The Department of Buildings (DOB) Proactive Inspection Program ensures all multi-unit rental properties in the District of Columbia are inspected. The program is designed to promote safety and ensure all rental units in the District of Columbia meet residential property maintenance and building codes.
To help achieve this goal, the Proactive Inspection Program uses a specialized algorithm developed in conjunction with Georgetown University to address apartment buildings with an increased likelihood of violations. The algorithm takes into account factors like a building's age and the landlord's history of code violations, allowing us to more effectively deploy our inspectors. Using the DOB Public Dashboard, District residents can also look at apartment buildings and see how many housing violations have been issued, and of those violations, how many repairs have been made. Once identified, The Proactive Inspection Division begins scheduling and inspecting multi-family rental properties. Selected properties are posted online, owners and/or property managers will be notified, and a Notice of Inspection will be posted monthly on the main door of the building, and in high-traffic areas. Property owners and managers can view the Proactive Inspection Schedules to see which properties have been selected for an inspection. To assist tenants in taking advantage of the program, DOB also conducts Virtual Town Hall meetings to educate tenants on how multi-family dwellings inspections are conducted and how to request an inspection, at no cost to them.
All Units Must Be Inspected
Once a property is identified for inspection, the property owner or manager must coordinate with all tenants to ensure that 100% of all eligible units in the building are inspected. All multi-family rental property owners will receive a Notice of Inspection from DOB.
The inspection will include the exterior, interior common areas, and all units. The property owner, or property manager, is required to be present during the inspection and provide DOB inspectors entry into the building and inside all eligible units. A virtual inspection may also be requested.
Virtual Inspection Information
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency, and in accordance with DC Health’s social distancing guidelines, DOB's Proactive Inspection Program performs inspections virtually when possible. Visit coronavirus.dc.gov for more information.
If your building is scheduled for a Proactive Inspection you may report problem conditions in your unit without the need to open your doors to an inspector, the Agency is using two platforms; FaceTime on an Apple iPhone or Google Duo on an Android device.
DOB Inspectors can enter only those units for which property owners or property managers have obtained an Inspection Consent Form signed by each tenant. Property owners or property managers are responsible for obtaining authorization for entry and collecting signed Inspection Consent Forms before unit inspections.
Please contact the Proactive Inspection Program at 202-671-3500 or via the Live Chat feature on our homepage between 9 am and 4 pm at least five (5) days before your scheduled inspection date to provide your contact information to the DOB Inspector. This allows the inspector to contact you on the morning of the inspection and provide a two (2) hour window arrival time.
The property owner or property manager must be on the premises during the inspection.
If unable to attend a scheduled proactive inspection, you are required to reschedule the inspection at least 24-hours before the scheduled appointment. Failure to notify may cause your building to automatically fail the inspection and may result in an enforcement action. All failed items will result in a Notice of Infraction (NOI). It is the responsibility of the property owner to correct all identified violations and contact DOB for a re-inspection. Life safety violations must be corrected within 24 hours and non-life safety violations must be corrected within 15 days.
Proactive Inspection Program Resources