Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

dob

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.

DOB
Menu Button
 

Welcome to the Department of Buildings

1 I Need To...
keyboard_arrow_right
2 ...
keyboard_arrow_right
3  

Vacant and Blighted Residential Properties

What is a Vacant Property? What Is a Blighted Property?

D.C. Official Code § 42–3131.05 (5) “Vacant building” means real property improved by a building which, on or after April 27, 2001, has not been occupied continuously; provided, that in the case of residential buildings, a building shall only be a vacant building if the Mayor determines that there is no resident for which an intent to return and occupy the building can be shown.

D.C. Official Code § 42-3131.05 (1) (A) A blighted vacant building is determined by the Mayor to be unsafe, insanitary or which is otherwise determined to threaten the health, safety, or general welfare of the community.

 

If you’d like to report a vacant or blighted property/schedule an inspection with DOB, please follow this link:

Report Vacant/Blighted Property 

 

Considerations In Determining a Property Is Vacant

Per D.C. Code § 42-3131.05, in the case of residential buildings, a building shall only be a vacant building if there is no resident for which an intent to return and occupy the building can be shown. When determining whether there is a resident, the following is considered:

  • Electrical, gas, or water meter either not running or showing low usage;
  • Accumulated mail;
  • Neighbor complaint;
  • No window covering;
  • No furniture observable;
  • Open accessibility;
  • Deferred maintenance, including loose or falling gutters, severe paint chipping, or overgrown grass; and
  • The dwelling is boarded up.

Vacant and blighted unoccupied properties for 30 days or more (as defined by the District of Columbia’s Title 42. Real Property) must be registered.

Considerations In Determining a Property Is Blighted

Per D.C. Code § 42-3131.05, in determining that a vacant building is a blighted vacant building, the following is considered:

  • Whether the vacant building is the subject of a condemnation proceeding before the Board of Condemnation and Insanitary Buildings (BCIB);
  • Whether the vacant building is boarded up; and
  • Failure to comply with the following vacant building maintenance standards:
  • Doors, windows, areaways, and other openings are weather-tight and secured against entry by birds, vermin, and trespassers, and missing or broken doors, windows, and other openings are covered;
  • The exterior walls are free of holes, breaks, graffiti, and loose or rotting materials, and exposed metal and wood surfaces are protected from the elements and against decay or rust by periodic application of weather-coating materials, such as paint; or
  • All balconies, porches, canopies, marquees, signs, metal awnings, stairways, accessory and appurtenant structures, and similar features are safe and sound, and exposed metal and wood surfaces are protected from the elements by application of weather-coating materials, such as paint.

 

Apply and Pay for Construction Permits Online

For one and two-family residential projects, use the DOB Permit Wizard for your online permit application. 

Commercial projects, solar, demolition, razes, and after-hours permits are processed through the Citizen Access Portal.