law notification 34 DCR 3645).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2(k) of Tenant Assistance Program Amendment Temporary Act of 1987 (D.C. Law 7-48, December 10, 1987, law notification 34 DCR 8107).


§ 42–3503.06. Continued eligibility.

Sixty days prior to the expiration of any tenant assistance authorized under this subchapter, the Department shall notify the tenant, in writing, that the tenant assistance is about to expire and that the tenant, if eligible and desiring to continue to receive tenant assistance, must reapply within 30 days upon receipt of the notice. The tenant shall reapply by executing under oath or affirmation a statement of continued eligibility on a form approved by the Department and by submitting the form to the Department. Unless the Department determines that the person is not eligible, tenant assistance shall continue for the succeeding 12 months.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 306, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2536.


§ 42–3503.07. Termination of eligibility.

(a) If, at any time, a tenant receiving tenant assistance fails to satisfy the requirements of this subchapter relating to conditions of eligibility, the tenant shall immediately notify the Department, in writing, of the ineligibility. Tenant assistance shall terminate on the next day thereafter upon which the rent is due.

(b) If, at any time, the Department determines that a tenant receiving tenant assistance is not, or has ceased to be, eligible for tenant assistance, the Department shall notify the tenant and housing provider in writing, setting forth the reasons for the determination. Tenant assistance payments shall terminate on the next day the rent is due occurring at least 30 days after the date the notice is given, unless, within 15 days after the receipt of the notice, the tenant submits to the Department a written statement, under oath or affirmation, including any available supporting documents, asserting the tenant’s reasons for alleging continued eligibility. Within 30 days following the receipt of the statement and documents, the Department shall make the final determination of the tenant’s eligibility for continued receipt of tenant assistance.

(c)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, after September 30, 1996, all tenants receiving tenancy assistance shall avail themselves of all opportunities to receive Section 8 or public housing assistance in lieu of tenant assistance.

(2) A tenant who fails to observe the mandates of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be deemed ineligible for tenant assistance and assistance will be terminated pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 307, 32 DCR 3089; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-198, § 403, 43 DCR 4569.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2537.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 403 of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Emergency Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-302, July 25, 1996, 43 DCR 4181), § 403 of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Emergency Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-429, October 29, 1996, 43 DCR 6151), and § 403 of the Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Congressional Adjournment Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-2, February 19, 1997, 44 DCR 1590).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 403 of Fiscal Year 1997 Budget Support Temporary Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Law 11-226, April 9, 1997, law notification 44 DCR 2584).


§ 42–3503.08. Tax exemption.

All monies received by any tenant through the Tenant Assistance Program under this subchapter are exempt from District income taxes payable under Chapter 18 of Title 47.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 308, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2538.

Cross References

Gross income and adjusted gross income, see § 47-1803.02.


Subchapter IV. Revenue.

§ 42–3504.01. Rental unit fee.

(a)(1) Each housing provider not exempt from rental control pursuant to § 42-3502.05(a) or (e), except those exempt pursuant to § 42-3502.05(a)(3), shall pay an annual rental unit fee of $30 for each rental unit in a housing accommodation registered by the housing provider. The rental unit fee shall be:

(A) Paid to the District government at the time the housing provider applies for a basic business license or a renewal of the basic business license, or in the case of a housing accommodation for which no basic business license is required, at the time and in the manner that the licensing agency may determine; and

(B) Deposited as set forth in paragraph (2) of this subsection.

(2)(A) $21.50 of each rental unit fee shall be deposited in the fund established pursuant to § 42-3131.01(b).

(B) $3.50 of each rental unit fee shall be deposited in the Rental Unit Fee Fund established pursuant to section 401a.

(C) The remainder shall be deposited into the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Fund established pursuant to § 6-231.

(b) Repealed.

(c) A nonprofit rental housing provider shall be exempt from the rental unit fee if the provider:

(1) Establishes rent schedules for 440 or more subsidized housing units affordable to tenants from low-income, very-low income, or extremely low-income households, as these incomes are defined in § 42-2801; and

(2) Does not receive subsidies but whose income-restricted units would otherwise satisfy the eligibility requirements under:

(A) The Housing Choice Voucher Program under 42 U.S.C. § 1437(f); or

(B) The Low Income Housing Tax Credit under 26 U.S.C. § 42.

(d) For the purposes of this section, the term “nonprofit rental housing provider” means an organization operating rental units or housing accommodations on a nonprofit basis under which no part of the net earnings of the housing provider inure to the benefit of or are distributable to its directors, officers, or any other private individual except as reasonable compensation for services rendered to the nonprofit housing provider.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 401, 32 DCR 3089; Sept. 30, 1993, D.C. Law 10-25, § 401, 40 DCR 5489; Oct. 19, 2000, D.C. Law 13-172, § 1202(a), 47 DCR 6308; Dec. 7, 2004, D.C. Law 15-205, § 2092, 51 DCR 8441; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-192, § 2172, 53 DCR 6899; Mar. 3, 2010, D.C. Law 18-111, § 2131, 57 DCR 181; Sept. 14, 2011, D.C. Law 19-21, §§ 2002, 9033, 58 DCR 6226; Sept. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-168, § 7032, 59 DCR 8025; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 2212(b), 64 DCR 7652; July 3, 2018, D.C. Law 22-113, § 2, 65 DCR 5026; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, §§ 2222(a), 2223, 2282(f), 65 DCR 9388.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2541.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-172 added the proviso at the end of the third sentence.

D.C. Law 15-205 substituted “$16” for “$15” and substituted “; provided, that a portion of fees collected shall be deposited in a special account to fund a tenant ombudsman and a housing provider ombudsman and an Advisory Neighborhood Commission liaison.” for “; provided, that fees collected during fiscal year 2001 shall be deposited in the fund established by § 6-711.01 to be used for the purposes of the fund.”

D.C. Law 16-192 substituted “$17” for “$16”; deleted “tenant ombudsman and a” following “special account to fund a”; and substituted “liaison; provided further, that a portion of fees collected shall be deposited in a special account for use by the Office of the Chief Tenant Advocate.” for “liaison.”.

D.C. Law 18-111 rewrote the section, which had read as follows: “Each housing provider required to register under this chapter, including those otherwise exempt from rental control and registration pursuant to § 42-3502.05(a)(3), shall pay a fee of $17 for each rental unit in a housing accommodation registered by the housing provider. The fee shall be paid annually to the District government at the time the housing provider applies for a business license or a renewal of the license; or in the case of a housing accommodation for which no license is required, at the time and in the manner the Commission may determine. Fees shall be deposited in a timely manner in depositories designated by the District government for those purposes; provided, that a portion of fees collected shall be deposited in a special account to fund a housing provider ombudsman and an Advisory Neighborhood Commission liaison; provided further, that a portion of fees collected shall be deposited in a special account for use by the Office of the Chief Tenant Advocate.”

D.C. Law 19-21, in subsec. (a), substituted “basic business license” for “business license”, “the basic business license” for “the license”, “no license” for “no basic business license”, and “The fees shall be deposited in the fund established pursuant to § 42-3131.01(b).” for “Fees shall be deposited in a timely manner in depositories designated by the District government for those purposes; provided, that a portion of fees collected shall be deposited in the fund established by subsection (b) of this section to fund a housing provider ombudsman and an Advisory Neighborhood Commission liaison; provided further, that a portion of fees collected from the prior fiscal year shall be deposited in the fund established by subsection (b) of this section for use by the Office of the Chief Tenant Advocate.”; and repealed subsec. (b), which had read as follows: “(b) There is established as a nonlapsing fund the Office of the Chief Tenant Advocate Rental Accommodations Fee Fund (’Fund’). All funds deposited into the Fund, and any interest earned on those funds, shall not revert to the unrestricted fund balance of the General Fund of the District of Columbia at the end of a fiscal year, or at any other time, but shall be continually available for the uses and purposes set forth in this section without regard to fiscal year limitation, subject to authorization by Congress.”

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-168 added (c) and (d).

Cross References

Housing Finance Agency, assisted housing projects, eviction procedures, see § 42-2703.08.

Expiration of Law

Section 907 of D.C. Law 6-10, as amended by § 2(d) of D.C. Law 8-48 and § 818 of D.C. Law 11-52, provided that all subchapters of the act, except III and V, shall terminate on December 31, 2000.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2282(f) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2222 of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2282(f) of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2222 of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2212(b) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2212(b) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 1202(a) of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-376, July 24, 2000, 47 DCR 6574).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1202(a) of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-438, October 20, 2000, 47 DCR 8740).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2092 of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-486, August 2, 2004, 51 DCR 8236).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2092 of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-594, October 26, 2004, 51 DCR 11725).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2172 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 § 2172 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 § 2172 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 of section, see § 2131 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 § 2131 of Fiscal Year Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-260, January 4, 2010, 57 DCR 345).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 401 of Omnibus Budget Support Temporary Act of 1993 (D.C. Law 10-11, August 6, 1993, law notification 40 DCR 6213).

Short Title

Short title of subtitle H of title II of Law 15-205: Section 2091 of D.C. Law 15-205 provided that subtitle H of title II of the act may be cited as the Tenant and Housing Provider Ombudsmen Amendment Act of 2004.

Short title: Section 2171 of D.C. Law 16-192 provided that subtitle N of title II of the act may be cited as the “Office of the Chief Tenant Advocate Funding Act of 2006”.

Short title: Section 2130 of D.C. Law 18-111 provided that subtitle N of title II of the act may be cited as the “Rental Unit Fee Amendment Act of 2009”.

Short title: Section 2001 of D.C. Law 19-21 provided that subtitle A of title II of the act may be cited as “Housing Business License Rental Unit Fee Clarification Amendment Act of 2011”.


§ 42–3504.02. Rental Unit Fee Fund.

(a) There is established as a special fund the Rental Unit Fee Fund ("Fund"), which shall be administered by the Office of the Tenant Advocate in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.

(b) The source of revenue for the Fund shall be the fee charged to a housing provider pursuant to § 42-3504.01(a), excluding $21.50 of that fee, which shall be deposited in the fund established pursuant to § 42-3131.01(b).

(c) Money in the Fund shall be used solely to support the activities of the Office of the Tenant Advocate.

(d) The money deposited into the Fund shall not revert to the unrestricted fund balance of the General Fund of the District of Columbia at the end of a fiscal year, or at any other time.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 401a; as added Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 2212(c), 64 DCR 7652.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90-day) creation of this section, see § 2212|(c) of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017, effective October 24, 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167; 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90-day) creation of this section, see § 2212|(c) of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017, effective July 20, 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104; 64 DCR 7032).


