The DCRA University Off-Campus Housing Initiative works with universities and owner/landlords to make certain that student rented properties are properly licensed and inspected. DCRA requires owners and landlords to meet District and federal housing health codes. This program was established to ensure that rental properties are deemed safe and habitable. Please email us at if you would like to get your school involved.

University’s Role

  • The University sends DCRA a list of student-rented properties, identifying which properties are rentals, distinguishing between licensed and unlicensed properties, along with current contact information including both a telephone number and email address for the student-tenants, owner and/or property manager.
  • The University mails a letter to landlords-student-tenants with general Initiative info and licensing and inspection requirements.
  • The University sends DCRA a declaration (self-executing affidavit) attesting that students are renting the listed properties.


DCRA’s Role

  • DCRA’s Housing Department mails a letter to the property owner/student-tenants outlining the compliance process for any properties confirmed to be unlicensed and/or uninspected.
  • DCRA’s Licensing Division (BBL) checks each property to verify that it has a valid Housing/Residential Basic Business License:
    • If DCRA finds that the property does not have a valid BBL, DCRA’s Regulatory Investigation Section (RIS) will conduct an investigation to verify that the property is being used as a rental property. If the property owner fails to bring the property into compliance, DCRA may issue a Notice of Infraction (NOI) in the amount of $2,000.
    • If a property has a valid BBL but has not obtained the required safety inspection, the owner will be advised to schedule an inspection. If the owner fails to obtain an inspection, DCRA may take enforcement action which may include obtaining an Administrative Search Warrant (ASW) to gain access to the property.
    • If upon inspection violations are identified, then DCRA will issue a Notice of Violation (NOV) allowing the property owner a specified timeframe to abate the violations.
    • If the property is not in compliance, then enforcement action may be initiated by DCRA.