§ 42–3502.16. Adjustment procedure.
(a) The Rent Administrator shall consider adjustments allowed by §§ 42-3502.10, 42-3502.11, 42-3502.12, 42-3502.13, and 42-3502.14 or a challenge to a § 42-3502.06 adjustment, upon a petition filed by the housing provider or tenant. The petition shall be filed with the Rent Administrator on a form provided by the Rent Administrator containing the information the Rent Administrator or the Rental Housing Commission may require. The Rent Administrator shall issue a decision and an order approving or denying, in whole or in part, each petition within 120 days after the petition is filed with the Rent Administrator. The time may be extended only by written agreement between the housing provider and tenant of the rental unit.
(b) Immediately upon receipt of the petition, the Rent Administrator shall notify the nonpetitioning party, housing provider or tenant, by first-class mail, of the right of either party to make, within 15 days after the receipt of the notice, a written request for a hearing on the petition. The Rent Administrator may deny the petition if the issue is moot or the petition does not comply with subsection (a) of this section.
(c) If a hearing is requested timely by either party, notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be furnished the parties by first-class mail at least 15 days before the commencement of the hearing. The notice shall inform each of the parties of the party’s right to retain legal counsel to represent the party at the hearing.
(d) Each housing provider of any rental unit with respect to which a petition is filed or initiated under this section shall submit to the Rent Administrator, within 15 days after a demand is made, an information statement, on a form approved by the Rent Administrator, containing the information the Rent Administrator or the Rental Housing Commission may require.
(e) The Rent Administrator may consolidate petitions and hearings relating to rental units in the same housing accommodation.
(f) The Rent Administrator may, without holding a hearing, refuse to adjust the rent charged for any rental unit, and may dismiss any petition for adjustment, if a final decision has been made on a petition filed under this section, the Rental Accommodations Act of 1975, the Rental Housing Act of 1977, or the Rental Housing Act of 1980 for adjustment to the same rental units within the 6 months immediately preceding the filing of the pending petition.
(g) All petitions filed under this section, all hearings held relating to the petitions, and all appeals taken from decisions of the Rent Administrator shall be considered and held according to the provisions of this section and title I of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act. In the case of any direct, irreconcilable conflict between the provisions of this section and the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act, the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act shall prevail.
(h) Decisions of the Rent Administrator shall be made on the record relating to any petition filed with the Rent Administrator. An appeal from any decision of the Rent Administrator may be taken by the aggrieved party to the Rental Housing Commission within 10 days after the decision of the Rent Administrator, or the Rental Housing Commission may review a decision of the Rent Administrator on its own initiative. The Rental Housing Commission may reverse, in whole or in part, any decision of the Rent Administrator which it finds to be arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, not in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, or unsupported by substantial evidence on the record of the proceedings before the Rent Administrator, or it may affirm, in whole or in part, the Rent Administrator’s decision. The Rental Housing Commission shall issue a decision with respect to an appeal within 30 days after the appeal is filed.
(i) No increase in rent allowed under this chapter shall be implemented unless the tenant concerned has been given written notice under § 42-3509.04.
(j) A copy of any decision made by the Rent Administrator, or by the Rental Housing Commission under this section shall be mailed by first-class mail to the parties.
(k) The Rent Administrator and, where applicable, the Rental Housing Commission shall accord priority to a housing provider hardship petition covering a housing accommodation for which the federal government is entitled to approve rent increases, where the processing of such a petition has not begun within 45 days immediately following the filing of the petition. Processing of the petitions shall begin no later than 5 days after receipt by the Rent Administrator of written requests from the housing provider and from the federal agency.
(l) No rent increase above that authorized by the Rent Administrator may be implemented by a housing provider during the pendency of an appeal by that housing provider to the Rental Housing Commission or the District of Columbia Court of Appeals where the appeal concerns the validity of that increase.
(m) The service of any document in a proceeding under this section, including a petition, hearing notice, and decision, shall be accompanied by a certificate of service specifying, at a minimum:
(1) The person served;
(2) The date served and by whom; and
(3) The manner of service.