From May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019, the annual rent increase for rent-controlled apartments in DC is 3.4%. For the elderly or disabled renters in these units, it can be less. Quite a bit less, in fact.
A new DC law went into effect on April 7, 2017 that changed the formula for the annual rent control increase for the elderly (age 62+) and disabled (any age). This group’s annual rent increase is now the lower of the Social Security Cost of Living (SS COLA) or Consumer Price Index-Urban Workers (CPI-W).
In 2017, the SS COLA (0.3%) was lower than CPI-W (1.1%). My husband and I – seniors who applied for the rent-control break years ago – saw our rent go up by 0.3%.
But this year, the CPI-W (1.4%) was lower than SS COLA (2%). Therefore our 2018 automatic annual rent increase will be 1.4%. Learn more about the new law.
For all other renters living in rent-controlled apartments, the 2018 rent control increase is calculated as always: CPI-W (1.4%) plus 2% or 3.4%. Here is a history of rent control rates through 2016. And here is how you know you live in a rent-controlled apartment.
You can only enjoy these reduced rent increases as an elderly or disabled renter if you register and file this form (here in English and in Spanish) with the Rent Administrator. There are no income requirements or application fees.
OTA is your Renter Advocate
Whether you are renting a rent or rent-controlled apartment, condo, co-op or room(s) in a house or even the entire house, OTA can help you.
Mold problems? Lease questions? Don’t know what your legal renter rights are? Contact the DC Office of the Tenant Advocate for a free appointment with a case worker.
Keep current with your renter rights: Sign up for OTA alerts for stakeholder workshops and pending or new legislation. OTA also offers these services.
Need more information on renting in DC?
The Coalition for Nonprofit Housing has an online copy of the 2013 Washington DC Tenant Survival Guide, Eighth Edition (visit cnhed.org/policy-advocacy/research, scroll down to “Additional Research Information”). Pages 24-28 cover DC rent control. This guide also includes sections on leases, security deposits, evictions, housing code standards, repairs and renter resources.