Verify Your Landlord Is Licensed
If you are renting, the owner/landlord is required to be properly licensed by the Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection. Prior to signing your lease or moving in, ask the landlord for their Basic Business License number and verify the license information. The verification site will only show those licenses that are active. If you don’t have the exact license number you can also search by your rental address (i.e. Business Address) or the License Category. Rentals will generally fall under the License Categories of either Apartment, One Family, or Two Family. Check the Basic Business License Category Information for other housing categories that may be applicable. If you can’t find the license information, call (202) 671-4500 for assistance.
Your landlord is required to provide an apartment, building or single family dwelling in a safe, habitable and livable condition, thus your landlord has a duty to make all repairs necessary to meet that standard. Some of the most common standards your landlord has to provide are listed in the How to Report Suspected Housing Violations information guide (Page 2). If you want more information you can request a copy of the current DC Housing Code at (202) 671-3500.
DC Housing Code Standards
District of Columbia laws require landlords to provide dwellings that are in a safe, habitable and livable condition. The landlord has a duty to make all repairs necessary to make dwellings habitable. DC law also requires landlords to maintain dwellings in compliance with many established standards, including Housing Code standards.
File a Complaint
In following the guidelines on Page 1 of the How to Report Suspected Housing Violations information guide, report your suspected housing violations to the property manager directly. Complaints can be filed online using our online web-form. If the issues are not addressed or resolved within ten days, then you need to report your complaint directly to DOB. To schedule an inspection call (202) 671-3500 or email your complaint to [email protected]. If using email, please include your name, property address, phone number and a summary of your issues. You may also contact the Office of the Tenant Advocate (OTA) for assistance and more tenant resources information, ota.dc.gov.
Update for Rental Housing Providers
The Department of Buildings (DOB) electronically issues notifications for housing code violations. Therefore, we are requesting all housing providers who operate apartment, one- and two- family rental properties in the District of Columbia to update their contact information, including a valid email address.