KEY RESOURCES

We've spent a lot of time finding the best sources of information on rental housing and rent stabilization in the District of Columbia. Here are some key ones.


GENERAL INFORMATION FOR TENANTS

District of Columbia Tenant Bill of Rights, Office of the Tenant Advocate
A good overview of tenants’ rights. Distributed to every tenant when he or she signs a lease. 

The Washington D.C. Tenant Survival Guide, Harrison Institute for Law and Public Policy, Georgetown University Law School (2013)
An in-depth guide to renting in D.C.

Guia de Supervivencia del InquilinoHarrison Institute for Law and Public Policy, Georgetown University Law School (2013)
Spanish language version of the same guide

Information for Tenants, Office of the Tenant Advocate
A table of contents for the OTA's information for renters


CONTACTS

Tenant Resources, Office of the Tenant Advocate
A list of city agencies and independent organizations that provide services to tenants. Unfortunately, most of these don't help with rent "concession" cases. See our Who's Who page for additional information.


RENT STABILIZATION

What You Should Know About Rent Control in the District of Columbia, DHCD
A detailed overview of rent stabilization

Allowable Rent Increases, Office of the Tenant Advocate
A brief overview of the rules

A Rent Control Report for the District of Columbia, NeighborhoodInfo DC / The Urban Institute, 2011
A very detailed demographic report on rent stabilization in the city


Tools and PRACTICAL INFORMATION

The Rent Increase Calculator, Fair Rent DC
An online widget for calculating the maximum legal rent increase on your apartment

Historical table of the rent control adjustment rate, Office of the Tenant Advocate
A table that lists maximum legal rent increases from 1985 to 2016

The Rental Housing Commission 2017 Resolution
The official notice announcing that the maximum rent increase will be 3.1% for the year beginning May 1, 2017 and ending April 31, 2018.


FORMS TO FILL OUT

Tenant Petition
The form you need to fill out to begin a complaint against your landlord.

Tenant’s Notice of Elderly or Disability Status
The form you need to fill out and file with the city if you are 62 or older and you want to be eligible for the smaller annual rent increase. While most tenants in rent-stabilized buildings can pay a maximum annual rent increase of two percent plus the CPI-W (inflation rate), residents 62 and over pay a maximum annual rent increase of just the inflation rate.


GOOD READING

Landlords Exploit D.C. Rent Control Laws, Jacking Up Prices After 'Concessions' Expire, The City Paper, Sept. 1, 2016
The article that broke the "concessions" story in 2016

The Painmaker, The City Paper, Jan. 13, 2006
An expose about the attorney who helps defend large corporate landlords that use rent "concessions"


THE LAW

DC rental housing statute
The actual rental housing law. No mention of "concessions" here.

DC rent stabilization statute
The sub-chapter of the law relating to rent stabilization. No mention of "concessions" here either.

DC rental housing definitions
Legal definitions of rental housing terms. Still no mention of "concessions"


LEGISLATION

The Rent Control Reform Amendment Act of 2006
The law passed by the City Council in 2006 that abolished rent ceilings and stated that a tenant's rent in a stabilized building cannot increase more than 2% plus inflation annually


FORMS YOU SHOULD LEARN TO RECOGNIZE

Rent increase form -- RAD Form 8 (sample)
The form looks as if it was sent by the city but in fact it was filled out by the landlord. Many tenants have been fooled by the form and as a consequence have paid far more in rent than necessary. The amount the landlord lists as "rent" may be much higher than what the tenant actually pays.

Verified Complaint for Possession of Real Property
This form calls you to court for your a hearing if your landlord files suit against you for not paying what it claims is your full rent. The hearing is not about eviction -- it's about their claim to your money. However, if you lose at this stage and you do not pay, your landlord can file for eviction. If you receive this form you should get expert legal advice.

NEXT: Who's who