Subchapter V. Evictions; Retaliatory Action; and Other Matters.

§ 42–3505.01. Evictions.

(a) Except as provided in this section, no tenant shall be evicted from a rental unit, notwithstanding the expiration of the tenant’s lease or rental agreement, so long as the tenant continues to pay the rent to which the housing provider is entitled for the rental unit; provided, that the nonpayment of a late fee shall not be the basis for an eviction. No tenant shall be evicted from a rental unit for any reason other than for nonpayment of rent unless the tenant has been served with a written notice to vacate which meets the requirements of this section. Notices to vacate for all reasons other than for nonpayment of rent shall be served upon both the tenant and the Rent Administrator. All notices to vacate shall contain a statement detailing the reasons for the eviction, and if the housing accommodation is required to be registered by this chapter, a statement that the housing accommodation is registered with the Rent Administrator.

(b) A housing provider may recover possession of a rental unit where the tenant is violating an obligation of tenancy and fails to correct the violation within 30 days after receiving from the housing provider a notice to correct the violation or vacate.

(c) A housing provider may recover possession of a rental unit where a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the tenant, or a person occupying the premises with or in addition to the tenant, has performed an illegal act within the rental unit or the housing accommodation. The housing provider shall serve on the tenant a 30-day notice to vacate. The tenant may be evicted only if the tenant knew or should have known that an illegal act was taking place.

(c-1)(1) It shall be a defense to an action for possession under subsections (b) or (c) of this section that the tenant is a victim, or is the parent or guardian of a minor victim, of an intrafamily offense or actions relating to an intrafamily offense, as defined in § 16-1001(8), if the Court determines that the intrafamily offense, or actions relating to the intrafamily offense, are the basis for the notice to vacate.

(2) If, as a result of the intrafamily offense or the actions relating to the intrafamily offense that is the basis for the notice to vacate, the tenant has received a temporary or civil protection order ordering the respondent to vacate the home, the court shall not enter a judgment for possession.

(3) If, as a result of the intrafamily offense or the actions relating to the intrafamily offense that is the basis for the notice to vacate, the tenant provides to the court a copy of a police report written within the preceding 60 days or has filed for but has not received a temporary or civil protection order ordering the respondent to vacate the home, the court shall have the discretion not to enter a judgment for possession under this subchapter.

(d) A natural person with a freehold interest in the rental unit may recover possession of a rental unit where the person seeks in good faith to recover possession of the rental unit for the person’s immediate and personal use and occupancy as a dwelling. The housing provider shall serve on the tenant a 90-day notice to vacate in advance of action to recover possession of the rental unit in instances arising under this subsection. No housing provider shall demand or receive rent for any rental unit which the housing provider has repossessed under this subsection during the 12-month period beginning on the date the housing provider recovered possession of the rental unit. A stockholder of a cooperative housing association with a right of possession in a rental unit may exercise the rights of a natural person with a freehold interest under this subsection.

(e) A housing provider may recover possession of a rental unit where the housing provider has in good faith contracted in writing to sell the rental unit or the housing accommodation in which the unit is located for the immediate and personal use and occupancy by another person, so long as the housing provider has notified the tenant in writing of the tenant’s right and opportunity to purchase as provided in Chapter 34 of this title. The housing provider shall serve on the tenant a 90-day notice to vacate in advance of the housing provider’s action to recover possession of the rental unit. No person shall demand or receive rent for any rental unit which has been repossessed under this subsection during the 12-month period beginning on the date on which the rental unit was originally repossessed by the housing provider.

(f)(1)(A) A housing provider may recover possession of a rental unit for the immediate purpose of making alterations or renovations to the rental unit which cannot safely or reasonably be accomplished while the rental unit is occupied, so long as:

(i) The plans for the alterations or renovations have been filed with the Rent Administrator and the Chief Tenant Advocate;

(ii) The tenant has had 21 days after receiving notice of the application to submit to the Rent Administrator and to the Chief Tenant Advocate comments on the impact that an approved application would have on the tenant or any household member, and on any statement made in the application;

(iii) An inspector from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs has inspected the housing accommodation for the accuracy of material statements in the application and has reported his or her findings to the Rent Administrator and the Chief Tenant Advocate;

(iv) On or before the filing of the application, the housing provider has given the tenant:

(I) Notice of the application;

(II) Notice of all tenant rights;

(III) A list of sources of technical assistance as published in the District of Columbia Register by the Mayor;

(IV) A summary of the plan for the alterations and renovations to be made; and

(V) Notice that the plan in its entirety is on file and available for review at the office of the Rent Administrator, at the office of the Chief Tenant Advocate, and at the rental office of the housing provider; and

(v) The Rent Administrator, in consultation with the Chief Tenant Advocate, has determined in writing:

(I) That the proposed alterations and renovations cannot safely or reasonably be made while the rental unit is occupied;

(II) Whether the alterations and renovations are necessary to bring the rental unit into compliance with the housing code and the tenant shall have the right to reoccupy the rental unit at the same rent; and

(III) That the proposal is in the interest of each affected tenant after considering the physical condition of the rental unit or the housing accommodation and the overall impact of relocation on the tenant.

(B) As part of the application under this subsection, a housing provider shall submit to the Rent Administrator for review and approval, and to the Chief Tenant Advocate, the following plans and documents:

(i) A detailed statement setting forth why the alterations and renovations are necessary and why they cannot safely or reasonably be accomplished while the rental unit is occupied;

(ii) A copy of the notice that the housing provider has circulated informing the tenant of the application under this subsection;

(iii) A draft of the notice to vacate to be issued to the tenant if the application is approved by the Rent Administrator;

(iv) A timetable for all aspects of the plan for alterations and renovations, including:

(I) The relocation of the tenant from the rental unit and back into the rental unit;

(II) The commencement of the work, which shall be within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 120 days, after the tenant has vacated the rental unit;

(III) The completion of the work; and

(IV) The housing provider’s submission to the Rent Administrator and the Chief Tenant Advocate of periodic progress reports, which shall be due at least once every 60 days until the work is complete and the tenant is notified that the rent unit is ready to be reoccupied;

(v) A relocation plan for each tenant that provides:

(I) The amount of the relocation assistance payment for each unit;

(II) A specific plan for relocating each tenant to another unit in the housing accommodation or in a complex or set of buildings of which the housing accommodation is a part, or, if the housing provider states that relocation within the same building or complex is not practicable, the reasons for the statement;

(III) If relocation to a rental unit pursuant to sub-sub-subparagraph (II) of this sub-subparagraph is not practicable, a list of units within the housing provider’s portfolio of rental accommodations made available to each dispossessed tenant, or, where the housing provider asserts that relocation within the housing provider’s portfolio of rental accommodations is not practicable, the justification for such assertion;

(IV) If relocation to a rental unit pursuant to sub-sub-subparagraph (II) or (III) of this sub-subparagraph is not practicable, a list for each tenant affected by the relocation plan of at least 3 other rental units available to rent in a housing accommodation in the District of Columbia, each of which shall be comparable to the rental unit in which the tenant currently lives; and

(V) A list of tenants with their current addresses and telephone numbers.

(C) The Chief Tenant Advocate, in consultation with the Rent Administrator, shall:

(i) Within 5 days of receipt of the application, issue a notice, which shall include the address and telephone number of the Office of the Chief Tenant Advocate, to each affected tenant stating that the tenant:

(I) Has the right to review or obtain a copy of the application, including all supporting documentation, at the rental office of the housing provider, the Office of the Chief Tenant Advocate, or the office of the Rent Administrator;

(II) Shall have 21 days in which to file with the Rent Administrator and serve on the housing provider comments upon any statement made in the application, and on the impact an approved application would have on the tenant or any household member; and

(III) May consult the Office of the Chief Tenant Advocate with respect to ascertaining the tenant’s legal rights, responding to the application or to any ancillary offer made by the housing provider, or otherwise safeguarding the tenant’s interests;

(ii) At any time prior to or subsequent to the Rent Administrator’s approval of the application, make such inquiries as the Chief Tenant Advocate considers appropriate to determine whether the housing provider has complied with the requirements of this subsection and whether the interests of the tenants are being protected, and shall promptly report any findings to the Rent Administrator; and

(iii) Upon the Rent Administrator’s approval of the application:

(I) Maintain a registry of the affected tenants, including their subsequent interim addresses; and

(II) Issue a written notice, which shall include the address and telephone number of the Office of the Chief Tenant Advocate, to each affected tenant that notifies the tenant of the right to maintain his or her tenancy and the need to keep the Chief Tenant Advocate informed of interim addresses;

(D) The housing provider shall serve on the tenant a 120-day notice to vacate prior to the filing of an action to recover possession of the rental unit that shall:

(i) Notify the tenant of the tenant’s rights under this subsection, including the absolute right to reoccupy the rental unit, the right to reoccupy the rental unit at the same rate if the Rent Administrator has determined that the alterations or renovations are necessary to bring the rental unit into substantial compliance with the housing regulations, and the right to relocation assistance under the provisions of subchapter VII of this chapter;

(ii) Include a list of sources of technical assistance as published in the District of Columbia Register by the Mayor; and

(iii) Include a copy of the notice issued by the Chief Tenant Advocate pursuant to paragraph (1)(C)(iii)(II) of this subsection.

(E) Within 5 days of the completion of alterations and renovations, the housing provider shall provide notice, by registered mail, return receipt requested, to the tenant, the Rent Administrator, and the Chief Tenant Advocate that the rental unit is ready to be occupied by the tenant.

(F) Any notice required by this section to be issued to the tenant by the housing provider, the Rent Administrator, or the Chief Tenant Advocate shall be published in the languages as would be required by § 2-1933(a).

(2) Immediately upon completion of the proposed alterations or renovations, the tenant shall have the absolute right to reoccupy the rental unit. A tenant displaced by actions under this subsection shall continue to be a tenant of the rental unit as defined in § 42-3401.03(17), for purposes of rights and remedies under Chapter 34 of this title, until the tenant has waived his or her rights in writing. Until the tenant’s right to reoccupy the rental unit has terminated, the housing provider shall serve on the tenant any notice or other document regarding the rental unit as required by any provision of Chapter 34 of this title, this chapter, or any other law or regulation, except that service shall be made by first-class mail at the address identified as the tenant’s interim address pursuant to paragraph (1)(C)(iii) of this subsection.

