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Basic Landlord Tenant Laws You Need to Know in Washington, D.C.

jennytu - Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Washington, D.C. is a unique place. In fact, we have more protected classes than almost any other jurisdiction in the U.S. As a landlord, it’s important that you know those protected classes. Today, we’re talking about some of the basic landlord tenant laws that you need to be aware of in Washington, D.C.

Property Management Washington, D.C.: Rent Control

This is also a rent control city. You need to register your rental property as exempt from rent control or under rent control. There are a lot of variables that dictate whether your property would qualify as exempt from rent control.

Property Management Washington, D.C.: Business License

Another thing you need to know about this market is that we require a business license for every property that is rented in Washington, D.C. If you’d like more information on that topic, we’ve done another blog that focuses on the requirements for a business license. Be sure to check it out.

Property Management Washington, D.C.: Tenants’ Bill of Rights

Every landlord in Washington, D.C. is required to give their tenants a Tenants’ Bill of Rights. This outlines the laws pertaining to tenants through Title 14. It’s important that you follow the laws and give the proper disclosures to tenants. Pay attention to these requirements and keep yourself in full compliance.

Property Management Washington, D.C.: Landlord Tenant Law


A number of other laws are important to landlords. For example, you can’t do a criminal background check on an applicant until after they are conditionally approved. And, you are required to have a hardwired smoke detector with a CO2 alarm in every unit.

It’s important that you follow all of these rules and laws. It can be complicated and complex, but we can help. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at EJF Real Estate Services.