Housing problems, inspections in District of Columbia

Housing problems, inspections in District of Columbia (ABC7)

District of Columbia, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

“If you feel your rental unit or building does not comply with the DC Housing Code, the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) recommends you take the following actions to identify necessary repairs:

1. Write out a list of code violations using the Housing Code Standards or the more detailed regulations in Title 14 of the DC Municipal Regulations to determine what must be repaired.

2. Make one list of violations for your apartment and another list of violations for common areas such as the hallways, stairs, yard, etc. Sign and date any lists you make.

3. Preserve physical evidence of violations (including photographs of dead insects, rats, or mice) to show to the DCRA housing inspector. Try to bring a witness with you for complaints.

4. All requests for repairs should be sent in writing to the landlord, resident manager, or rental office asking them to make the repairs. Keep a copy of every letter or note you write and make a list of all calls, letters, and meetings along with the date and time they occurred. Send the letters certified mail, return receipt, and/or obtain a receipt from the landlord for delivery of letters, if possible.

5. When calling the landlord, make certain you obtain the name of the person who takes your complaint. Keep a calendar or other written notes which include when the problems started, when the landlord was contacted, what was done in response to the complaint, and when and if the repairs were completed.

6. If you receive no response to your complaint or the repairs are not made, invite the landlord or resident manager to meet with you or the tenant organization to discuss the violations and repairs.

If management still does not respond, you should request a housing inspection by:

• Sending an email to DCRA Housing Violations -

• Calling (202) 442-4400.

• Writing the Inspections & Compliance Administration, DCRA, 1100 4th Street, SW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20024.

An inspection will usually be scheduled within a week but an inspector can respond sooner in emergencies. Remember to keep a copy of every letter or note and make a list of all calls, letters, and meetings along with the date and time they occurred.

NOTE: If you feel you have a violation that requires immediate or emergency attention, contact the Mayor’s Call Center by dialing 311 and you will be connected to an On-Duty Inspector.”

Additional tips for 7 ON YOUR SIDE:


Call the tips hotline: 866-236-3401

Please Note:

Because of the volume of phone calls and emails we receive, it is not possible for us to reply to everyone. We will contact you, if we can assist you.

We generally do not cover the following issues:

• Problems with car dealers or car mechanics

• Landlord-tenant disputes involving rents or evictions

• Employment disputes

• Workman’s compensation disputes

• School bus scheduling

• Consumer issues if you already have retained legal counsel

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