(3) Where the renovations or alterations are necessary to bring the rental unit into substantial compliance with the housing regulations, the tenant may rerent at the same rent and under the same obligations that were in effect at the time the tenant was dispossessed, if the renovations or alterations were not made necessary by the negligent or malicious conduct of the tenant.

(4) Tenants displaced by actions under this subsection shall be entitled to receive relocation assistance as set forth in subchapter VII of this chapter, if the tenants meet the eligibility criteria of that subchapter.

(5) Prior to the date that the tenant vacates the unit, the Rent Administrator shall rescind the approval of any application under this subsection upon determining that the housing provider has not complied with this subsection.

(6) If, after the tenant has vacated the unit, the housing provider fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection, the aggrieved tenant or a tenant organization authorized by the tenant may seek enforcement of any right or provision under this subsection by an action in law or equity. If the aggrieved tenant or tenant organization prevails, the aggrieved tenant or tenant organization shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees. In an equitable action, bond requirements shall be waived to the extent permissible under law or court rule.

(g)(1) A housing provider may recover possession of a rental unit for the purpose of immediately demolishing the housing accommodation in which the rental unit is located and replacing it with new construction, if a copy of the demolition permit has been filed with the Rent Administrator, and, if the requirements of subchapter VII of this chapter have been met. The housing provider shall serve on the tenant a 180-day notice to vacate in advance of action to recover possession of the rental unit. The notice to vacate shall comply with and notify the tenant of the tenant’s right to relocation assistance under the provisions of subchapter VII of this chapter.

(2) Tenants displaced by actions under this subsection shall be entitled to receive relocation assistance as set forth in subchapter VII of this chapter, if the tenants meet the eligibility criteria of that subchapter.

(h)(1) A housing provider may recover possession of a rental unit for the purpose of immediate, substantial rehabilitation of the housing accommodation if the requirements of § 42-3502.14 and subchapter VII of this chapter have been met. The housing provider shall serve on the tenant a 120-day notice to vacate in advance of his or her action to recover possession of the rental unit. The notice to vacate shall comply with and notify the tenant of the tenant’s right to relocation assistance under subchapter VII of this chapter.

(2) Any tenant displaced from a rental unit by the substantial rehabilitation of the housing accommodation in which the rental unit is located shall have a right to rerent the rental unit immediately upon the completion of the substantial rehabilitation.

(3) Tenants displaced by actions under this subsection shall be entitled to receive relocation assistance as set forth in subchapter VII of this chapter, if the tenants meet the eligibility criteria of that subchapter.

(i)(1) A housing provider may recover possession of a rental unit for the immediate purpose of discontinuing the housing use and occupancy of the rental unit so long as:

(A) The housing provider serves on the tenant a 180-day notice to vacate in advance of his or her action to recover possession of the rental unit. The notice to vacate shall comply with and notify the tenant of the tenant’s right to relocation assistance under the provisions of subchapter VII of this chapter;

(B) The housing provider shall not cause the housing accommodation, of which the unit is a part, to be substantially rehabilitated for a continuous 12-month period beginning from the date that the use is discontinued under this section;

(C) The housing provider shall not resume any housing or commercial use of the unit for a continuous 12-month period beginning from the date that the use is discontinued under this section;

(D) The housing provider shall not resume any housing use of the unit other than rental housing;

(E) Upon resumption of the housing use, the housing provider shall not rerent the unit at a greater rent than would have been permitted under this chapter had the housing use not been discontinued;

(F) The housing provider shall, on a form devised by the Rent Administrator, file with the Rent Administrator a statement including, but not limited to, general information about the housing accommodation, such as address and number of units, the reason for the discontinuance of use, and future plans for the property;

(G) If the housing provider desires to resume a rental housing use of the unit, the housing provider shall notify the Rent Administrator who shall determine whether the provisions of this paragraph have been satisfied; and

(H) The housing provider shall not demand or receive rent for any rental unit which the housing provider has repossessed under this subsection for a 12-month period beginning on the date the housing provider recovered possession of the rental unit.

(2) Tenants displaced by actions under this subsection shall be entitled to receive relocation assistance as set forth in subchapter VII of this chapter, if the tenants meet the eligibility criteria of that subchapter.

(j) In any case where the housing provider seeks to recover possession of a rental unit or housing accommodation to convert the rental unit or housing accommodation to a condominium or cooperative, notice to vacate shall be given according to § 42-3402.06(c).

(k) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, no housing provider shall evict a tenant:

(1) On any day when the National Weather Service predicts at 8:00 a.m. that the temperature at the National Airport weather station will fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius; or

(2) When precipitation is falling at the location of the rental unit.

(k-1) Subsection (k) shall not apply:

(1) Where, in accordance with and as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the tenant has performed an illegal act within the rental unit or housing accommodation;

(2) Where a court of competent jurisdiction has made a specific finding that the tenant’s actions or presence causes undue hardship on the health, welfare, and safety of other tenants or immediate neighbors; or

(3) Where a court of competent jurisdiction has made a specific finding that the tenant has abandoned the premises.

(l) Expired.

(m) This section shall not apply to privately-owned rental housing or housing owned by the federal or District government with regard to drug-related evictions under subchapter I of Chapter 36 of this title.

(n)(1) If the occupancy of a tenant has been or will be terminated by a placard placed by the District government in accordance with section 103 of Title 14 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations for violations of Title 14 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations that threaten the life, health, or safety of the tenant, the tenancy shall not be deemed terminated until the unit has been offered for reoccupation to the tenant after the date that physical occupancy ceased.

(2) The Mayor shall maintain a registry of the persons, including their subsequent interim addresses, who were tenants at the time the building was placarded.

(3) At the time of the placarding, the Mayor shall provide a written notice to the tenants of the right to maintain their tenancy and the need to keep the Mayor informed of interim addresses. The notice shall contain the address and telephone number of the office maintaining the registry.

(4) Any notice required under this subchapter shall be effective when sent to the tenant at the address maintained in the registry.

(o) Repealed.

(p) Repealed.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 501, 32 DCR 3089; Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-192, § 13(g), 33 DCR 7836; June 13, 1990, D.C. Law 8-139, § 11, 37 DCR 2645; Aug. 26, 1994, D.C. Law 10-164, § 2, 41 DCR 4889; Apr. 29, 1998, D.C. Law 12-86, title IX, § 901, 45 DCR 1172; D.C. Law 13-172, § 1312, 47 DCR 6308; Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-281, § 301, 48 DCR 1888; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-213, §§ 31, 32(a), 49 DCR 8140; June 22, 2006, D.C. Law 16-140, § 2(a), 53 DCR 3686; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-273, § 2(b), 54 DCR 859; Apr. 15, 2008, D.C. Law 17-146, § 2, 55 DCR 2554; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 231, 56 DCR 1117; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-368, § 4(h)(1), 56 DCR 1338; Mar. 3, 2010, D.C. Law 18-111, §§ 2182, 7039, 57 DCR 181; Dec. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-172, § 2(c), 63 DCR 12959; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 7045, 64 DCR 7652; Mar. 13, 2019, D.C. Law 22-245, § 2(a), 66 DCR 962.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2551.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-231.03, § 42-2857.01, § 42-3401.04, § 42-3402.02, § 42-3507.01, § 42-3507.02, § 42-3509.02, and § 42-3602.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-172 added subsec. (l).

D.C. Law 13-281 added subsec. (n).

D.C. Law 14-213, in subsec. (n), validated a previously made technical correction.

D.C. Law 16-140, added pars. (f)(5) and (f)(6) and rewrote pars. (f)(1) and (f)(2).

D.C. Law 16-273 added subsec. (c-1).

D.C. Law 17-146 added subsecs. (o) and (p).

D.C. Law 17-353 validated a previously made technical correction in subsec. (p).

D.C. Law 17-368, in subsec. (c-1)(1), substituted “§ 16-1001(8)” for “§ 16-1001(5)”.

D.C. Law 18-111, in subsecs. (o)(1)(B) and (10), substituted “Department of Housing and Community Development” for “Department of Human Services”; and rewrote subsec. (o)(2), which had read as follows: “(2) This subsection shall be subject to the availability of funds.”

Cross References

Housing accommodation conversion prerequisites and exemptions, persons with standing, see § 42-3402.02.

Expiration of Law

Expiration of Law 8-139

Section 12(b) of D.C. Law 8-139 provided that the act shall expire 10 years after the effective date of the act. D.C. Law 8-139 became effective on June 13, 1990.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment to the Federal Worker Housing Relief Emergency Act of 2019 (Act 23-5), see § 3 of Supporting Essential Workers Unemployment Insurance Emergency Amendment Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-14, Feb. 25, 2019, 66 DCR 2469).

For temporary (90 days) exemption of the initial procurement contract entered into in connection with the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 and the Sports Wagering Lottery Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 from the requirements of the Procurement Practices Reform Act of 2010, see § 2 of Sports Wagering Procurement Practices Reform Exemption Emergency Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-6, Feb. 22, 2019, 66 DCR 2449).

For temporary (90 days) enactment of the Federal Worker Housing Relief Emergency Act of 2019, see § 2 of Federal Worker Housing Relief Emergency Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-5, Feb. 6, 2019, 66 DCR 2059).

For temporary (90 days) law regarding landlord procedures during an eviction not subject to the Rental Housing Act of 1985, see § 3 of Eviction Procedure Reform Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-510, Nov. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 12375).

For temporary (90 days) creation of §42-3505.01a, see § 2(b) of Eviction Procedure Reform Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-510, Nov. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 12375).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Eviction Procedure Reform Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-510, Nov. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 12375).

For temporary (90 days) law regarding landlord procedures during an eviction not subject to the Rental Housing Act of 1985, see § 3 of Eviction Procedure Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-426, July 26, 2018, 65 DCR 7985).

For temporary (90 days) creation of § 42-3505.01a, see § 2(b) of Eviction Procedure Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-426, July 26, 2018, 65 DCR 7985).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Eviction Procedure Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-426, July 26, 2018, 65 DCR 7985).

For temporary (90 days) law regarding landlord procedures during non-residential evictions, see § 3 of Eviction Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-425, July 24, 2018, 65 DCR 7709).

For temporary (90 days) creation of § 42-3505.01a, see § 2(b) of Eviction Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-425, July 24, 2018, 65 DCR 7709).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Eviction Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-425, July 24, 2018, 65 DCR 7709).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7045 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7045 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2 of the Rental Housing Act of 1985 Winter of 1994 Emergency Amendment Act of 1994 (D.C. Act 10-179, January 25, 1994, 41 DCR 520).

