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Department of Buildings

Fireworks stands require permits from DOB; we will be processing applications through July 3, 2024. New applicants should view this form and follow the outlined steps, while returning applicants should follow the instructions laid out in this form. For any questions, please Contact DOB.

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Welcome to the Department of Buildings

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Enforcement Action

The Department of Buildings (DOB) Office of Strategic Code Enforcement is responsible for code enforcement, civil infractions, and fine assessment. Enforcement is a key component of safety. Our efficient process offers landlords timely notice to address potential violations while tenants are informed throughout each stage of the enforcement process. Our office issues Notices of Infraction (NOIs).

Department of Buildings Strategic Enforcement Plan: Fiscal Years 23-25

Department of Buildings Strategic Enforcement FY2023 Annual Report 

Enforcement Process

DOB issues Notices of Infraction (NOIs) to property owners that fail to abate commercial, construction, and property maintenance code violations or otherwise violate District of Columbia laws, rules, and regulations under the authority of the Department of Buildings. NOIs are filed with the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) to prosecute violations to the fullest extent of the law. DOB collects all fines, penalties, and interest associated with violations adjudicated by OAH. Respondents who abate their infractions within the provided deadlines can avail themselves of alternative resolution, significantly lowering or eliminating the assessed fine(s).

For more information about NOIs, please visit our NOI page.

Additionally, DOB places liens on properties when violators fail to pay outstanding fines and for the costs associated with the government correcting property violations. For more information about how compliance is enforced by DOB, please check out our Enforcement Graphic.

Lien Information

When fines or special assessments are unpaid, a lien is levied against the property for the funds due. Payment is due immediately. To make a payment, use the online payment portal. For questions, please e-mail [email protected] with reference to the property address, square and lot, and Control Number.

Property Sales
If you are a Title or Settlement Agent seeking payment information for a property to be sold, please email the request to [email protected]. Include the property address and square and lot. If you are the purchaser of property at a tax sale and wish to request a DOB lien be released, please email the request to [email protected]. Include the property address, square and lot, and copy of the tax sale deed. Liens will only be released when the deed is issued.

Liens placed prior to the deed date of a property sold at the Discount Tax Sale may be released. Liens placed after remain due and can be paid online by using the online payment portal. Liens placed prior or after the deed date of a property sold at the Traditional Tax Sale will remain due unless the lien was certified to the Office of Tax and Revenue and so collected as part of the tax sale.

Special Assessment Lien Relief

DOB may defer or forgive, in whole or in part, special assessments levied to property only in economic development zones pursuant to D.C. Code § 6-1503. This exception indicates that a deferral or forgiveness, in whole or in part, may be provided with respect to any qualified real property approved pursuant to § 6-1503.

​Pursuant to D.C. Code § 6-1503, eligible property located in one of the District's three (3) Economic Development Zones include:

  • Real property is classified as Class 3 or Class 4 real property under § 47-813;
  • Real property is used in conformity with the zoning regulations; and
  • Rehabilitation of the real property begins after October 20, 1988, and the actual costs of the rehabilitation of the property exceed 50% of the value of the property, as assessed by the Department of Finance and Revenue for the tax year ending immediately before the commencement of the rehabilitation; or construction on the real property begins after October 20, 1988.

Requests can be submitted to [email protected].

Fines and Special Tax Assessments

Pay Online
Payments may be made using debit or credit cards using our online payment portal.

Pay Fines Online

Pay By Mail

Payments should be made to: Department of Buildings/Office of Strategic Code Enforcement/Civil Infractions and sent to 1100 4th St SW, Washington, DC 20024.

Walk-In Payment

Payment is available at the District of Columbia Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s cashier’s office at 1100 4th Street, SW Suite E200, Washington, DC 20024 between the hours of 8:15 A.M.-4:30 P.M. The walk-in cashier’s office requires payment be accompanied with a payment voucher that the customer must secure from DOB’s Office of Strategic Code Enforcement/Civil Infractions. Please e-mail [email protected] for a payment voucher.

Establishment of Installment Payment Plans

DOB offers customers the option of entering into an installment payment plan to pay fines and special assessments. Through such an agreement, the accumulation of interest is stayed while the total due is paid over a maximum of six months. To request to enter into an installment payment plan, please e-mail [email protected].

Request a Refund for Fines and Special Assessments
Initiate a financial review of fines and special assessments paid to DOB to be considered for a refund from the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO). Refund requests are considered in cases of excess payment and/or duplicate payment.

Request a Refund

 

Interest and Collections
D.C. Official Code § 2-1802.03.(i) and § 47-1205 provides that fines and special assessments be paid in full with interest from the date levied. For each month or portion thereof that a fine and/or special assessment remains unpaid, interest is accrued at 1.5%. Interest begins 30 calendar days after the fine and/or assessment is levied.

Fines are deemed delinquent 180 days after non-payment and shall be transferred to the District’s Central Collection Unit (CCU). Once a fine is transferred to the CCU, the transferring agency can no longer collect. Unpaid special assessments may be transferred to the Office of Tax and Revenue for inclusion in the District’s Annual Real Property Tax Sale.

Annual Increases in Fine Amounts
As required by the Budget Support Act, an annual increase in all DOB fines amounts will be implemented according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  Thus, each year starting January 1st, every fine will increase.  Green Building Code and Alternative Compliance Path Infractions (§16 DCMR 3314) are not included in this fine increase.

Additional fine information is available in the DC Municipal Regulations, Title: 16 Consumer, Commercial Practice, and Civil Infractions.

Establishment of Installment Payment Plans

As required by the Budget Support Act, an annual increase in all DOB fines amounts will be implemented according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Thus, each year starting January 1st, every fine will increase. Green Building Code and Alternative Compliance Path Infractions (§16 DCMR 3314) are not included in this fine increase.

Additional fine information is available in the DC Municipal Regulations, Title 16: Consumer, Commercial Practice, and Civil Infractions.

Alternative Resolution

DOB's Alternative Resolution Team (ART) is tasked with negotiating settlements with customers to achieve case resolution without litigation. The ART is limited to settling Notices of Infraction and cannot settle Special Assessments.

Alternative Resolution Team

 

Update for Rental Housing Providers

DOB issues electronic notifications for housing code violations, therefore, all housing providers who operate one-,  two- and multi-family rental properties in the District must update their contact information to include a valid email address.

Update your Contact Information

 

Submit Proof of Abatement

If you are a property owner or manager who has corrected or abated violations, please submit proof of abatement.

Submit Proof of Abatement