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Rental Housing Commission
 

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Rental Housing Act and Regulations

The Rental Housing Act of 1985, as amended, effective July 17, 1985 (D.C. Law 6-10; D.C. Official Code § 42-3501.01 et seq). (“Act”), provides the statutory framework for the Rental Housing Commission, and the District’s rent stabilization program. To find the Act online, go to: https://code.dccouncil.us/dc/council/code/titles/42/chapters/35/ and click on the section you want. The Act can be printed from the site.

Implementing Regulations

Title 14 (Housing) of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (“DCMR”), Chapters 38 through 44 are issued by the Commission to implement the Act and establish clear, specific procedures under it. To find the official compilation of the current regulations online, go to https://www.dcregs.dc.gov/Common/DCMR/ChapterList.aspx?titleId=28 and click on the chapter and section you want to download. The regulations can be printed from the site.

For an unofficial copy of the current regulations, you may download a PDF that includes all sections and linked bookmarks.

Proposed Changes to Regulations

First Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On August 2, 2019, the RHC published a first notice of proposed rulemaking in the DC Register for a 90-day public comment period. The proposed rulemaking would amend all of the implementing rules under the Act in Title 14 (Housing) of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (“DCMR”), 14 DCMR Chapters 38-44. The six core purposes of the proposed rules are as follows:

  1. Implement Statutory Changes in Determining Lawful Rents
  2. Implement and Clarify Transfer of Evidentiary Hearing Function
  3. Implementation of Other Statutory Changes
  4. Codify and Conform to Existing Case Law
  5. Update and Improve Operations and Procedures
  6. Clarify Language and Increase Specificity

To download a copy of the first proposed rulemaking, please visit the Office of Documents and Administrative Issuances or view as a PDF.

Public Comments on First Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

The Commission received these responses to the first notice of proposed rulemaking:

Second Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On November 20, 2020, the Commission published a second notice of proposed rulemaking in the DC Register for a public comment period expiring on January 15, 2021, which was extended to February 16, 2021. To download a copy of the second notice of proposed rulemaking, please visit the Office of Documents and Administrative Issuances or view as a PDF.

During the time between the publication of the first and second notices of proposed rulemaking, the Commission reviewed the extensive comments, posted above, from several organizations and individuals, generally advocating for the interests of either tenants or housing providers. The majority of comments addressed Chapter 42, the rules implementing the Rent Stabilization Program, and those comments were particularly focused on the various terms used to regulate “rent” or the “rent charged,” the timing of rent increases, and the processes and standards for approving voluntary agreements.

This second proposed rulemaking includes changes based on public comments received on the First Proposed Rulemaking and the Commission’s further review, in cooperation with interagency partners at the Rental Accommodations Division of the Department of Housing and Community Development as well as the Office of Administrative Hearings. View a “redline” markup of changes from the first to second proposed rulemakings here.

Public Comments on Second Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

The Commission held a virtual public hearing to discuss the proposed regulations on Thursday, February 4, 2021. Several public stakeholders appeared and provided testimony and suggestions and answered questions from the Commission and its interagency partners. Video of this meeting is available here.

The Commission received these responses to the second notice of proposed rulemaking:

Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On August 20, 2021, the Commission published a third notice of proposed rulemaking in the DC Register for a 30-day public comment period expiring on September 20, 2021. To download a copy of the third notice of proposed rulemaking, visit the Office of Documents and Administrative Issuances or view as a PDF.

During the time between the publication of the second and third notices of proposed rulemaking, the Commission reviewed the extensive comments, posted above. This second proposed rulemaking includes changes based on public comments received on the First Proposed Rulemaking and the Commission’s further review, in cooperation with interagency partners at the Rental Accommodations Division of the Department of Housing and Community Development as well as the Office of Administrative Hearings. View a “redline” markup of changes from the first to second proposed rulemakings here.

Public Comments on Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

All parties wishing to comment on this proposed rulemaking are encouraged to review the previously-received comments and to reply regarding the Commission’s proposed incorporation of any recommended changes. All written comments should be submitted via email to Daniel Mayer, General Counsel, at [email protected], or by mail at the Commission’s offices at 441 4th Street NW, Suite 1140B-N, Washington, DC 20001.

Please check back for additional information and look for future notices in the DC Register, as the Commission plans to move quickly to finalize the updated regulations.