For temporary repeal of the Rental Housing Act of 1985 Freezing Temperature Emergency Amendment Act of 1993, effective December 16, 1993 (D.C. Act 10-161; 40 DCR 8874), see § 3 of the Rental Housing Act of 1985 Winter of 1994 Emergency Amendment Act of 1994 (D.C. Act 10-179, January 25, 1994, 41 DCR 520).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 3 of the Drug House Abatement Emergency Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-446, December 5, 1996, 43 DCR 6664).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 4 of the Real Property Tax Reassessment Second Emergency Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-244, January 13, 1998, 45 DCR 652).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 4 of the Real Property Tax Reassessment Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-293, February 27, 1998, 45 DCR 1758).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 4 of the Real Property Tax Reassessment and Cold Weather Eviction Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-18, February 17, 1999, 46 DCR 2354).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 2 of the Tenant Protection Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-328, May 9, 2000, 47 DCR 4347).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 1312 of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-376, July 24, 2000, 47 DCR 6574).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 2 of the Tenant Protection Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-411, August 14, 2000, 47 DCR 7285).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1312 of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-438, October 20, 2000, 47 DCR 8740).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Tenant Evictions Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-244, December 22, 2005, 53 DCR 268).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Tenant Evictions Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-327, March 23, 2006, 53 DCR 2582).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see §§ 2182, 7039 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 §§ 2182, 7039 of Fiscal Year Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-260, January 4, 2010, 57 DCR 345).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) law regarding landlord procedures during an eviction not subject to the Rental Housing Act of 1985, see § 3 of Eviction Procedure Reform Temporary Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Law 22-183, Nov. 27, 2018, 65 DCR 11372).

For temporary (225 days) creation of § 42-3505.01a, see § 2(b) of Eviction Procedure Reform Temporary Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Law 22-183, Nov. 27, 2018, 65 DCR 11372).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Eviction Procedure Reform Temporary Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Law 22-183, Nov. 27, 2018, 65 DCR 11372).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Rental Housing Act of 1985 Frigid Temperature Temporary Amendment Act of 1993 (D.C. Law 10-2, May 14, 1993, law notification 40 DCR 3403).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Rental Housing Act of 1985 Frigid Temperature Temporary Amendment Act of 1994 (D.C. Law 10-97, March 23, 1994, law notification 40 DCR 1812.)

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 4 of Real Property Tax Reassessment Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-125, June 10, 1998, law notification 45 DCR 5883).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 4 of Real Property Tax Reassessment and Cold Weather Eviction Temporary Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-1, May 20, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 5301).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Tenant Protection Temporary Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-158, September 16, 2000, law notification 47 DCR 8064).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Tenant Evictions Temporary Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Law 16-76, April 4, 2006, law notification 53 DCR 3335).

Editor's Notes

Subsection (o)(2), added by Law 17-146 states that this subsection shall not apply until its fiscal effect is included in an approved budget and financial plan.

The Budget Director of the Council of the District of Columbia has determined, as of February 15, 2012, that the fiscal effect of subsection (o)(2), added by Law 17-146, has not been included in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore, the provisions of subsection (o), enacted by Law 17-146, are not in effect.


§ 42–3505.01a. Storage and disposal of tenants' personal property upon eviction.

(a) A housing provider shall not remove an evicted tenant's personal property from a rental unit except as provided in this section.

(b)(1) In addition to any notification from the United States Marshals Service ("Marshals") to the tenant of the date of eviction, a housing provider shall deliver to the tenant a notice confirming the date of eviction not fewer than 21 days before the date of eviction by using the following methods:

(A) Telephone or electronic communication, including by email or mobile text message;

(B) First-class mail to the address of the rental unit; and

(C) Conspicuous posting at the tenant's rental unit in a manner reasonably calculated to provide notice.

(2) The notice shall:

(A) State the tenant's name and the address of the rental unit;

(B) Specify the date on which the eviction is scheduled to be executed;

(C) State that the eviction will be executed on that date unless the tenant vacates the rental unit and returns possession of the rental unit to the housing provider;

(D) Prominently warn the tenant that any personal property left in the rental unit will be deemed abandoned 7 days after the time of eviction, excluding Sundays and federal holidays;

(E) Include the phone numbers of the Marshals, the Office of the Tenant Advocate, and the Landlord and Tenant Branch of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia;

(F) State that it is the final notice from the housing provider before the time of eviction, even if the eviction date is postponed by the court or Marshals; and

(G) State that, for 7 days after the time of eviction, the tenant has the right to access the tenant's personal property remaining in the rental unit to remove the personal property from the rental unit:

(i) At times agreed to by the parties, excluding Sundays and federal holidays; provided, that the housing provider shall grant the evicted tenant access to the rental unit on a Saturday if the evicted tenant requests it;

(ii) For no fewer than 16 total hours between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., over a period of not more than 2 days; and

(iii) With no requirement that the tenant pay rent or service fees for the 7-day storage period.

(c)(1) At the time of eviction, the housing provider shall change the locks on the rental unit in the presence of the Marshals, at the housing provider's expense, and take legal possession of the rental unit by receipt of a document from the Marshals.

(2) Any right of the evicted tenant to redeem the tenancy shall be extinguished at the time of eviction.

(d)(1) On the day of eviction, the housing provider shall send by first-class mail to the address of an emergency contact, if provided, and conspicuously post in a manner reasonably calculated to provide notice to the evicted tenant, a notice containing the following information:

(A) The name and phone number of at least one agent of the housing provider who the tenant may contact and who can grant access to the rental unit on the housing provider's behalf pursuant to this subsection;

(B) The phone number of the Office of the Tenant Advocate;

(C) The phone number of the Marshals;

(D) The phone number of the Landlord and Tenant Branch of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia; and

(E) The text of this subsection, which shall be included in the text of the notice or attached to the notice.

(2) Any personal property of the evicted tenant present in the rental unit at the time of eviction shall remain in the rental unit for 7 days after the time of eviction, excluding Sundays and federal holidays, unless removed by the evicted tenant pursuant to this subsection.

(3) The housing provider shall maintain and exercise reasonable care in the storage of the personal property of the evicted tenant during the period that the property remains in the rental unit pursuant to this subsection.

(4)(A) For 7 days after the time of eviction, the housing provider shall grant the evicted tenant access to the rental unit to remove the tenant's personal property from the rental unit:

(i) At times agreed to by the parties, excluding Sundays and federal holidays; provided, that the housing provider shall grant the evicted tenant access to the rental unit on a Saturday if the evicted tenant requests it;

(ii) For no fewer than 16 total hours between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. over a period of not more than 2 days;

(iii) Without requiring the tenant to pay rent or service fees for the 7-day storage period.

(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, a housing provider may extend the access period at his or her sole and absolute discretion.

(C) If the housing provider fails to grant access to the evicted tenant to remove the evicted tenant's personal property as provided in this paragraph, the evicted tenant shall have a right to injunctive relief, including requiring the housing provider to grant access to the evicted tenant at certain dates and times to retrieve the evicted tenant's personal property and extending the period during which the housing provider must store the evicted tenant's personal property.

(5)(A) Any of the evicted tenant's personal property remaining in the rental unit upon expiration of the period that the property remains in the rental unit pursuant to this subsection shall be deemed abandoned property.

(B) The housing provider shall remove, or dispose of, any abandoned property in the rental unit upon the expiration of the period that the property remains in the rental unit pursuant to this subsection without any further notice or any other obligation to the evicted tenant.

(C) The housing provider shall dispose of any abandoned property in any manner not prohibited by subparagraph (D) of this paragraph or otherwise expressly prohibited by law.

(D) The housing provider is prohibited from placing or causing the placement of abandoned property in an outdoor space other than a licensed disposal facility or lawful disposal receptacle; provided, that a housing provider may place abandoned property or cause abandoned property to be placed in an outdoor private or public space while in the process of transporting the property from the premises for disposal.

(6) An evicted tenant is prohibited from disposing of or causing the disposal of personal property in an outdoor space other than a lawful disposal receptacle; provided, that an evicted tenant may place personal property or cause personal property to be placed in an outdoor private or public space while in the process of transporting the property from the premises.

(e) The housing provider and anyone acting on behalf of the housing provider shall be immune from civil liability for loss or damage to any property deemed abandoned pursuant to this subsection or claims related to its lawful disposal.

(f) This section shall not apply to evictions carried out by the District of Columbia Housing Authority.

(g) If the housing provider fails to comply with the notice requirements of subsections (b) or (d)(1) of this section, the evicted tenant shall have a right to injunctive relief, including a stay on the execution of the eviction until the notice requirements have been met.

[(h)] For the purposes of this section, the term "time of eviction" means the time at which the Marshals execute a writ of restitution.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 501a; as added Mar. 13, 2019, D.C. Law 22-245, § 2(b), 66 DCR 962.)


§ 42–3505.02. Retaliatory action.

(a) No housing provider shall take any retaliatory action against any tenant who exercises any right conferred upon the tenant by this chapter, by any rule or order issued pursuant to this chapter, or by any other provision of law. Retaliatory action may include any action or proceeding not otherwise permitted by law which seeks to recover possession of a rental unit, action which would unlawfully increase rent, decrease services, increase the obligation of a tenant, or constitute undue or unavoidable inconvenience, violate the privacy of the tenant, harass, reduce the quality or quantity of service, any refusal to honor a lease or rental agreement or any provision of a lease or rental agreement, refusal to renew a lease or rental agreement, termination of a tenancy without cause, or any other form of threat or coercion.

(b) In determining whether an action taken by a housing provider against a tenant is retaliatory action, the trier of fact shall presume retaliatory action has been taken, and shall enter judgment in the tenant’s favor unless the housing provider comes forward with clear and convincing evidence to rebut this presumption, if within the 6 months preceding the housing provider’s action, the tenant:

(1) Has made a witnessed oral or written request to the housing provider to make repairs which are necessary to bring the housing accommodation or the rental unit into compliance with the housing regulations;

(2) Contacted appropriate officials of the District government, either orally in the presence of a witness or in writing, concerning existing violations of the housing regulations in the rental unit the tenant occupies or pertaining to the housing accommodation in which the rental unit is located, or reported to the officials suspected violations which, if confirmed, would render the rental unit or housing accommodation in noncompliance with the housing regulations;

(3) Legally withheld all or part of the tenant’s rent after having given a reasonable notice to the housing provider, either orally in the presence of a witness or in writing, of a violation of the housing regulations;

(4) Organized, been a member of, or been involved in any lawful activities pertaining to a tenant organization;

(5) Made an effort to secure or enforce any of the tenant’s rights under the tenant’s lease or contract with the housing provider; or

(6) Brought legal action against the housing provider.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 502, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2552.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3402.10 and § 42-3502.05.


