It’s getting cold and it’s only going to get colder. In the District, landlords must be able to keep your apartment/house warm. And when landlords don’t respond, thisshouldbeillegal.com can help.
Essentially, If a tenant does not control setting heat in a unit, the building’s heat must be kept at a minimum temperature of sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit (68° F) between 6:30 am and 11 pm. Between 11 pm and 6:30 am, a building’s heat must be kept at a minimum temperature of sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit (65° F).
While there is no law that says heat must be on by a certain date, building engineers traditionally convert their systems from cooled to heated air on October 15 — and from heated to cooled air on May 15. District law does require that minimum temperatures be maintained in living areas during cold weather regardless of the calendar date.
DCRA will be distributing fliers to apartment buildings across the District over the next week to remind tenants of the law and landlords of their obligation. Tenants can download and print informational fliers – in English and Spanish – for their building, tenant association or neighbors here.
Tenants without adequate heat are asked to report the condition to their landlords immediately. If they do not respond, tenants are urged to report violations by calling (202) 442-9557.
DCRA will dispatch an inspector and landlords could be fined up to $1,000 and other potential penalties and fees if found to be in violation of the heating laws.