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 Inquilino, Harrison 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
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
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.
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"
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"
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.
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