§ 42–3505.03. Conciliation and arbitration service.

(a) There is established a conciliation and arbitration service (“service”) within the Division.

(b) The service shall provide a voluntary, nonadversarial forum for the resolution of disputes arising between housing providers and tenants in the District.

(c) The staff of the service shall be designated by the Rent Administrator and shall be persons familiar with the problems of the law relating to housing-provider and tenant relations and with knowledge of conciliation and arbitration practices.

(d) Either a housing provider or a tenant may initiate a proceeding before the service.

(e) No person shall be compelled to attend a session of the service or participate in any proceeding before its staff. The results of any proceeding shall not be binding upon any party, except (1) to the extent provided in § 42-3505.04, or (2) with respect to a conciliation agreement, to the extent that a party to the proceeding agrees to be bound by the conciliation agreement. No evidence pertaining to a conciliation or arbitration proceeding shall be admissible in any judicial proceeding under other provisions of law relating to housing-provider and tenant disputes.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 503, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2553.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3505.04.


§ 42–3505.04. Arbitration.

(a) By mutual consent, the housing provider and tenant may submit for arbitration any dispute not satisfactorily resolved under § 42-3505.03.

(b) A request for arbitration shall be in writing.

(c) The Rent Administrator shall designate 3 members of the Division’s staff, other than those who heard the dispute under § 42-3505.03, to serve as a panel of arbitrators.

(d) The arbitration panel shall issue a written recommendation to resolve the dispute within 10 days of the request.

(e) Agreements entered into between the housing provider and tenant under the panel’s recommendation shall be approved by the Rent Administrator and shall be binding upon the parties.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 504, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2554.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3505.03.


§ 42–3505.05. Prohibition of discrimination against elderly tenants or families with children.

(a) It is unlawful for a housing provider to discriminate against families receiving or eligible to receive Tenant Assistance Program assistance, elderly tenants, or families with children when renting housing accommodations.

(b) Any protections provided by subsection (a) of this section and any penalties provided in § 42-3509.01 shall be in addition to any other provision of law.

(c) Allegations of violations of this section that are made by families receiving or eligible to receive Tenant Assistance Program assistance, by elderly tenants, or by families with children shall be promptly investigated and handled by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, which shall provide the complaining party with a written report upon the conclusion of the investigation.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 505, 32 DCR 3089; Oct. 2, 1987, D.C. Law 7-30, § 4, 34 DCR 5304.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2555.

Cross References

Discriminatory practices in real estate transactions, see § 2-140

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 3 of Tenant Assistance Program Amendment Temporary Act of 1987 (D.C. Law 7-48, December 10, 1987, law notification 34 DCR 8107).


§ 42–3505.06. Right of tenants to organize.

(a) For purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “CPI” means the average of the Consumer Price Index for the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Statistical Area for all-urban consumers published by the Department of Labor, or any successor index, as of the close of the 12-month period ending on November 30 of such year.

(2) “Tenant organizer” means a person who:

(A) Assists tenants in establishing and operating a tenant organization; and

(B) Is not an employee or representative of the current or prospective owner, the current or prospective manager, or an agent of such persons.

(b) Tenants shall have the right to:

(1) Self-organization;

(2) Form, join, meet, or assist one another within and without tenant organizations;

(3) Meet and confer through representatives of their own choosing with an owner;

(4) Engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of mutual aid and protection; and

(5) Refrain from such activity.

(c)(1) If a multifamily housing accommodation has a written policy favoring canvassing, any tenant organizer who is not a tenant shall be afforded the same privileges and rights of access as other uninvited outside parties in the normal course of operations.

(2) If the multifamily housing accommodation does not have a consistently enforced, written policy against canvassing, the multifamily housing accommodation shall be treated as if it has a policy favoring canvassing.

(3) If a multifamily housing accommodation has a consistently enforced, written policy against canvassing, a tenant shall accompany a tenant organizer who is not a tenant while the tenant organizer is on the property of the multifamily housing accommodation. The tenant organizer who is not a tenant shall be afforded the same privileges and rights of access as other invited outside parties in the normal course of operations.

(d) No owner or agent of an owner of a multifamily housing accommodation shall interfere with the right of a tenant or tenant organizer to conduct the following activities related to the establishment or operation of a tenant organization:

(1) Distributing literature in common areas, including lobby areas;

(2) Placing literature at or under tenants’ doors;

(3) Posting information on all building bulletin boards;

(4) Assisting tenants to participate in tenant organization activities;

(5) Convening tenant or tenant organization meetings at any reasonable time and in any appropriate space that would reasonably be interpreted as areas that the tenant had access to under the terms of their lease, including any tenant’s unit, a community room, a common area including lobbies, or other available space; provided, that an owner or agent of owner shall not attend or make audio recordings of such meetings unless permitted to do so by the tenant organization, if one exists, or by a majority of tenants in attendance, if a tenant organization does not exist;

(6) Formulating responses to owner actions, including:

(A) Rent or rent ceiling increases or requests for rent or rent ceiling increases;

(B) Proposed increases, decreases, or other changes in the housing accommodation’s facilities and services; and

(C) Conversion of residential units to nonresidential use, cooperative housing, or condominiums;

(7) Proposing that the owner or management modify the housing accommodation’s facilities and services; and

(8) Any other activity reasonably related to the establishment or operation of a tenant organization.

(e) Any owner, any person with an ownership interest in an owner, or an agent of an owner of a multifamily housing accommodation who knowingly violates any provision of this section, or any rule or regulation issued or promulgated in furtherance of this section, shall be subject to:

(1) A civil penalty for each violation not to exceed $10,000, which shall be increased annually, beginning January 1, 2008, by an amount equal to $10,000 multiplied by the percentage by which the CPI for the preceding year ending November 30 exceeds the CPI for the year ending November 30, 2006;

(2) An injunctive order respecting future behavior;

(3) Liability for damages to tenants, or a tenant organization or its members;

(4) Suspension or revocation of the owner or agent’s business license or registration, during which period the rent for any rental unit in the housing accommodation shall not be increased; or

(5) Reasonable attorney’s fees under § 42-3509.02.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 506; as added Sept. 19, 2006, D.C. Law 16-160, § 2, 53 DCR 5389.)


§ 42–3505.07. Notice of lease termination by tenant who is a victim of an intrafamily offense.

(a) For purposes of this section, the term “qualified third party” means any of the following persons acting in their official capacity:

(1) A law enforcement officer, as defined in § 4-1301.02(14);

(2) A sworn officer of the D.C. Housing Authority Office of Public Safety;

(3) A health professional, as defined in § 3-1201.01(8); or

(4) A domestic violence counselor as defined [in] § 14-310(a)(2).

(b) If a tenant, who is a victim, or who is the parent or guardian of a minor victim, of an intrafamily offense or actions relating to an intrafamily offense, as defined in § 16-1001(8), provides a housing provider with a copy of an order under § 16-1005 in response to a petition filed by or on behalf of the tenant, the tenant shall be released from obligations under the rental agreement.

(c) If a tenant who is a victim, or who is the parent or guardian of a minor victim, of an intrafamily offense or actions relating to an intrafamily offense, as defined in § 16-1001(8), provides a housing provider with documentation signed by a qualified third party showing that the tenant has reported the intrafamily offense to the third party acting in his or her official capacity, the tenant shall be released from obligations under the rental agreement.

(d) The release from a rental agreement shall be effective upon the earlier of:

(1) Fourteen days after the housing provider receives:

(A) Written notice of the lease termination under this section; and

(B) Documentation pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of this section; or

(2) Upon the commencement of a new tenancy for the unit.

(e) Any request by the tenant for termination of the rental agreement under this section shall be made within 90 days of the reported act, event, or circumstance that was cited in the petition or reported to a qualified third party.

(f) Notwithstanding any penalty provided under a rental agreement, a tenant who is released from the rental agreement under this section shall be liable only for his or her rental payment obligation, pro-rated to the earlier of:

(1) The date the housing provider rents the unit to a new tenant or party who succeeds to the tenant’s rights under the original agreement; or

(2) Fourteen days after the request for the release.

(g) This section shall not affect section 2908 of the Housing Regulations of the District of Columbia, effective August 11, 1955 (C.O. 55-1503; 14 DCMR § 308 through § 311), or the tenant’s liability for delinquent, unpaid rent, or other sums owed to the housing provider before the lease was terminated by the tenant under this section.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 507; as added Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-273, § 2(c), 54 DCR 859; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-368, § 4(h)(2), 56 DCR 1338.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1402.21.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-368, in subsecs. (b) and (c), substituted “§ 16-1001(8)” for “§ 16-1001(5)”.


§ 42–3505.08. Victims of an intrafamily offense protection — Change locks and notice.

(a) Upon the written request of a tenant who is the victim of an intrafamily offense, as defined in § 16-1001(8), a housing provider shall change the locks to all entrance doors to that tenant’s unit within 5 business days; provided, that if the perpetrator of the intrafamily offense is a tenant in the same dwelling unit as the tenant who makes the request, the tenant who makes the request shall provide the landlord with a copy of a protective order issued pursuant to § 16-1005 ordering the perpetrator to stay away from, or avoid, the tenant who makes the request, any other household member, or the dwelling unit. If the perpetrator of the intrafamily offense is not, or is no longer, a tenant in the same dwelling unit as the tenant who makes the request, no documentation of the intrafamily offense shall be required.

(b) The housing provider shall pay the cost of changing the locks. No later than 45 days after the housing provider provides the tenant who makes the request with documentation of the cost of changing the locks, the tenant shall reimburse the housing provider for such cost and any associated fee; provided, that the fee shall not exceed the fee imposed on any other tenant for changing the locks under any other circumstances.

(c) Upon receipt of a copy of the court order pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, unless the court orders that the perpetrator be allowed to return to the unit for some purpose, the housing provider shall not provide the perpetrator with keys to the unit or otherwise permit the perpetrator access to the unit or to property within the unit.

(d) The housing provider shall not be liable to the perpetrator for any civil damages as a result of actions the housing provider takes to comply with this section.

(e) This section shall not be construed to relieve the perpetrator of any obligation under a lease agreement or any other liability to the housing provider.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 508; as added Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-273, § 2(c), 54 DCR 859; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-368, § 4(h)(3), 56 DCR 1338.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-368, in subsec. (a), substituted “§ 16-1001(8)” for “§ 16-1001(5)”.


