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

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

Last Updated: April 14, 2023 by Marnie Snyder

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.

Landlords shall provide all eviction and lease termination notices in English and Spanish. If the landlord knows the tenant’s primary language is not English or Spanish, then the landlord must provide the notice in the tenant’s primary language as required by law.

A landlord can deliver notices in Washington D.C. using any of the below acceptable methods:

  1. Handing the notice to the tenant in person;
  2. Handing the notice to someone who can accept the notice on behalf of the tenant;
  3. Posting the notice to a conspicuous place at the premises AND mailing the notice by first class mail (postage prepaid).

When sending the notice by first class mail, add three (3) calendar days to the notice period to account for variability in post office delivery times.

If the notice is posted at the premises, it must be mailed within three (3) calendar days. In addition, a picture of the posted notice with a readable date and time stamp is legally required for proof of service in court.

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 & 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