Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–3671.12. Civil remedies for consumers.

(a) A lessor who fails to comply with a requirement imposed by this chapter with respect to a consumer shall be liable to the consumer in an amount equal to the greater of:

(1) The actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the violation, plus the costs of the action and reasonable attorneys’ fees;

(2) In the case of an individual action, 25% of the total of payments necessary to acquire ownership but not less than $100 nor greater than $1,000, plus the costs of the action and reasonable attorneys’ fees; or

(3) In the case of a class action, the amount that the court determines to be appropriate with no minimum recovery as to each member, plus the costs of the action and reasonable attorneys’ fees. The total recovery in any class action or series of class actions arising out of the same violation shall not be more than the lesser of $500,000, plus the costs of the action and reasonable attorneys’ fees, or 1% of the net worth of the lessor, plus the costs of the action and reasonable attorneys’ fees. In determining the amount of an award in a class action, the court shall consider, among other relevant factors, the amount of actual damages awarded, the frequency and persistence of the violation, the lessor’s resources, and the extent to which the lessor’s violation was intentional.

(b) In the case of an advertisement, a lessor who fails to comply with the requirements of § 42-3671.10 shall be liable to a person for actual damages suffered from the violation, the costs of the action, and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

(c) If there are multiple lessors, liability shall be imposed only on the lessor who made the disclosures. If no disclosures have been given, liability shall be imposed on all lessors.

(d) If there are multiple consumers in a rental-purchase agreement, there shall be only one recovery of damages under subsection (a) of this section.

(e) Multiple violations in connection with a rental-purchase agreement shall entitle the consumer to a single recovery under this section.

(f) A consumer shall not take any action to offset any amount for which a lessor is potentially liable under subsection (a) of this section against any amount owed by the consumer, unless the amount of the lessor’s liability has been determined by judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction in an action in which the lessor was a party.


(Apr. 13, 2002, D.C. Law 14-99, § 13, 49 DCR 1000.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3671.14.