How To Serve an Eviction Notice in Washington D.C.

How To Serve an Eviction Notice in Washington D.C.

Last Updated: April 3, 2024 by Roberto Valenzuela

In Washington D.C., in order for the delivery of a lease termination or eviction notice to be legal, certain rules and procedures must be followed. If they are not and the case proceeds to court, the case may be postponed or dismissed by a judge.

Who Can Serve Eviction Notices in Washington D.C.?

In Washington D.C., landlords can serve eviction notices and lease termination notices themselves. Landlords may choose to hire a sheriff, process server or independent party over eighteen (18) years old to serve an official notice, but they are not required to do so by law.

When Can Eviction Notices Be Served in Washington D.C.?

In Washington D.C., lease termination and eviction notices can be served immediately on any day of the week and at any time of day.

For a 30 Day Notice to Quit, the eviction notice for tenants that do not pay rent in full and on time, a landlord can serve notice the day after rent is due. There is no legal grace period for paying rent in Washington D.C., rent is late starting the day after it’s due.

Acceptable Forms of Service in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. landlords may deliver an initial eviction notice using any of these methods:

  1. Hand delivery to the tenant
  2. Only if the tenant cannot be found: Hand delivery to a person of suitable age on the premises who can accept the notice on behalf of the tenant
  3. Only if all forms of hand delivery fail: Posting the notice on the premises, PLUS, within three (3) calendar days, mailing notice by first class mail with return postage prepaid

Mailed notice extends a notice period by three (3) calendar days, to account for variable delivery times.

Special Notice Requirements in Washington D.C.

In Washington D.C., notice from a landlord must be delivered in both English and Spanish, by default. If the landlord knows the tenant speaks a language other than English and Spanish, in most cases the landlord must provide notice in the tenant’s preferred language.

Except for notice for nonpayment of rent, all notices by default must be served on the Rent Administrator in addition to being served to the tenant. Notice posted to the premises can only be proven in Washington D.C. courts by providing a picture of the posted notice with a readable date and timestamp.

Obtaining Proof of Service in Washington D.C. 

Landlords can show proof that the notice was delivered through the following methods:

  • Hand Delivery – by completing a Declaration of Service at the time of delivery
  • Posting at the Premises – by taking a photograph with a date and time stamp and completing a Declaration of Service
  • First Class Mail – mail receipt and completing a Declaration of Service

Washington D.C. Eviction and Lease Termination Notice Forms

Notice Form Grounds
30 Day Notice To Quit Eviction for Unpaid Rent
30 Day Notice To Comply or Vacate Eviction for Lease Violation
30 Day Notice of Termination Eviction for Illegal Activity
30 Day Notice To Vacate Ending a Periodic / Fixed Term Lease

Tenancy At Will

90 Day Notice To Vacate Sale of Property /

Landlord Occupying Premises

120 Day Notice To Vacate Rehabilitation /

Condo Conversion

180 Day Notice To Vacate Demolition /

Discontinue Housing