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Department of Buildings

In observance of the Emancipation Day holiday, DOB will be closed on Tuesday, April 16, 2024; no construction will be allowed on this day without an after-hours permit. You may report illegal construction by submitting an Illegal Construction Inspection Request Form during normal business hours or by calling 311.

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Inspection FAQs

Proactive Inspection FAQs

What is the Proactive Inspection Program?
The Proactive Inspection Program is a property maintenance inspection program designed to routinely evaluate properties for code compliance. The inspection program includes all District properties with three or more rental units.

How did my property get included in the Proactive Inspection Program?
Properties with three or more rental units are automatically enrolled and are subject to both proactive inspections and billing for the program fee based on the rental license renewal cycle.

Why am I receiving this bill for the Proactive Inspection Program fee?
In accordance with 14 DCMR § 207, all rental property owners, within the District and with properties containing three or more units, will receive a Proactive Inspection Program bill, either on a two-year or four-year cycle corresponding to their rental license billing cycle. All specific billing questions should be discussed with the Proactive Inspection Program staff at [email protected].

Will the bill coincide with the Basic Business License renewal?

How is the Proactive Inspection Program fee calculated?
In accordance with 14 DCMR § 207, the Proactive Inspection Program fee is $35 per unit with a maximum cumulative fee of $2,000 biennially.

For any re-inspection DOB conducts, there is a $90 fee assessed.

Do I need to register my property?
No. All properties with three or more rental units are automatically enrolled. However, you are required to obtain a Basic Business License (BBL) for your housing rental properties. For questions regarding obtaining a BBL, please call the Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (DLCP) at (202) 671- 4500 or visit

Who should I contact if I have a Basic Business License for my housing rental property, but I never received a Proactive Inspection?
Please call the Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (DLCP) at (202) 671- 4500 or visit with any questions about a BBL.

How do I know if my property is scheduled to be inspected?
Visit our website to see inspections schedules. These are posted a week prior to the beginning of the month for which the next series of inspections are scheduled.

In addition, a letter is mailed to the responsible party on record, and the property is posted with a Notice of Inspection one week before the scheduled inspection date.

How often must I get inspected?
Properties with a higher degree of compliance are inspected less frequently. Properties with a higher degree of non-compliance to code and safety regulations are inspected more often. All properties that are re-inspected due to non-compliance with cited violations will be charged a $90 re-inspection fee.

What if the information listed on my invoice is not accurate?
DOB makes every effort to maintain accurate property information, but in the event any information listed on the invoice is inaccurate, please provide the correct information with supporting documentation through the online payment portal. You may also confirm your contact information on the portal.

How can I apply for a refund?

Please fill out our Refund Application Form and email it to [email protected].

How are properties selected for inspection?
Each property is selected based upon a random selection process that includes properties in all eight wards. Properties may also be scheduled for a Proactive Inspection if DOB receives a substantial number of inspection requests from tenants.

How do I find out more about the Proactive Inspection Program?
Visit the Proactive Inspection Program.



Resident Inspector Program FAQs

Why do we need more inspectors?
The District of Columbia has been growing at record pace and so has the demand for required inspections by the Department of Buildings (DOB). Currently, there are 68 full-time inspectors and the forecast for demand is approaching 150,000 inspections per year. DOB is embracing an alternative solution that will decrease the wait in scheduling an inspection and provide job opportunities for District residents.

Am I eligible to be an inspector?
•    DC Resident Preferred
•    Must be 18 years or older
•    High School Diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
•    Successful Background Check

I have questions about the background check, who should I contact?
Contact the DC Department of Human Resources (DCHR) via email at or by phone at (202) 658-9019.

What types of inspection positions are conducted?

  • Vacant Property
  • Housing or Property Maintenance
  • Illegal Construction
  • Elevator inspections (Qualified Elevator Inspector certification required)

Do I have to be trained to be an inspector?
Training is required and offered through DOB. Certain inspection types will require additional training and exams at a cost to Resident Inspector candidates.

How much training is needed to be an inspector?
Training requirements vary depending on the inspection type and complexity of the inspection. You can train to be an inspector in as little as 18 hours, and by passing required exams which require time spent studying independently.

Does the training cost anything?
Free training is provided by DOB. Additional costs that Resident Inspector candidates may include the purchase of an Apple iPad/PC/smartphone, and fees required to pursue ICC certifications. Inspections are completed using an iPad/PC/smartphone so one will be required.

How much can I make as an inspector?  
Inspectors will be paid per qualified inspection. Payment varies from $30 to $300 depending on the complexity and type of inspection. Payments will be made through an independent company.

Can I work flexible hours?
As independent contractors, Resident Inspectors will be able to create their own schedules.

Do I need insurance to be an inspector?
We are evaluating insurance requirements and options for this program.

Since I will be an independent contractor, will I need a business license?

Are Resident Inspectors eligible to apply for DOB inspector positions?
Yes, Resident Inspectors may apply for open DOB inspector positions for which they are qualified.

Will this program certify me to be a professional home inspector?
No, this is not a home inspector training program and does not train individuals to perform home sale-related inspections.

How will DOB monitor Resident Inspectors and ensure that they perform quality inspections?
DOB has had a supplemental inspectors’ program for years. We ensure that each inspector is trained and approved by DOB and/or the International Code Council (ICC). Performance of inspectors will be monitored by DOB.

How will this all work? How will I get notified that an inspection is needed?
Once certified, Resident Inspectors can be included in DOB's inspector pool. DOB will connect residents with qualified and certified inspectors in their area through a booking system that will be closely monitored by DOB to ensure quality assurance. The booking system will assign Resident Inspectors to a service request based on availability, location, prior ratings, and other relevant factors.

How can I get more information?
Complete the Resident Inspector Interest Form.