Showing the property to potential buyers, tenants, or workers.
Compliance with a government request (doesn’t have to be a court order).
Can a Landlord Enter Without Permission in Washington DC?
Washington DC landlordscan legally enter a rental property without the tenant’s permissionin emergencies which threaten the safety of tenants or the property.
Can a Landlord Enter Without the Tenant Present in Washington DC?
Washington DC landlordscan legally enter rental property without the tenant present.
Can a Landlord Show a House While Occupied in Washington DC?
Washington DC landlordscan show an occupied house.
How Often Can Landlords Conduct Routine Inspections in Washington DC?
Washington DC landlords haveno specific limiton how often they can enter for inspections. However, every inspection must be “directly related” to a legal duty the landlord has. If asked, a landlord must be able to justify the basis for an inspection.
How Much Notice Does a Landlord Need To Provide in Washington DC?
Washington DC landlords have to provide “reasonable” written notice before entering rental property. The law defines “reasonable” as a minimum of 48 hours, unless the tenant has agreed otherwise in writing.
Can a Landlord Enter Without Notice in Washington DC?
Washington DC landlordscan’t enter without proper advance notice,except in emergencies threatening the safety of a person or property.
How Can Landlords Notify Tenants of an Intention To Enter in Washington DC?
Washington DC landlords must notify tenants of an intention to enterin writing.Emails and text messages are legally allowed, but only if the tenant writes back to acknowledge getting the notice. If the tenant is silent, the landlord must provide written notice on paper.
Can a Tenant Refuse Entry to a Landlord in Washington DC?
Washington DC tenantscan often refuse landlord entry.Landlords can enter in emergencies regardless of consent. In most other cases, tenants can refuse entry and treat unauthorized access as trespass, although there may be legal consequences if they refuse unreasonably.
Tenants get an expanded right of refusal when addressing a potential lead-based paint hazard. They can refuse access to workers arriving to fix a lead hazard, if the workers can’t produce appropriate certification.
There is one major exception to the tenant’s right of refusal: reporting a housing code violation. A tenant who has filed a report must permit access within 48 hours of the landlord’s written access request. The landlord can enter to assess the issue and fix it if necessary.
What Happens If the Tenant Illegally Refuses Entry to the Landlord in Washington DC?
Washington DC treats a tenant’s illegal refusal of entry to the landlord the same as any other type of lease violation, in most cases. This means the lease usually determines specific consequences. If there’s no lease, the landlord will be able to ask for an injunction and/or damages (costs) related to the refusal.
Some special rules apply to potential lead-based paint hazards. A landlord’s duty to fix such hazards gets suspended if a tenant refuses access for more than seven days after notice.
Can a Tenant Change the Locks Without Permission in Washington DC?
Washington DC tenantscan change locks without permissionif the lease doesn’t say otherwise. Note that the landlord still has a right to enter for specific reasons, so it’s reasonable for tenants to provide copies of current keys.
What Can a Tenant Do If the Landlord Enters Illegally in Washington DC?
Washington DC tenants can take any of the following actions if the landlord enters illegally, or demands entry repeatedly and unreasonably in a way that harasses the tenant:
Get a court order to ban the landlord from further unreasonable or harassing entries.
Recover court costs and attorney fees from the landlord through a lawsuit.
Recover cost of any actual damages through a lawsuit.
“‘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.”
“A tenant in a multi-unit apartment building can expect intrusions of reasonable duration on his premises when reasonably required to maintain the building as a whole. Indeed, such a right in the landlord may well exist in certain circumstances even in the absence of a lease provision.”
Where the law gives the landlord the right or responsibility to take a particular action with a property, courts in the District of Columbia imply a reasonable right of access for accomplishing such purposes, including a right of inspection for suitability and planning. See generallyDunnington v. Thomas E. Jarrell Co., 96 A.2d 274, 275 (D.C. 1953) (holding that improvements allowed by the 1942 Rent Act implied the landlord’s right to enter and inspect the rental property)
“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.”
“‘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.”
“Notwithstanding subsections (a) through (c) of this subsection, if entrance is for the purpose of performing work, the tenant may deny access to any person not properly certified pursuant to § 8-231.10 [certification requirements for maintenance potentially involving lead paint] to perform that work.”
“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.”
A rental agreement is a contract for an estate in land. The default remedies in contract at common law are damages (monetary recovery), specific performance (an injunction that enforces the terms of the contract), and various forms of rescission (an injunction that modifies the original terms of contract in order to prevent an unjust result, including cancellation of the contract entirely). See generally, e.g.,Damages for Breach of Contract (NYU School of Law 2009)
“If the owner demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Mayor that the tenant refuses to allow access [for abating a lead hazard] after the owner provides notice of no less than 7 days, the owner shall be exempt from meeting any requirements of this subchapter that are dependent upon such access as long as that tenant occupies that dwelling unit or until the tenant provides written notice of the tenant’s willingness to allow access or otherwise allows access. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the Mayor from ordering the owner to fulfill the tenant’s reasonable conditions for access or take other action to ensure that the ordered work can be completed.”
“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.”
“The Rent Administrator, Rental Housing Commission, or a court of competent jurisdiction may award reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing party in any action under this chapter, except actions for eviction authorized under § 42-3505.01.”