Register Your Vacant Property
If your building is vacant, DC Official Code § 42-3131.06 requires that you register your vacant building with the Vacant Building Administration within 30 days of it becoming vacant. Failure to register your building can result in civil and/or criminal penalties of $2,000 in fines per violation and up to 90 days imprisonment.
Upon receiving a notification letter, you must register your property online within 30 days, along with a $250 registration fee. Failure to do so will result in your property will be taxed at the Class 3 real property tax rate, currently $5.00 per $100 of the assessed value. In addition, all vacant properties must meet certain maintenance standards per DC Official Code §42-3131.12.
Property owners can now utilize the DCRA Citizen Access portal to register their property as vacant or verify the property as occupied. Property owners also have the option to use this tool to request a vacant property exemption, as well as pay any fees associated online.
Verify Your Building is Occupied
If you've received a notice from DCRA’s Vacant Building Administration concerning a vacant or blighted designation, and it is occupied:
- Register your building as occupied by completing the Vacant Property Response Form.
- Check the box “My building is occupied” in Step 2.
- Include a water bill and any other utility bills for the period when the building became occupied.
If verified, your tax rate will not change for the applicable fiscal year going forward, and you will receive a confirmation letter from the Vacant Building Administration.
If denied, your property will be taxed at the Class 3 rate and you will receive a denial notice with appeal instructions from the Vacant Building Administration.
Report a Vacant Property
The Vacant Building Administration schedules an initial four-point inspection for property that is privately owned within 28 business days of the request to determine if the building/private property: (1) appears vacant, (2) has excessive vegetation, (3) has graffiti, and (4) is open and accessible. If the inspection provides convincing evidence that the property is vacant, a letter is sent the owner of record.
Request Exemption for a Vacant Property
If you've received a notice from Vacant Building Administration concerning a vacant or blighted designation, use the following to determine whether your building qualifies for an exemption.