Subchapter V-A. Payment of Rent Beyond 5 Days After Due Date.

§ 42–3505.31. Authorized fees for the payment of rent beyond 5 days after the rent payment is due.

(a) Pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, a housing provider may charge a late fee of no more than 5% of the full amount of rent due by a tenant.

(b) A housing provider may only charge a late fee:

(1) If the written lease agreement between the housing provider and the tenant informs the tenant of the maximum amount of the late fee that may be charged pursuant to this section; and

(2) If the tenant has not paid the full amount of rent within 5 days, or any longer grace period that may be provided in the lease, after the day the rent payment is due.

(c) A housing provider shall not:

(1) Charge interest on a late fee;

(2) Deduct any amount of a late fee from a subsequent rent payment;

(3) Impose a late fee more than one time on each late payment;

(4) Evict a tenant on the basis of the nonpayment of a late fee; or

(5) Impose a late fee on a tenant for the late payment or nonpayment of any portion of the rent for which a rent subsidy provider, rather that the tenant, is responsible for paying.

(d) After the grace period established pursuant to subsection (b)(2) of this section, a housing provider may issue a tenant an invoice to be paid within 30 days after the date of issuance for any lawfully imposed late fees. If the tenant does not pay the late fee within the 30-day period, the housing provider may deduct from a tenant's security deposit, at the end of the tenancy, any unpaid, lawfully imposed late fees, along with any other amounts lawfully due the housing provider.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 531 [§ 530]; as added Dec. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-172, § 2(b), 63 DCR 12959.)


Subchapter V-B. Other Housing Provider Actions During Tenancies.

§ 42–3505.51. Access by housing provider to dwelling unit.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) "Reasonable notice" means written notice provided to the tenant at least 48 hours before the time the housing provider wishes to enter the unit or a shorter period of time as agreed to by the tenant in writing. Written notice may include electronic communication, including email and mobile text messaging; provided, that if the tenant fails to furnish a written acknowledgement, the housing provider will provide a paper notice.

(2) "Reasonable purpose" means a purpose that is directly related to the housing provider's:

(A) Duty to keep the entire property safe from damage;

(B) Duty to inspect the premises;

(C) Duty to make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, renovations, or improvements;

(D) Duty to supply necessary or agreed services and maintenance;

(E) Need to exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen, or contractors; or

(F) Need to gain entry for work ordered by a governmental entity.

(3) "Reasonable time" means a time between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and not on a Sunday or federal holiday, or at another time agreed upon by the tenant.

(b)(1) Except in the event of an emergency for the protection or preservation of the premises, or for the protection and safety of the tenants or other persons, a housing provider may enter a rental unit during a tenancy only for a reasonable purpose, at a reasonable time, and after having provided the tenant with reasonable notice.

(2) Upon a showing by the tenant that the housing provider has entered a unit in violation of this section, or has repeatedly made unreasonable demands for entry, any court of competent jurisdiction may enjoin the housing provider from that behavior and may assess appropriate damages against the housing provider for breach of the tenant's right to quiet enjoyment of the premises.

(3) Upon the allegation of a housing code violation by a tenant, a tenant may not unreasonably prevent the housing provider from accessing the unit for assessment and abatement of the alleged violation and must provide access to the unit within 48 hours of the written request by the housing provider for access.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 531; as added Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-210, § 2(d), 63 DCR 15302.)


§ 42–3505.52. Housing provider duty to mitigate damages after breach of the rental agreement by tenant.

If a tenant refuses to take possession of a rental unit in bad faith, or vacates a rental unit before the end of a lease term, any actual damages the housing provider may be entitled to shall be subject to the duty of the housing provider to mitigate actual damages for breach of the rental agreement.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 532; as added Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-210, § 2(d), 63 DCR 15302.)


§ 42–3505.53. Notice of tenant's intent to vacate upon the expiration of an initial lease term.

Any provision that requires a tenant to provide more than a 30-day notice to the housing provider of the tenant's intention to vacate the premises upon the expiration of an initial lease term shall be void and unenforceable, unless the lease explicitly states that the provision expires upon the expiration of the initial lease term, and that, unless the tenant agrees to sign a renewal lease of other than month-to-month, the tenant thereafter has the right to vacate the premises upon a 30-day notice for so long as the tenant remains a tenant from month-to-month.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 533; as added Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-210, § 2(d), 63 DCR 15302.)


§ 42–3505.54. Notice of tenant's intent to vacate after the expiration of the signed lease term, renewal or extension term.

(a) A residential tenancy from month-to-month may be terminated by a 30-day notice in writing only from the tenant to the housing provider of the tenant's intention to quit. The notice shall expire on the first day of the first month at least 30 days after the date of the notice.

(b) A housing provider shall not place or cause to be placed in a residential lease or rental agreement a requirement that the tenant provide more than a 30-day notice to the housing provider of the tenant's intention to vacate the premises, unless the lease or agreement also requires the housing provider to provide the tenant with a written notice of any rent increase that is at least 15 days more than that time period.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 534; as added Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-210, § 2(d), 63 DCR 15302.)


§ 42–3505.55. Housing provider's consent before subletting.

A housing provider may, in its sole and absolute discretion, prohibit subletting of the premise or assigning a lease, either in part or in full; provided, that the prohibition is included in the lease. Where the lease provision allows subletting subject to the housing provider's reasonable consent or where the lease is silent regarding subletting, the housing provider may condition its consent on the prospective subtenant meeting all of the housing provider's reasonable rental qualification guidelines; provided, that the housing provider furnishes the guidelines to the tenant upon request.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 535; as added Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-210, § 2(d), 63 DCR 15302.)


Subchapter VI. Conversion or Demolition of Rental Housing for Hotels, Motels, or Inns.

§ 42–3506.01. Conversion.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person shall convert and the Mayor shall not permit the conversion of any housing accommodation or rental unit into a hotel, motel, inn, or other transient residential occupancy unit or accommodation.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 601, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2561.

Expiration of Law

Section 907 of D.C. Law 6-10, as amended by § 2(d) of D.C. Law 8-48 and § 818 of D.C. Law 11-52, provided that all subchapters of the act, except III and V, shall terminate on December 31, 2000.


§ 42–3506.02. Demolition.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person shall demolish and the Mayor shall not permit the demolition of any housing accommodation or rental unit for the purpose of constructing or expanding a hotel, motel, inn, or other transient residential accommodation.

(b) No person shall construct or expand and the Mayor shall not permit the construction or expansion of a hotel, motel, inn, or other transient residential occupancy on the site of a housing accommodation or rental unit demolished after July 17, 1985.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 602, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2562.

Cross References

Housing Finance Agency, exempt housing projects, displaced tenants, establishment of procedures for relocation assistance, see § 42-2703.08.

Rental housing, tenant evictions, notice to vacate, relocation assistance, see § 42-3505.01.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3506.01.

Short Title

Short title: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3501.01.


Subchapter VII. Relocation Assistance for Tenants Displaced by Substantial Rehabilitation, Demolition, or Housing Discontinuance.

§ 42–3507.01. Notice of right to assistance.

No housing provider shall substantially rehabilitate, demolish, or discontinue any housing accommodation unless there has first been served upon each tenant residing in the housing accommodation a written notice of intent to rehabilitate, demolish, or discontinue the housing accommodation in accordance with § 42-3505.01(f), (g), (h), or (i), as appropriate. The notice shall advise the tenants of their right to relocation assistance under this chapter or any other District law, and the procedures for applying for the assistance. The Rental Housing Commission shall prescribe the content of the notice. No tenant may be evicted from a housing accommodation which the housing provider intends to substantially rehabilitate, demolish, or discontinue housing use, or which the housing provider intends to sell to another person who, to the housing provider’s knowledge, intends to substantially rehabilitate, demolish, or discontinue housing use, unless the requirements of this section have been met. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to limit a housing provider’s right to evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent or violation of an obligation of the tenancy, if the action to evict is in compliance with § 42-3505.01.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 701, 32 DCR 3089; June 22, 2006, D.C. Law 16-140, § 2(b), 53 DCR 3686.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2571.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-231.03.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-140 substituted “in accordance with section § 42-3505.01(f), (g), (h), or (i)” for “in accordance with § 42-3505.01(g), (h), or (i)”.

Expiration of Law

Section 907 of D.C. Law 6-10, as amended by § 2(d) of D.C. Law 8-48 and § 818 of D.C. Law 11-52, provided that all subchapters of the act, except III and V, shall terminate on December 31, 2000.


§ 42–3507.02. Eligibility assistance.

Each housing provider commencing substantial rehabilitation, demolition, or housing discontinuance, on or after July 17, 1985, shall pay relocation assistance in an amount calculated under § 42-3507.03 to all tenants of the housing accommodation who:

(1) Were living in the rental units contained in the housing accommodation from which they are being displaced at the time the notice required by § 42-3505.01 is given; and

(2) Are displaced from rental units because the housing accommodation in which they are located is to be substantially rehabilitated, demolished, or discontinued.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 702, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2572.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3507.01.


§ 42–3507.03. Payments.

(a) Until the Mayor establishes the amount of relocation assistance pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the amount of relocation assistance payable to a displaced tenant shall be calculated as follows:

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, relocation assistance in the amount of $300 for each room in the rental unit shall be payable to the tenants or subtenants bearing the cost of removing the majority of the furnishings. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term “room” in a rental unit means any space 60 square feet or larger which has a fixed ceiling and a floor and is subdivided with fixed partitions on all sides, but does not mean bathrooms, balconies, closets, pantries, kitchens, foyers, hallways, storage areas, utility rooms, or the like.

(2) Relocation assistance in the amount of $150 for each pantry, kitchen, storage area, and utility room that exceeds 60 square feet in area shall be payable to the tenants or subtenants bearing the cost of removing the majority of the furnishings.

(b) The Mayor shall establish the amount to be paid tenants for relocation assistance within 30 days of June 22, 2006. Thereafter, the Mayor shall, by rule, adjust the amount to be paid tenants for relocation assistance not more than once every 12 months and not less than once every 3 years. The amount of relocation assistance shall reflect the cost of moving, including transporting personal property, packing and unpacking, insurance of property while in transit, storage of personal property, the disconnection and re-connection of utilities, and any other reasonable factor, within the Washington-Baltimore Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area.

