Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter V-B. Other Housing Provider Actions During Tenancies.


§ 42–3505.51. Access by housing provider to dwelling unit.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) "Reasonable notice" means written notice provided to the tenant at least 48 hours before the time the housing provider wishes to enter the unit or a shorter period of time as agreed to by the tenant in writing. Written notice may include electronic communication, including email and mobile text messaging; provided, that if the tenant fails to furnish a written acknowledgement, the housing provider will provide a paper notice.

(2) "Reasonable purpose" means a purpose that is directly related to the housing provider's:

(A) Duty to keep the entire property safe from damage;

(B) Duty to inspect the premises;

(C) Duty to make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, renovations, or improvements;

(D) Duty to supply necessary or agreed services and maintenance;

(E) Need to exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen, or contractors; or

(F) Need to gain entry for work ordered by a governmental entity.

(3) "Reasonable time" means a time between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and not on a Sunday or federal holiday, or at another time agreed upon by the tenant.

(b)(1) Except in the event of an emergency for the protection or preservation of the premises, or for the protection and safety of the tenants or other persons, a housing provider may enter a rental unit during a tenancy only for a reasonable purpose, at a reasonable time, and after having provided the tenant with reasonable notice.

(2) Upon a showing by the tenant that the housing provider has entered a unit in violation of this section, or has repeatedly made unreasonable demands for entry, any court of competent jurisdiction may enjoin the housing provider from that behavior and may assess appropriate damages against the housing provider for breach of the tenant's right to quiet enjoyment of the premises.

(3) Upon the allegation of a housing code violation by a tenant, a tenant may not unreasonably prevent the housing provider from accessing the unit for assessment and abatement of the alleged violation and must provide access to the unit within 48 hours of the written request by the housing provider for access.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 531; as added Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-210, § 2(d), 63 DCR 15302.)


§ 42–3505.52. Housing provider duty to mitigate damages after breach of the rental agreement by tenant.

If a tenant refuses to take possession of a rental unit in bad faith, or vacates a rental unit before the end of a lease term, any actual damages the housing provider may be entitled to shall be subject to the duty of the housing provider to mitigate actual damages for breach of the rental agreement.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 532; as added Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-210, § 2(d), 63 DCR 15302.)


§ 42–3505.53. Notice of tenant's intent to vacate upon the expiration of an initial lease term.

(a) Any provision that requires a tenant to provide more than a 30-day notice to the housing provider of the tenant's intention to vacate the premises upon the expiration of an initial lease term shall be void and unenforceable, unless the lease explicitly states that the provision expires upon the expiration of the initial lease term, and that, unless the tenant agrees to sign a renewal lease of other than month-to-month, the tenant thereafter has the right to vacate the premises upon a 30-day notice for so long as the tenant remains a tenant from month-to-month.

(b) Any notice of intent to vacate that a tenant provided prior to the period for which a public health emergency has been declared pursuant to § 7-2304.01, shall be tolled at the election of the tenant for the period of any such public health emergency such that the tenant shall have the same number of days to vacate remaining at the end of the public health emergency as the tenant had remaining upon the effective date of the public health emergency.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 533; as added Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-210, § 2(d), 63 DCR 15302; June 8, 2020, D.C. Act 23-328, § 405(b)(5), 67 DCR 7598.)


§ 42–3505.54. Notice of tenant's intent to vacate after the expiration of the signed lease term, renewal or extension term.

(a) A residential tenancy from month-to-month may be terminated by a 30-day notice in writing only from the tenant to the housing provider of the tenant's intention to quit. The notice shall expire on the first day of the first month at least 30 days after the date of the notice.

(b) A housing provider shall not place or cause to be placed in a residential lease or rental agreement a requirement that the tenant provide more than a 30-day notice to the housing provider of the tenant's intention to vacate the premises, unless the lease or agreement also requires the housing provider to provide the tenant with a written notice of any rent increase that is at least 15 days more than that time period.

(c) Any notice of intent to vacate that a tenant provided prior to the period for which a public health emergency has been declared pursuant to § 7-2304.01, shall be tolled at the election of the tenant for the period of any such public health emergency such that the tenant shall have the same number of days to vacate remaining at the end of the public health emergency as the tenant had remaining upon the effective date of the public health emergency.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 534; as added Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-210, § 2(d), 63 DCR 15302; June 8, 2020, D.C. Act 23-328, § 405(b)(6), 67 DCR 7598.)


§ 42–3505.55. Housing provider's consent before subletting.

A housing provider may, in its sole and absolute discretion, prohibit subletting of the premise or assigning a lease, either in part or in full; provided, that the prohibition is included in the lease. Where the lease provision allows subletting subject to the housing provider's reasonable consent or where the lease is silent regarding subletting, the housing provider may condition its consent on the prospective subtenant meeting all of the housing provider's reasonable rental qualification guidelines; provided, that the housing provider furnishes the guidelines to the tenant upon request.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 535; as added Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-210, § 2(d), 63 DCR 15302.)