Code of the District of Columbia

Part A. Home Improvement Businesses.


§ 47–2883.01. Bonding of persons engaged in home improvement business; definitions.

The Council of the District of Columbia is authorized, in connection with the licensing of persons engaged in the home improvement business, whether as principal, agent, salesman, employee, or otherwise, to require the furnishing of bond as a condition to the issuance of such license. For the purposes of this part, the term “home improvement business” means the repair, remodeling, alteration, conversion, or modernization of, or addition to, residential property, all as may be more particularly defined in regulations promulgated by the Council. Such bonding may be required notwithstanding the fact that a person may also be subject to the bonding requirements of any other law.


(Sept. 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 86-715, § 1; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-501.

1973 Ed., § 2-2301.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

Cross References

Regulation, modification, or elimination of license requirements, see § 47-2842.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(78) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 47–2883.02. Bond requirements.

(a) The Council of the District of Columbia may, from time to time, and in its discretion, establish classes and subclasses of persons licensed to engage in the home improvement business and specify the amount and conditions of the bond or other security acceptable to the Council to be deposited by each of the members of any such class or subclass. In connection with the licensing of persons to engage in the home improvement business, and the bonding of the members of any such class or subclass of such persons, the Council, in its discretion, may by regulation require applicants for licenses or licensees:

(1) To furnish and keep in force a bond or bonds running to the District, or other security acceptable to the Council, to protect members of the public against financial loss by reason of the failure of the licensee or of any officer, agent, employee, salesman, or other person acting on behalf of said licensee, to observe any law or regulation in force in the District of Columbia applicable to the licensee’s conduct of the licensed business;

(2) To procure and keep in force public liability insurance or property damage insurance, or both; and

(3) To appoint the Mayor as their true and lawful attorney upon whom all judicial and other process or legal notice directed to such person may be served.

(b) The bonds authorized by this section shall be corporate surety bonds in amounts to be fixed by the Council, but no bond shall exceed $25,000, and such bond shall be conditioned upon the observance by the licensee and any officer, agent, employee, salesman, or other person acting on behalf of said licensee, of all laws and regulations in force in the District applicable to the licensee’s conduct of the licensed business, for the benefit of any person who may suffer damages resulting from the violation of any such law or regulation by or on the part of such licensee or any officer, agent, employee, salesman, or other person acting on behalf of the licensee.

(c) Any person aggrieved by the violation of any law or regulation applicable to the licensee’s conduct of the licensed activity shall have, in addition to his right of action against such licensee, a right to bring suit against the surety on a bond authorized by this section, either alone or jointly with the principal thereon, and to recover in an amount not exceeding the penalty of the bond any damages sustained by reason of any act, transaction, or conduct of the licensee, or of any officer, agent, employee, salesman, or other person acting on behalf of said licensee, which is in violation of law or regulation in force in the District relating to the licensed activity. The provisions of the second, third, and fifth paragraphs of subsection (b) of § 1-301.01 shall be applicable to each bond authorized by this section as if it were the bond authorized by the first paragraph of such subsection (b) of § 1-301.01; provided, that nothing in this subsection shall be construed to impose upon the surety on any such bond a greater liability than the total amount thereof or the amount remaining unextinguished after any prior recovery or recoveries.


(Sept. 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 815, Pub. L. 86-715, § 2; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-502.

1973 Ed., § 2-2302.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(79, 80) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 47–2883.03. Payment as defense to assertion of lien.

In any case in which a property owner or occupant has entered into a contract with a person offering to perform or to arrange for the performance of home improvement work, and such property owner or occupant makes payment for such work to the person offering to perform or arrange for the performance of the same, proof of such payment shall constitute a defense against, and render void, any lien sought to be asserted under the authority of subchapter I of Chapter 3 of Title 40, and § 40-303.01.


(Sept. 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 816, Pub. L. 86-715, § 3; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-503.

1973 Ed., § 2-2303.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.


§ 47–2883.04. Penalty.

Any person who shall violate any provision of this part or of any regulation promulgated by the Mayor under the authority of this part shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01] or by imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both. Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as alternative sanctions for any infraction of the provisions of this part, or any rules or regulations issued under the authority of this part, pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2. Adjudication of any infraction of this part shall be pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2.


(Sept. 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 816, Pub. L. 86-715, § 4; Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 433(a), 32 DCR 4450; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 286(u), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-504.

1973 Ed., § 2-2304.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01]” for “not exceeding $300”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 286(u) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 47–2883.05. Prosecutions to be conducted by Attorney General for the District of Columbia.

Prosecutions for violations of this part, or of the regulations made pursuant thereto, shall be conducted in the name of the District by the Attorney General for the District of Columbia or any of his assistants. As used in this part, the term “Attorney General for the District of Columbia” means the attorney for the District, by whatever title such attorney may be known, designated by the Mayor to perform the functions prescribed for the Attorney General for the District of Columbia in this part. Adjudication of civil infractions shall be pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2.


(Sept. 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 816, Pub. L. 86-715, § 5; Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 433(b), 32 DCR 4450; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 74, 52 DCR 2638; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-505.

1973 Ed., § 2-2305.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-354 substituted “Attorney General for the District of Columbia” for “Corporation Counsel”.

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 47–2883.06. Authority and power of Mayor deemed supplementary.

The authority and power vested in the Mayor by any provision of this part shall be deemed to be additional and supplementary to authority and power now vested in him, and not as a limitation.


(Sept. 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 816, Pub. L. 86-715, § 6; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-506.

1973 Ed., § 2-2306.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 47–2883.07. Severability.

If any provision of this part or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or the application of this part which can be effected without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this part are severable.


(Sept. 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 816, Pub. L. 86-715, § 7; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 302, 59 DCR 6190.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-507.

1973 Ed., § 2-2307.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-171 enacted this subchapter into law.