(c) Relocation assistance shall be paid to eligible tenants not later than 24 hours before the date the rental unit is to be vacated by the tenants or subtenants, if the housing provider has received at least 10 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, advance written notice of the date upon which the unit is to be vacated. Where the tenant does not provide the housing provider with at least a 10-day notice, the relocation assistance shall be paid within 30 days after the unit is vacated.

(d) Payment of relocation assistance shall not be required with respect to any rental unit which is the subject of an outstanding judgment for possession obtained by the housing provider or housing provider’s predecessor in interest against the tenants or subtenants for a cause of action whether the cause of action arises before or after the service of the notice of intention to rehabilitate, demolish, or discontinue housing use. If the judgment for possession is based upon nonpayment of rent and arises after the notice of intent to rehabilitate, demolish, or discontinue housing use has been given, then relocation assistance shall be required in an amount reduced by the amount determined to be due and owing to the housing provider by the court rendering the judgment for possession.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 703, 32 DCR 3089; June 22, 2006, D.C. Law 16-140, § 2(c), 53 DCR 3686.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2573.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3507.02.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-140, in the lead-in language in subsec. (a), substituted “Until the Mayor establishes the amount of relocation assistance pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the amount of relocation assistance” for “The amount of relocation assistance”; in par. (a)(1), substituted “the amount of $300” for “the amount of $ 150”; in par. (a)(2), substituted “the amount of $150” for “the amount of $ 75”; and rewrote subsec. (b), which had read as follows: “(b) The Mayor shall adjust the amount to be paid tenants for relocation assistance from time to time in order to reflect changes in the cost of moving within the Washington, D.C., Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA). The adjustments shall be made under subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, not more than once in any calendar year.”

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3507.01.


§ 42–3507.04. Relocation advisory services.

Whenever a building in the District is converted from rental to condominium units, substantially rehabilitated or demolished, or discontinued from housing use, the Relocation Assistance Office of the Department of Housing and Community Development shall provide relocation advisory services for tenants who move from the building. These services shall include:

(1) Ascertaining the relocation needs for each household;

(2) Providing current information on the availability of equivalent substitute housing;

(3) Supplying information concerning federal and District housing programs; and

(4) Providing other advisory services to displaced persons in order to minimize hardships in adjusting to relocation.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 704, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2574.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 45-2571.


§ 42–3507.05. Tenant hot line.

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs shall provide for the continuation of a tenant hot line. The primary purpose of the tenant hot line is to provide assistance to low- and moderate-income tenants. To carry out this purpose, the functions and responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) Answering rent control procedural questions, and directing tenants toward possible courses of action in resolving problems;

(2) Providing advice on housing regulation violations;

(3) Explaining rent increases;

(4) Providing guidance on emergency shelter;

(5) Providing guidance on the Tenant Assistance Program;

(6) Providing guidance in resolving problems involving water, heating, repairs, and other matters;

(7) Providing advice on possible action in response to allegations of discrimination, harassment, or neglect by housing providers;

(8) Answering preliminary questions about remedies through the courts;

(9) Providing guidance when tenants are faced with eviction; and

(10) Providing guidance on other tenant problems.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 705, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2575.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 45-2571.


Subchapter VIII. New and Vacant Rental Housing and Distressed Property.

§ 42–3508.01. Declaration of policy.

In order to assist in stimulating the expansion of the supply of decent, safe, and affordable rental housing for low- to moderate-income persons in the District, the Council declares as its policy that the Mayor and the Council shall:

(1) Use the District’s bonding authority to provide low-interest financing for the construction of new rental units and the rehabilitation of vacant rental units; and

(2) Provide tax abatements and other incentives for the construction of new rental units and the rehabilitation of vacant rental units.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 801, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2581.

Expiration of Law

Section 907 of D.C. Law 6-10, as amended by § 2(d) of D.C. Law 8-48 and § 818 of D.C. Law 11-52, provided that all subchapters of the act, except III and V, shall terminate on December 31, 2000.

Editor's Notes

For temporary amendment to the termination provision of D.C. Law 6-10, see § 818 of the Omnibus Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-124, July 27, 1995, 42 DCR 4160).

Mayor authorized to issue rules: Section 2(d) of D.C. Law 10-155 provided in part that pursuant to subchapter 1 of Chapter 5 of Title 2, the Mayor shall issue rules to implement this subchapter. The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, in whole or in part, by resolution within this 45-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved. Nothing in this section shall affect any requirements imposed upon the Mayor by subchapter 1 of Chapter 5 of Title 2.


§ 42–3508.02. Tax abatement for new or rehabilitated vacant rental housing.

(a) There shall be an 80% reduction of the property tax liability during the first year newly constructed rental housing accommodations become available for rental. Tax for succeeding years shall be increased by increments of 16% of the full tax liability, until the time the full liability absent this provision, is reached.

(b) When vacant rental accommodations which have been rehabilitated become available for rental, the provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall apply to the amount by which the tax assessment was increased due to rehabilitation.

(c) When vacant rental accommodations are being rehabilitated under this subchapter, the Mayor may defer or forgive any indebtedness owed the District or defer or forgive outstanding tax liens.

(d) A project eligible for tax abatement or deferral or forgiveness of any indebtedness to the District or deferral or forgiveness of tax liens under subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section shall be subject to certification by the Mayor that it is in the best interest of the District and is consistent with the District’s rental property needs in terms of its location, type, and variety of sizes or rental units.

(e) Repealed.

(f) This section shall not apply to property which receives tax relief pursuant to §§ 47-857.03 through 47-857.10.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 802, 32 DCR 3089; Aug. 25, 1994, D.C. Law 10-155, § 2(c), 41 DCR 4873; Apr. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-114, § 602, 49 DCR 1468.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2582.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3508.04, § 47-857.02, and § 47-859.02.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-114 added subsec. (f).

Cross References

Establishment of real property tax rates, see § 47-812.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3508.01.


§ 42–3508.03. Deferral or forgiveness of water and sewer fees for rehabilitated vacant rental housing.

(a) Where vacant rental accommodations are being rehabilitated under this subchapter, the Mayor may defer or forgive any outstanding water and sewer fees owed by the property.

(b) A project under this section shall be subject to certification by the Mayor that it is in the best interest of the District, and is consistent with the District’s rental property needs in terms of its location, type, and variety of sizes of rental units.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 803, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2583.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3508.04.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3508.01.


§ 42–3508.04. Distressed properties improvement program.

(a) The Mayor may establish and administer a distressed property improvement program to assist those housing accommodations which meet the requirements of § 42-3501.03(9).

(b) The distressed property improvement program may include any or all of the following:

(1) A 5-year deferral or moratorium on real property taxes;

(2) Deferral or forgiveness of water and sewer charges in arrears;

(3) Deferral or forgiveness of tax liens;

(4) Deferral or forgiveness of any indebtedness owed to the District;

(5) Low-interest or no-interest loans; and

(6) Financial grants.

(c) Nothing in subsection (b) of this section or this subchapter shall be construed as creating a right or entitlement for any housing provider or other person.

(d) Distressed properties and new or rehabilitated vacant rental housing under §§ 42-3508.02 and 42-3508.03 shall have priority over other properties for participation in the Tenant Assistance Program so long as the tenants who reside in distressed property and who receive assistance from the Tenant Assistance Program are doing so consistent with the provisions of § 42-3503.03(c).


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 804, 32 DCR 3089; Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-192, § 13(h), 33 DCR 7836.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2584.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-407, § 42-3503.02, and § 42-3508.05.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3508.01.


§ 42–3508.05. Distressed property improvement plan.

(a) Upon petition by the housing provider, the Mayor may initiate the development of a distressed property improvement plan utilizing any or all of the mechanisms in § 42-3508.04(b). The development of the plan shall involve the participation of the housing provider, the tenants or tenants’ association and may include the mortgagor.

(b) A distressed property improvement plan may include, but not be limited to:

(1) A schedule of repairs and capital improvements;

(2) A schedule of services and facilities;

(3) A schedule of rents and rent increases;

(4) A schedule of mortgage payments which may reflect additional long-term loans to the housing provider for the housing accommodation;

(5) A schedule of additional capital investment in the housing accommodation by the housing provider; and

(6) A schedule of property tax payments, which may also reflect moratoria or deferrals on property tax payments and the abatement or deferral of up to 100% of any tax outstanding on the housing accommodation.

(c) In the development of the distressed property improvement plan, the Mayor may consider:

(1) The interests of tenants in achieving decent, safe, and sanitary housing at affordable rents;

(2) The long-term interest of the housing provider in achieving a sound investment and a reasonable return on the housing provider’s investment;

(3) The long-term interest of the mortgagor in achieving a financially secure mortgage; and

(4) The long-term interest of the District in achieving a decent, safe, and sanitary housing accommodation which is fiscally sound and which generates and pays its fair property tax assessment.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 805, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2585.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3508.01.


§ 42–3508.06. Incentives for development of single-room-occupancy housing.

(a) The Mayor may provide tax abatements and deferral or forgiveness of water and sewer fees and other indebtedness to the District as incentives for the development of single-room-occupancy housing for low- and moderate-income tenants. These incentives shall be provided pursuant to negotiations and written agreements between the Mayor and housing providers engaged in the development or operation of single-room-occupancy housing accommodations. In these negotiations and written agreements, the Mayor may establish a formula for abating property tax liability for properties developed pursuant to this section for a period of not more than 10 years beginning during the first year that newly-constructed or rehabilitated single-room-occupancy housing becomes available for occupancy.

(b) The incentives provided by this section shall be available for new construction, renovation of any vacant rental housing accommodation, or renovation of any non-housing property, whether vacant or not, for single-room-occupancy housing.

(c) To qualify for the incentives provided by this section, the housing provider shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Mayor that the single-room-occupancy housing meets the following minimum standards:

(1) Rental rates are affordable for low- and moderate-income tenants and reflect costs offset by the tax abatements and deferral or forgiveness of indebtedness to the District provided pursuant to this section;

(2) The location is in compliance with the Zoning Regulations of the District of Columbia;

(3) Each rental unit includes no less than 95 square feet of space, and a clothing storage unit;

(4) Toilet and shower or bathing facilities are provided on each floor where tenants reside, in a reasonable size to meet the needs of the tenants residing on that floor;

(5) A common-space day room, kitchen, and laundry facilities sufficient to meet the needs of all tenants at 100% occupancy are provided;

(6) A 24-hour security system, either manual or electronic, is provided; and

(7) The housing accommodation has a resident manager who resides on the premises.

