The Program


Group of students standing in line

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.

University’s Role

  • 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 Role

  • 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.


4 thoughts on “The Program

  1. William Lugo

    I am interested in starting a similar initiative out here in CT (near two universities). How did you choose the name? Do you find that the name automatically puts you at odds with landlords? Or do you find landlords easy to work with?

  2. Baltimore Slumlordwatch

    Great website — but I have to wonder why it’s only aimed at college students? Surely non-student renters have the same problems with landlords.

    1. dcracommunications

      Thanks for comment. We do a ton of outreach in the city and yet the toughest demogrphic to reach and provide information was the transient student populations and with five major universities and more than a dozen others, we used the blog to kick this off. We do get a ton of non-students using the site as well and may expand target audience in the near future. Thanks again for the comment.

  3. Whomever it may concern, I am interested in discussing with you the opportunity to place a link to the “Have an Exit Strategy” website for use by your students. We think this (your)website is ahead of the curve and I am sure that there will be many wanting to follow your lead. We here in Texas are attempting to “get the word out” about citizens (students) taking responsibility for their own safety and in this particular case, as it relates to exiting. On the HAES website there is much information about exiting along with downloads for exiting posters that might proove beneficial for any group wanting to emphasize exiting and the importance thereof. We have a FEMA grant to place this program into every 4 year Public Institution in Texas this year with a grant pending to include all Private and 2 year Institutions in Texas next year should we get it. There is no cost involved, we simply want to make it availiable to everyone. Should you have any questions, please call me at 512-305-7902 or email me. Thank you for you attention.

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