Landlords and property owners are responsible for the maintenance of their rental housing. If you are concerned that your rental unit or building does not comply with the DC Property Maintenance Code, the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) recommends you take the following actions to identify necessary repairs:
- Research code violations using the Property Maintenance Code Standards or the more detailed regulations in Title 12G of the DC Municipal Regulations.
- Use our DCRA Housing Code Checklist to document violations in your apartment which include violations for common areas such as the hallways, stairs, yard, etc. Make notes, sign, and date the document.
- Document physical evidence of violations (i.e. photographs or video).
- Send requests for repairs in writing to the landlord, resident manager, or rental office. If possible, send the letters via certified mail with a return receipt from the landlord. Keep a copy of the letter for yourself.
- Keep a record of dates and times of all phone calls and meetings. When calling, make certain you obtain the name of the person who takes your complaint.
- Keep a record of what was done in response to your complaint specifically if the repairs were completed or not.
- If you receive no response to your complaint or the repairs have not been made, arrange to meet with the landlord to discuss the violations and repairs.
If management still does not respond, you should request a housing inspection by:
- Sending an email along with your documentation (i.e. letters, emails, photographs, videos) to DCRA Housing Violations, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Calling 202-442-9557, option 6.
- Writing the Inspections and Compliance Administration, DCRA, 1100 4th Street, SW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20024.
NOTE: If a violation requires immediate or emergency attention, contact the 311 Call Center Operation by calling 311, texting DC311, visiting 311.dc.gov, or tweeting @311DCgov.
An inspection will usually be scheduled within a week but an inspector can respond sooner in emergencies. Remember to keep a copy of every letter or note and make a list of all calls, letters, and meetings along with the date and time they occurred.
It is extremely important that upon submitting a complaint or request for inspection that you provide a telephone number where you may be reached during normal working hours.
NOTE: If a violation requires immediate or emergency attention, call (202) 442-9557, option 6, during normal business. For reporting emergency violations during after hours, contact the Mayor’s Call Center by dialing 311 and you will be connected to an On-Duty Inspector.