(d) Within 180 days from August 25, 1994, the Mayor shall compile, provide to the Council, and publish in the District of Columbia Register an initial list of District-owned and privately-owned properties in the District that are available and suitable for the development of single-room-occupancy housing in accordance with this section. At least annually thereafter, the Mayor shall publish a revised list and provide a written report to the Council regarding the status of single-room-occupancy housing development at these and other sites.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 806; as added Aug. 25, 1994, D.C. Law 10-155, § 2(d), 41 DCR 4873.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2586.

Editor's Notes

Termination of Law: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3508.01.


Subchapter IX. Miscellaneous Provisions.

§ 42–3509.01. Penalties.

(a) Any person who knowingly (1) demands or receives any rent for a rental unit in excess of the maximum allowable rent applicable to that rental unit under the provisions of subchapter II of this chapter, or (2) substantially reduces or eliminates related services previously provided for a rental unit, shall be held liable by the Rent Administrator or Rental Housing Commission, as applicable, for the amount by which the rent exceeds the applicable rent charged or for treble that amount (in the event of bad faith) and/or for a roll back of the rent to the amount the Rent Administrator or Rental Housing Commission determines.

(a-1) Any housing provider who knowingly or willfully violates § 42-3505.31, or § 42-3505.01(a), regarding a prohibited eviction for the nonpayment of a late fee, shall be liable to the tenant for the amount by which the late fee exceeds the allowable late fee, or for treble that amount in the event of bad faith, and shall be subject to a civil fine of at least $100 and not more than $ 5,000 for each violation.

(a-2) A housing provider found to have violated any provision of section 533, section 534, or section 535, or section 304 of Title 14 of the Housing Regulations of the District of Columbia, issued August 11, 1955 (C.C. 55-1503; 14 DCMR § 304), shall be liable to the tenant for treble damages if the housing provider is found to have acted in bad faith.

(b) Any person who wilfully (1) collects a rent increase after it has been disapproved under this chapter, until and unless the disapproval has been reversed by a court of competent jurisdiction, (2) makes a false statement in any document filed under this chapter, (3) commits any other act in violation of any provision of this chapter or of any final administrative order issued under this chapter, or (4) fails to meet obligations required under this chapter shall be subject to a civil fine of not more than $5,000 for each violation.

(c) Any housing provider who has provided relocation assistance under this chapter may bring a civil action to recover the amount of relocation assistance paid to any person who was not eligible to receive the assistance.

(d) Any person who knowingly or wilfully makes a false or fraudulent application, report, or statement in order to obtain, or for the purpose of obtaining, any grant or payment under the Tenant Assistance Program, or any person ceasing to become eligible for the grant or payment and who does not immediately notify the Department of his or her ineligibility, shall be fined not less than $50 and not more than $5,000 for each offense. A person who knowingly and wilfully makes false or fraudulent reports or statements, or of failing to notify promptly the Department of the person’s ineligibility, shall repay to the District government all amounts paid by the District government in reliance on the false or fraudulent application, report, or statement, or all amounts paid after eligibility ceases, and shall be liable for interest on the amounts at the rate of 1/2 of 1% per month until repaid.

(e) A housing provider who discriminates against a family receiving or eligible to receive Tenant Assistance Program assistance, an elderly tenant, or a family with children when renting housing accommodations shall be fined not more than $5,000 for each violation. Repeat violators shall be fined not more than $15,000 for each violation. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as requiring the rental of a rental unit to a tenant with a child in the case of a single-room-occupancy rental unit designed for occupancy by a single adult living alone.

(f) Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as alternative sanctions for any infraction of subsections (b), (d), and (e) of this section, or any rules or regulations issued under the authority of these subsections, pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2. Adjudication of any infraction of these subsections shall be pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2.

(g) Any person who knowingly, wilfully, and in bad faith makes a false or fraudulent statement to receive a tax credit for not assessing capital improvement increases to an elderly tenant or tenant with a disability shall be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000 for each violation.

(h) If a housing provider's challenge, pursuant to § 42-3502.24(h)(2), to a tenant's registration to establish elderly or disability status under § 42-3502.24(d) is determined to have been frivolous or made in bad faith, the housing provider shall be deemed to have made an unlawful demand for rent, and shall be held liable to the tenant, as applicable, for:

(1) At a minimum, an amount equal to 2% of the total annual current rent charged;

(2) At a maximum, an amount equal to the total annual current rent charged; and

(3) In addition to the penalties specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, treble damages based upon the amounts prescribed in those paragraphs.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 901, 32 DCR 3089; Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 408, 32 DCR 4450; Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-167, § 3, 33 DCR 6732; Oct. 2, 1987, D.C. Law 7-30, § 5, 34 DCR 5304; Mar. 8, 1991, D.C. Law 8-237, § 23, 38 DCR 314; Sept. 26, 1992, D.C. Law 9-154, § 2(c), 39 DCR 5673; Aug. 25, 1994, D.C. Law 10-155, § 2(e), 41 DCR 4873; Aug. 5, 2006, D.C. Law 16-145, § 2(a), 53 DCR 4889; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305,§ 67(f), 53 DCR 6198; Dec. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-172, § 2(d), 63 DCR 12959; Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-210, § 2(e), 63 DCR 15302; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-239, § 3(h), 64 DCR 1588.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2591.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3505.05.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-145, in subsec. (a), substituted “rent charged” for “rent ceiling”.

D.C. Law 16-305, in subsec. (g), substituted “tenant or tenant with a disability” for “or disabled tenant”.

Expiration of Law

Section 907 of D.C. Law 6-10, as amended by § 2(d) of D.C. Law 8-48 and § 818 of D.C. Law 11-52, provided that all subchapters of the act, except III and V, shall terminate on December 31, 2000.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of Rent Control Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-470, July 31, 2006, 53 DCR 6772).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 4 of Tenant Assistance Program Amendment Temporary Act of 1987 (D.C. Law 7-48, December 10, 1987, law notification 34 DCR 8107).

Editor's Notes

Application of 9-154: Section 3 of D.C. Law 9-154 provided that the act shall not apply to any increase in a rent ceiling for a rental unit, or to any increase in the rent charged for a rental unit, when the capital improvement petition has been approved by the Rent Administrator and the resultant rent increase was implemented prior to September 26, 1992.

For temporary amendment to the termination provision of D.C. Law 6-10, see § 818 of the Omnibus Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-124, July 27, 1995, 42 DCR 4160).


§ 42–3509.02. Attorney’s fees.

The Rent Administrator, Rental Housing Commission, or a court of competent jurisdiction may award reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing party in any action under this chapter, except actions for eviction authorized under § 42-3505.01.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 902, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2592.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3505.06.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3509.01.


§ 42–3509.03. Supersedure.

This chapter shall be considered to supersede the Rental Accommodations Act of 1975, the Rental Housing Act of 1977, and the Rental Housing Act of 1980, except that a petition filed with the Rent Administrator under the Rental Housing Act of 1980 shall be determined under the provisions of the Rental Housing Act of 1980.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 903, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2593.

Cross References

Rental Accommodations Act of 1975, and the Rental Housing Acts of 1977 and 1980, definitions, see § 42-3501.03.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3509.01.


§ 42–3509.04. Service.

(a) Unless otherwise provided by Rental Housing Commission regulations, any information or document required to be served upon any person shall be served upon that person, or the representative designated by that person or by the law to receive service of the documents. When a party has appeared through a representative of record, service shall be made upon that representative. Service upon a person may be completed by any of the following ways:

(1) By handing the document to the person, by leaving it at the person’s place of business with some responsible person in charge, or by leaving it at the person’s usual place of residence with a person of suitable age and discretion;

(2) By telegram, when the content of the information or document is given to a telegraph company properly addressed and prepaid;

(3) By mail or deposit with the United States Postal Service properly stamped and addressed; or

(4) By any other means that is in conformity with an order of the Rental Housing Commission or the Rent Administrator in any proceeding.

(b) No rent increases, whether under this chapter, the Rental Accommodations Act of 1975, the Rental Housing Act of 1977, the Rental Housing Act of 1980, or any administrative decisions issued under these acts, shall be effective until the first day on which rent is normally paid occurring more than 30 days after notice of the increase is given to the tenant.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 904, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2594.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3502.08, § 42-3502.09, and § 42-3502.16.

Cross References

Rental Accommodations Act of 1975, and the Rental Housing Acts of 1977 and 1980, definitions, see § 42-3501.03.

Rent increases above base rent, notice of increase in compliance with this section, see § 42-3502.08.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3509.01.


§ 42–3509.05. [Reserved].


§ 42–3509.06. [Reserved].


§ 42–3509.07. Termination.

All subchapters of this chapter, except subchapters III and V and § 42-3509.08, shall terminate on December 31, 2020.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 907, 32 DCR 3089; Oct. 19, 1989, D.C. Law 8-48, § 2(c), 36 DCR 5788; Sept. 26, 1995, D.C. Law 11-52, § 818, 42 DCR 3684; Oct. 19, 2000, D.C. Law 13-172, § 1202(b), 47 DCR 6308; July 22, 2005, D.C. Law 16-10, § 2, 52 DCR 5244; Mar. 21, 2009, D.C. Law 17-319,§ 4(a), 56 DCR 214; Mar. 12, 2011, D.C. Law 18-328, § 2, 58 DCR 16; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 105, 59 DCR 6190.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-172 amended the termination date.

D.C. Law 16-10 rewrote the section which had read:

“All subchapters of this chapter, except subchapters III and V, shall terminate on December 31, 2005.”

D.C. Law 17-319 substituted “except subchapters III and V and § 42-3509.08” for “except subchapters III and V”.

D.C. Law 18-328 rewrote the section, which formerly read:

“All subchapters of this chapter, except subchapters III and V and § 42-3509.08, shall terminate on December 31, 2010.”

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 added “and § 42-3509.08.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 1202(b) of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-376, July 24, 2000, 47 DCR 6574).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1202(b) of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-438, October 20, 2000, 47 DCR 8740).

For temporary (90 day) amendment, see § 4(a) 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 Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-420, July 8, 2008, 55 DCR 7703).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 4(a) 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).

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).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Rental Housing Act Extension Emergency Amendment Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-675, December 28, 2010, 58 DCR 132).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Rental Housing Act Extension Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2011 (D.C. Act 19-31, March 15, 2011, 58 DCR 2604).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 4(a) 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).


§ 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.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 908; as added Mar. 21, 2009, D.C. Law 17-319, § 4(b), 56 DCR 214.)

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).