If you feel your rental unit or building does not comply with the DC Housing Code, the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) recommends you take the following actions to identify necessary repairs:
- Write out a list of code violations using the Housing Code Standards or the more detailed regulations in Title 14 of the DC Municipal Regulations to determine what must be repaired.
- Make one list of violations for your apartment and another list of violations for common areas such as the hallways, stairs, yard, etc. Sign and date any lists you make.
- Preserve physical evidence of violations (including photographs of dead insects, rats, or mice) to show to the DC housing inspector. Try to bring a witness with you for complaints.
- All requests for repairs should be sent in writing to the landlord, resident manager, or rental office asking them to make the repairs. Keep a copy of every letter or note you write and make a list of all calls, letters, and meetings along with the date and time they occurred. Send the letters certified mail, return receipt, and/or obtain a receipt from the landlord for delivery of letters, if possible.
- When calling the landlord, make certain you obtain the name of the person who takes your complaint. Keep a calendar or other written notes which include when the problems started, when the landlord was contacted, what was done in response to the complaint, and when and if the repairs were completed.
- If you receive no response to your complaint or the repairs are not made, invite the landlord or resident manager to meet with you or the tenant organization to discuss the violations and repairs.
If management still does not respond, you should request a housing inspection by sending an email to DCRA Housing Violations, calling (202) 442-4400, or writing the Housing Inspection Section of the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, 1100 4th Street, SW 4th Floor Washington, DC 20024.
If your tenant association seeks a building-wide inspection, please contact Office of the Tenant Advocate at (202) 442-8359.
An inspection will usually be scheduled within a week but an inspector can respond sooner in emergencies. Remember to keep a copy of every letter or note and make a list of all calls, letters, and meetings along with the date and time they occurred.
NOTE: If you feel you have a violation that requires immediate or emergency attention, contact the Mayor’s Call Center by dialing 311 and you will be connected to an On-Duty Inspector
How to Request A Residential Inspection Online
To request a residential inspection online please send an email to DCRA Residential Inspection Scheduling Unit. To help DCRA respond to your request as quickly as possible, please include:
- Phone Number
- Address and Unit Number (if applicable)
- Brief description of the selected violations
If you feel you need an emergency inspection, please do not email, call (202) 442-9557 or dial 311 immediately.
Once a request is received, a staff person will attempt to contact the requestor to schedule an inspection date. DCRA schedules inspections in response to requests involving an occupied rental housing unit. Because priority is given to serious conditions in occupied housing units, persons submitting requests regarding exterior conditions are not contacted prior to the inspection.
It is extremely important that upon submitting a complaint or request for inspection that you provide a telephone number where you may be reached during normal working hours.