Washington D.C. Month-to-Month Lease Agreement

Last Updated: December 20, 2023 by Roberto Valenzuela

A Washington D.C. month-to-month rental agreement is a contract (not necessarily in writing) which allows a tenant to rent property from a landlord, for one month at a time, in exchange for a fee (“rent”). The rental renews monthly, until either party gives proper notice to end it.

For information about fixed-term leases in Washington D.C. (i.e., a term of one year or more), click here.

Basics of a Washington D.C. Month-to-Month Rental Agreement

In Washington D.C., a landlord and tenant create a month-to-month lease by agreeing to rent a property according to acceptable terms. Written rental agreements are clearer and legally stronger, but oral leases are legal in a month-to-month context.

Parties under a month-to-month lease enjoy full rights under Washington D.C. landlord-tenant law. The tenant must use the property in a responsible way and pay rent on time. The landlord must keep essential features of the property in habitable condition, and protect the tenant’s quiet enjoyment of the lease.

The main difference between a month-to-month lease and a fixed-term lease is that month-to-month leases can be terminated (with proper notice) by either party for any reason without penalty. Landlords also can usually modify terms from one month to the next, again with proper notice.

Required Disclosures for Month-to-Month Rentals in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. landlords may not rent a property out without making the following disclosures to a potential tenant, as relevant:

  • Tenant Bill of Rights – Washington D.C. landlords must provide each tenant with a copy of the Tenant Bill of Rights published by the Office of the Tenant Advocate.
  • RAD Forms 3 and 5 – Washington D.C. tenants applying for a lease have a right to receive a specific set of disclosures published by the city’s Rent Administrator.
  • Rent Control/Exemption Status DisclosureWashington D.C. landlords must provide their tenants with a pamphlet explaining local rent control laws and regulations, in addition to a disclosure regarding the property’s rent control status.
  • Mold Disclosure – Landlords must disclose any visible evidence of mold in the rental unit, in writing, with any initial inventory of the rental property.
  • Voter Registration Packet – Washington D.C. landlords must provide tenants with a voter registration packet developed by the District of Columbia Board of Elections.
  • Lead-Based Paint – Landlords must provide an EPA-approved disclosure and informational pamphlet to tenants renting any property built before 1978.

The state page for fixed-term leases may have more detailed information on required disclosures.

Required Notice To End a Month-to-Month Rental in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. lets both the landlord or tenant terminate a month-to-month lease with at least 30 days of advance notice. In general, any reason that isn’t landlord retaliation is a legal and valid grounds for ending a month-to-month lease.

Washington D.C. requires written notice to end a month-to-month lease. In general, service requires hand delivery or mailing to the address of record.

Required Notice To Raise the Rent on a Washington D.C. Month-to-Month Lease

Washington D.C. requires that notice for a rental increase be delivered in writing, at least 60 days in advance of when the increase is scheduled to take effect.

Eviction in Washington D.C. Month-to-Month Rentals

Washington D.C. tenants may face eviction for violating a month-to-month lease or remaining on the property after the notice period allowed by a valid termination. Evictions in Washington D.C. typically take two to eight months.

For more information on the eviction process in Washington D.C., click here.