Starting on July 3, 2015, landlords in the District of Columbia must provide rental applicants with a copy of the Tenant Bill of Rights. The Tenant Bill of Rights outlines the rights of tenants in the District of Columbia and covers areas such as leases, security deposit, disclosure of information, rent increases, building conditions, quiet enjoyment, discrimination, right to organize, retaliation and eviction.

The D.C. Council enacted Law 20-147, the “Tenant Bill of Rights Amendment Act of 2014” after many years of advocacy by the Office of the Tenant Advocate and tenant advocates. The law is a giant leap forward in terms of tenant education and outreach in the District. In addition to providing rental applicants with other disclosure documents as required by law, the landlord must provide the rental applicant with the Tenant Bill of Rights, which includes a list of resources and a confirmation statement for the applicant’s signature. Current tenants also benefit from the law. Once a year, upon the tenant’s written request, the landlord is required to provide without charge a copy of the relevant disclosure documents, including the Tenant Bill of Rights.

Please share this information with anyone you know is a tenant in the District of Columbia. The Tenant Bill of Rights is posted on the Office of the Tenant Advocate’s website at http://www.ota.dc.gov. For additional information tenants may contact the Office of the Tenant Advocate’s Education & Outreach Coordinator Delores Anderson or Legislative Director Joel Cohn at 202-719-6560 or email either person at delores.anderson@dc.gov or joel.cohn@dc.gov.

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