EJF often gets asked by new landlords if they need to get a Basic Business License (BBL) for their rental property. The answer is very simple: yes.
The District of Columbia requires every business that performs work to have a business license. Since leasing and collecting rent is considered a business, landlords are required to get a BBL, else risk the related penalties of operating illegally, which can outweigh the costs of obtaining the proper permits.
The good news is that the process is now easy to complete online. EJF clients can do this independently or have us handle the process for a small fee.
Before you apply, make sure your property is in compliance with all housing codes. If you are an EJF client, we perform annual inspections to confirm and document compliance. It is important to note that your BBL is not valid until a DCRA inspector makes an official inspection of the property to certify its compliance with all regulations. This usually occurs about two weeks after DCRA has issued you the paper license.
Typical of everything else in Washington, the BBL process is subject to change and usually without much notice. Fortunately, we stay on top of the ever-changing DC regulations and handle the headaches and legwork for you.
If you have any questions about the BBL, proper permitting, or general property management inquiries, feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email any time.