by Barbara Cline
Did you know that DC tenants have the right to request relocation assistance from their landlord if they are displaced by a substantial rehabilitation of their unit?
In 2009, a tenant in the Connecticut House was undergoing cancer treatments that resulted in a compromised immune system. When mold was discovered behind a wall in her apartment, the tenant requested and received relocation assistance from management for a move to temporary living quarters while the mold was removed.
The Tenant Bill of Rights is a compilation of the numerous laws protecting DC tenants who are leasing a residential rental unit – whether it is an apartment, condo, co-op or room(s) in a private home.
Security deposits, building conditions, leases, quiet enjoyment, disclosure of information, eviction and relocation assistance are all addressed in the Tenant Bill of Rights.
Most of the rights apply to all DC tenants. However, some of the rights are restricted to certain types of tenants, such as tenants who live in rent-controlled apartments.
Where do you get a copy of the Tenant Bill of Rights?
Or, a copy of the Tenant Bill of Rights can be picked up at OTA’s office, located at the Reeves Center, 2000 14th Streeet, NW Suite 300 North, Washington, DC 20009 (Green Line- U Street Exit).
Walk-ins are welcome on:
Mon/Wed: 8:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Tue/Thur: 8:45 a.m.-4:45 p.m.
Fri: 1 p.m.-3 p.m. or by appointment
And soon, landlords might be required to give a copy of the Tenant Bill of Rights to their newest tenants. In January, Councilmember Yvette Alexander introduced the Tenant Bill of Rights Act of 2013 (B20-0058), which would require that all leases for residential rental units be accompanied by the Tenant Bill of Rights. The bill was co-introduced by another 9 of the 13 members of the DC Council, including Ward 3’s Mary Cheh. Muriel Bowser is a co-sponsor.
To receive information on the status of B20-0058 contact Joel Cohn, OTA legislative director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-719-6560.