The rent control law is the Rental Housing Act of 1985 (DC Law 6-10) as amended (the Act), which is codified at DC Official Code § 42-3501.01 et seq. Under the Act, an apartment building or apartment complex is called a housing accommodation, and a single apartment or house is called a rental unit. A renter is simply called the tenant, but the landlord is called the housing provider.
The Rental Accommodations Division (RAD) administers the Act.
The Act applies to all rental housing accommodations in the District of Columbia. Certain parts of the Act, such as eviction protections, apply to all District tenants. Title II of the Act is rent stabilization, which applies to any non-exempt rental unit. All rental units must be registered with the RAD either as subject to rent control or exempt from rent control. For any unit that is not registered with RAD, rent control automatically applies.
The most common exemptions from rent control are for rental units that are:
- Federally or District-subsidized
- Built after 1975
- Owned by a natural person (i.e., not a corporation) who owns no more than four rental units in the District
- Vacant when the Act took effect
Important Rental Accommodations Division Update
The Rental Housing Commission finalized Rent Stabilization Program regulations for the Rental Housing Act of 1985 (Act) (D.C. Official Code 2001 ed., as amended, sect. 42-3501.01 et seq.). The rules were published in volume 68, number 49 of the District of Columbia Register on December 3, 2021 and may be viewed at Search - DCRegs. The new rules will go into effect on December 31, 2021. The rulemaking implements rules under the Act in Title 14 (Housing) of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, Chapters 38-41.
Please see the Rental Housing Commission’s website for further information and a public memorandum from the Commission’s general counsel for guidance on critical changes at Two Major Changes Coming to the District’s Rental Housing Laws | rhc (dc.gov).
Rental Accommodations Forms
**Document Filing During Modified Operations**
Form 1 - RAD Registration Claim of Exemption Form (English) (Spanish)
Form 2 - Housing Provider’s Amended Registration Form (English) (Spanish)
Form 3 - Housing Provider’s Disclosure to Applicant (English) (Spanish)
Form 4 - Housing Provider’s Rent History Disclosure to New and Existing Tenants (English) (Spanish)
Form 5 - Notice of Access to Records
Form 6 - Tenant's Notice to Housing Provider of Elderly or Disabled Status (English) (Spanish)
Form 7 - Elderly and Tenant with A Disability Claim of Exemption From Housing Provider Petition Rent Surcharge Increase (English) (Spanish)
Form 8 - Housing Provider’s Notice to Tenant of Adjustment in Rent Charged (English) (Spanish)
Form 9 - Certificate of Notice to RAD of Adjustment in Rent Charged (English) (Spanish)
Form 10 - 30 Day Notice to Correct or Vacate: Contact RAD at (202) 442-7200 for details on this form.
Form 11 - 30 Day Notice to Vacate for Illegal Act Performed (English) (Spanish)
Form 12 - 90 Day Notice to Vacate for Personal Use and Occupancy (English) (Spanish)
Form 13 - 90 Day Notice to Vacate for Personal Use and Occupancy of Contract Purchaser (English) (Spanish)
Form 14 - 120 Day Notice to Vacate for Renovations or Alterations (English) (Spanish)
Form 15 - 180 Day Notice to Vacate for Demolition (English) (Spanish)
Form 16 - 120 Day Notice to Vacate for Substantial Rehabilitation (English) (Spanish)
Form 17 - 180 Day Notice to Vacate for Discontinuance of Occupancy (English) (Spanish)
Form 22 - 70% Voluntary Agreement Petition (English) (Spanish)
Form 23 - Tenant Petition Complaint (English) (Spanish)
Form 24 - Tenant Payment Plan Complaint (English) (Amharic) (Chinese) (French) (Korean) (Spanish) (Vietnamese)
Other Rental Accommodations Information
Tenant Payment Plan Complaint Fact Sheet [PDF]
Tenant Payment Plan FAQ
Rent Registration Process Fact Sheet [PDF]
Rent Control Fact Sheet
Rent Control in DC Pamphlet October 2018
A Rent Control Report for the District of Columbia [PDF]
Certification and Notice of Annual Rent Adjustment