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DC’s Becoming Even More Tenant Friendly with “Tenant Bill of Rights”

dcgov_logoDC’s tenant-friendly laws just got a bit friendlier with the new requirement for landlords to give all potential renters a copy of the “DC Tenant Bill of Rights” (TBR). If you’re a landlord or a renter, get ready for the change this summer!

Renters will have the same rights as before but the new provision makes it mandatory for landlords to inform renters of their legal rights via this document.

Now it will be easier for renters to be informed and understand DC tenant laws and regulations. The TBR clearly explains what renters need to know about security deposits, rent increases, eviction procedures, and more.

The official version of the “DC Tenant Bill of Rights” was published on April 3, 2015 and it will take effect 90 days after this date – on July 3, 2015.

Here’s what you need to know:

Lowdown for Landlords

  •  Must provide rental applicants with a copy of the “DC Bill of Rights” (along with other disclosure documents required under the Rental Housing Act) and to have these prospective tenants sign the TBR to confirm receipt. If the landlord fails to have this done then they waive their right to increase the rent during the renter’s tenancy.
  • Must provide a current tenant, without charge, a copy of the TBR and other disclosure documents within 10 days of a written request by a tenant. The tenant has this right once a year.
  • Can obtain a hard copy of the new version of the TBR at the DC Office of Tenant Advocate. Call 202-719-6560 for questions.

Awareness for Tenants

  • Prospective tenants must receive a copy of the TBR to sign. This document prepared and printed by the Office of the Tenant Advocate clearly explains 14 “rights.”
  • Current tenants can make a written request for a copy of the TBR once a year. Their landlord has 10 days to provide a copy.

If you have any questions on the DC Tenant Bill of Rights, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Dwell Residential.

And, for you landlords out there (or any potential ones!) don’t forget about our How to Be a Landlord Series. In particular, check out the fourth article, What to Know if Youre a DC Landlord,” so you can protect yourself and not break the law or face any penalties when renting out your home.