The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) created the University Off-Campus Housing Program (Program) by working with surrounding District universities and owner/landlords to ensure that student rented properties are properly licensed and inspected. The Program was established to ensure that rental properties are deemed safe and habitable for students who are renting in the District. The Program is explained below.
- The participating university sends DCRA a list of student-rented properties, identifying which properties are rentals, along with current contact information including a telephone number and email address for the students, owner, and/or property manager.
- The university communicates with its student body and landlords general Program information and licensing and inspection requirements.
- DCRA’s Basic Business Licensing (BBL) Division checks each property to verify that it has a valid Basic Business License.
- If DCRA determines that the property does not have a valid BBL, DCRA’s Regulatory Investigation Section (RIS) will investigate to verify that the property is being used as a rental property. If the property is determined to be a rental, DCRA will issue a Notice of Infraction (NOI) in the amount of $2,034.
- 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 that could include additional fines.
- If upon inspection property maintenance violations are found, DCRA will issue a Notice of Violation (NOV) allowing the property owner a specified time-frame to abate the violations.
- If the property is not in compliance after the required time-frame to abate the property, DCRA will issue a NOI.